18th January 2016
By Stefanie Chernow

Ethical Journalism Network Newsletter – 19 January 2016


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‘Cartel’ Author Don Winslow Responds To Sean Penn: “Call It Anything You Want – Except Journalism”

Bestselling novelist Don Winslow has written two epics about the Drug War: 2005’s The Power of The Dog and The Cartel, the latter of which was one of the best reviewed novels of 2015 and sold to Fox for a film that will be directed by Ridley Scott. Winslow has spent nearly 20 years researching the Mexican cartels, and the most of the violence in The Cartel is based on real events. He dedicated the book to the more than 100 journalists killed in cartel violence, and named every slain reporter in his intro. He agreed to write for Deadline why he was so appalled by Sean Penn’s El Chapo encounter and subsequent 60 Minutes interview.

Read the full article here. (Deadline.com)

“60 Minutes” Sean Penn

The actor speaks to Charlie Rose in his first interview since his controversial meeting with drug kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman.

Watch the video and read the transcript here. (CBS)

Sean Penn says he’s ‘sad about the state of journalism’ in ’60 Minutes’ interview

an appearance Sunday on “60 Minutes,” Sean Penn defended his interview with Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman. Speaking to Charlie Rose, the actor described the 10,000-word article he wrote for Rolling Stone magazine, which some criticized for being overly sympathetic to the notorious leader of the Sinaloa cartel, as “experiential journalism.”

Read the full article here. (LA Times)

Charlie Hebdo cartoon depicting drowned child Alan Kurdi sparks racism debate

Satirical magazine includes cartoon suggesting Kurdi might have grown up to be a sexual abuser.

Read the full article here. (Guardian)

Le Monde Afrique: broader, more diverse coverage of Africa

One year ago this Wednesday, the well-respected French newspaper Le Monde launched its online Africa edition. With more than four million visits each month, it has set a name for itself among French-speaking Africans. The World Editors Forum spoke to Serge Michel, Le Monde Afrique’s Editor-in-Chief about the lessons of the past year.

Read the full article here. (WAN-IFRA)

They say the age of investigative journalism has passed. It hasn’t

Two films about great newspaper campaigns provoke a nostalgia for the days of print. But the problems posed by online news are offset by its potential.

Read the full article here. (Guardian)

Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism releases media and technology predictions for 2016

Robo-journalists, an ongoing battle between publishers and adblockers, bendy smartphones and social media for the workplace; the Reuters Institute launches its new Digital News Project with a set of technology and industry predictions for the global media’s year ahead.

Read the full article here. (Reuters Institute)

‘Shocking Celebrity Nip Slips’: Secrets I Learned Writing Clickbait Journalism

I spent six months writing traffic-baiting articles about ‘nearly naked’ red carpet dresses and Hollywood bikini shots. Here is my dispatch from the dark side of online celeb journalism.

Read the full article here. (Broadly)

BuzzFeed breaks UK ad rules over misleading advertorial

Dylon sponsored article titled ‘14 Laundry Fails’ did not make clear content was piece of marketing, advertising watchdog rules.

Read the full article here. (Guardian)



You can read the individual chapters of the report here:

The View from Brussels: Missed opportunities to call the European Union to account

Bulgaria – A study in media Sensationalism

Italy – A charter for tolerant journalism: Media take centre stage in the Mediterranean drama

Turkey – Media under the government’s thumb and migrants in a legislative limbo

United Kingdom – How journalism plays follow-my-leader in the rhetoric of negativity

Australia – In a nation of migrants the media faces its own identity crisis

Brazil – Where politics takes precedence over the people who make it

China – An inside story: China’s invisible and ignored migrant workforce

West Africa: The Gambia – Desperate young take the backway to an uncertain future

India – How missing facts and context is toxic for media coverage

Lebanon – Lebanon’s media put humanity in the mix as the refugee crisis takes hold

Mexico – Shallow journalism in a land where political bias rules the newsroom

Nepal – Information gaps fail to keep track of a country on the move

South Africa – Compelling tales of afrophobia and media selective blindness

United States – The Trump Card: How US news media dealt with a migrant hate manifesto

Poland: The EU’s media freedom conundrum

The Listening Post examines what Poland’s new contentious media law means for journalism.

Watch the episode of The Listening Post and read the full article here. (Al Jazeera)


It has been a testing year for journalism. It began with 10 journalists and cartoonists among those killed by terrorists in the unconscionable massacre at the offices of Charlie Hebdo in Paris. Within hours the EJN published an article advising journalists

It has been a testing year for journalism. It began with 10 journalists and cartoonists among those killed by terrorists in the unconscionable massacre at the offices of Charlie Hebdo in Paris. Within hours the EJN published an article advising journalists to defend free speech but also to lower the temperature, to eliminate hate speech and to avoid encouraging acts of revenge or abuse of Muslims. We called for “slow journalism” and for newsrooms to think carefully about how to handle the story.

The Paris events triggered much talk in media circles over free speech, self-censorship and ethical responsibility. And the EJN was at the centre of this debate. We published a second articleurging journalists to rely on their codes and editorial traditions when reporting terrorism, to avoid propaganda traps set by media-savvy extremists and, above all, to tell the story with humanity.

Read the EJN director’s full report here.


World Radio Day 2016

Saturday 13 February is World Radio Day. If you are a radio journalist who would like to take part in our coverage of the day contact our communications officer, Tom Law. Email: [email protected]