14th April 2016
By Stefanie Chernow

Ethical Journalism Network Newsletter – 20 April 2016


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A new understanding: What makes people trust and rely on news

For more than a generation, research has tried to identify the qualities that lead people to trust news. The work has concluded that in general people want journalism to be fair, balanced, accurate, and complete. It can be unclear, however, what these broad factors mean or how news organizations can achieve them.

Even more challenging, these traditional conceptions of trust were formulated before the advent of the Internet and did not account for all the ways that consumers today encounter news and publishers can deliver it.

A new comprehensive study, conducted by The Media Insight Project, shows that trust and reliability in news can be broken down into specific factors that publishers can put into action and consumers can recognize. The study also finds that in the digital age, several new factors largely unexamined before — such as the intrusiveness of ads, navigability, load times, and having the latest details — also are critical in determining whether consumers consider a publisher competent and worthy of trust.

The specific factors that lead people to trust and rely on a news source also vary by topic, the study finds. How much consumers value a specific component related to trust depends, for instance, on whether they are seeking news about politics or traffic and weather, let alone lifestyle. On some topics, consumers rate in‑depth reporting and expert sources more highly. In others, ease of use is of higher value. For still others, being entertained is more important.

Read the full article here. (American Press Institute)

‘Can I use your picture?’: Copyright advice for working with eyewitness media fairly from @madalinacrc at #IJF16

Copyright is an important concern for news organisations who rely heavily on social media to source eyewitness footage in their reporting.

Attributing material to the wrong person or worse, not asking for usage permission from the person who took the image or video, can have an impact on the relationship of trust between journalists and their audience as well as result in serious legal implications.

At the International Journalism Festival in Perugia on Saturday (9 April), Jenni Sargent, managing director of First Draft News, and Adam Rendle, senior associate at international law firm Taylor Wessing, explained the copyright aspects news outlets should be concerned with when using user-generated content (UGC).

Read the full article here. (journalism.co.uk)

This year’s International Journalism Festival covered many interesting ethical issues, including independence of media, verify eye witness content on social media, protecting online sources and how best to cover migration. Here we have pulled together some of the best content from social media.

For more information about the festival go to: http://www.journalismfestival.com/


Children in the News: Even Child Rights Groups are not Picture Perfect

How media portray children and how they deal with them is one of the key challenges facing ethical journalists and to help them get it right, reporters might expect children’s rights groups to provide not only good sources and relevant information, but model standards for portrayal of young people.

But often that is not the case. Children’s rights organisations ought to be leaders in portraying children ethically, not least because the most ratified human rights treaty in history, the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), mentions the importance of dignity in its first sentence.

Read the full article here. (EJN)

De Correspondent tackling lack of ethnic diversity

The Dutch online journalism platform De Correspondent is known for its forward-thinking, hands-on approach to journalism. In many ways, the crowdfunded publication is different to mainstream newsrooms, but in terms of diversity it’s make-up was exactly the same: predominantly male, mostly city-based and pretty much all white.
Read the full article here. (WAN-IFRA)

The dark side of Guardian comments

As part of a series on the rising global phenomenon of online harassment, the Guardian commissioned research into the 70m comments left on its site since 2006 and discovered that of the 10 most abused writers eight are women, and the two men are black. Hear from three of those writers, explore the data and help us host better conversations online.

Read the full article here. (Guardian)

Facebook Has Seized the Media, and That’s Bad News for Everyone But Facebook

What Facebook is selling you is pretty simple. It’s selling an experience, part of which includes news. That experience is dependent on content creators—you know, journalists and newsrooms—who come up with ideas, use their own resources to realize them, and then put them out into the world. All of which takes time, money, and skill. For its “media partners” (the CNNs, BuzzFeeds, and WIREDs of the world), Facebook is selling a promise that their future will be bright if they use Facebook’s latest news products to distribute those new, innovative, and immersive stories to Facebook’s giant audience.

The only problem is that Facebook’s promise isn’t a real one. It’s false hope; or at its worst, a threat.

Read the full article here. (WIRED)

Australia’s attacks on journalists’ sources are about politics, not national security

Unless the law is changed, privacy and press freedom will continue to be under threat in Australia, writes Paul Farrell.


Read the full article here. (Guardian)

Does Press Council of India have the Power to issue warrant? Govt. disagrees with Council

The Press Council of India (PCI) and the Government were at loggerheads over the issue of the media body’s powers after it decided to serve a bailable arrest warrant against Union I and B Ministry Secretary Sunil Arora for failing to appear before it following summons. Information and Broadcasting Ministry sources said that the PCI has ‘limited powers’ and cannot decide everything unlike the judiciary, which is an independent institution and recognised by the Constitution.
Read the full article here. (Live Law India)

Thailand’s broadcasting commission must allow media to self-regulate

A recent high-profile media bribery scandal and the violation of privacy standards have stirred public discontent against current media practices. In response, some prominent media figures and organisations have renewed their efforts to improve media ethics, while the National Broadcasting and Telecommunica-tions Commission (NBTC) has announced that it plans to set up regulations to develop a new code of ethics to better regulate media practices in the future.

Read the full article here. (The Nation – Thailand)

The humorous side of internet governance: top 3 of funny net neutrality explainers

Net neutrality might seem like a complicated topic, but fortunately some of the best explainers on the issue are informative while putting a comic spin on it. We’ve put together our favourite comic explainers that should help anyone interested in the topic to get up to speed on the basics and what is potentially at stake, while providing a few laughs in the process.

Read the article and watch the videos here. (WAN-IFRA)

For more on the role of satire see:

Poking Fun and Story-telling: How Satire Holds Media and Politicians to Account