2nd February 2016
By Stefanie Chernow

Ethical Journalism Network Newsletter – 2 February 2016


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What if this baby were mine?

Last year the world was shocked by the image of the dead body of three-year-old Syrian boy Alan Kurdi lying face down dead on a beach in Turkey. As this moving blog by AFP photographer Ozan Kose illustrates, such tragedies are still happening.

Read the full article here. (AFP)

AFP put some of the more graphic images of dead children on a different page so that readers of the blog could decide whether or not they would click through to view the images. The warning on the link says: “Graphic images of dead children”. AFP also placed a warning on the next page asking readers not to link directly to that page from social media to encourage people to share the images responsible and to allow people to actively choose to view the images.

You can view the images here. (AFP)


WITNESS releases guidelines for ethically using eyewitness video footage

As citizens’ ability to capture live video and share it online has spread around the world, so has news outlets’ proliferation of this footage, using it to augment their coverage of breaking events. From Iran’s 2009 Green Revolution to the current war in Syria and beyond, it’s common practice for journalists to source video footage from the individuals who actually witnessed an event. This video footage brings an urgency and immediacy that traditional reporting often can’t. In some cases, it’s the only available evidence that an event actually took place. However, user-generated content doesn’t abide by traditional newsroom rules and protocols. If used improperly, eyewitness footage can violate the subject’s privacy or even put him or her in danger. Verifying this content and ensuring it’s released under the right context can also pose challenges.

Read the full article here. (IJNET)

Refugee crisis: What has changed?

This video from Channel 4 news includes a statement from the UN Commissioner on Human Rights on how he is deeply disturbed on the language of some politicians almost everywhere in Europe. Said Raad al-Hussein says: “It is utterly unacceptable that politicians can be so grossly irresponsible in pointing toward the failings of a state and placing them on the backs and the shoulders of those who have suffered enough.”

Watch the video here. (Channel 4 news)

Online comments: is the space below the line too toxic or can they be fixed?

Publishers are seeking new ways to engage with their communities to avoid the threat of racism and harassment.

Read the full article here. (Guardian)

Is It Ethical for Freelance Journalist to Work in Content Marketing?

In a Medium article, Amy Westervelt detailed her journey from journalist to content marketer and back to journalist. For several years she ghostwrote columns for CEOs, with many appearing in venerable outlets like Forbes and Entrepreneur. Most of her content gigs paid much higher rates than Amy could demand as a freelance journalist. “Corporations realize the value of good writing and they’re willing to pay for it,” she wrote. “Increasingly, they’re more willing to pay for it than advertising, which is more obviously promotional.” And yet she said goodbye to content marketing. Why? In a five-point list, she explains how she’s grown increasingly uncomfortable writing advertorial content, which Amy blames for contributing to the demise of her previous and once-again profession – journalism.

Read the full article here. (Content Marketing Institute)

Danish newspaper turns spotlight on its own journalism

A Danish niche newspaper has found a unique way of holding their newspaper and journalists to account to the community they serve, as a way of building trust. Not financially, but editorially. Erik Bjerager, CEO and Editor-in-Chief of the Kristeligt Dagblad spoke to the World Editors Forum about this initiative.

Read the full article here. (WAN-IFRA)

How Donald Trump Owns The Old Media And The New Media

A man of television, who uses Twitter to program cable.

Read the full article here. (BuzzFeedNews)

The Guardian’s Lee Glendinning: “Publishing is not the end of the story”

The editor of The Guardian US and two reporters who worked on its database of police killings discuss collaborating with the public and bringing fresh eyes to American news.

Read the full article here. (Nieman Reports)

Sundance film explores changing warfare through the eyes of murdered journalist

War journalist James Foley’s death at the hands of ISIS shocked the world in 2014, but it wasn’t just an example of ISIS’ barbaric methods. It illustrated how war — and journalism — have changed.

Read the full article here. (Desert News)

Red Cross showcases responsible reporting of refugees’ plight

Thursday is the deadline for entering the British Red Cross sponsored refugee reporting award at the One World Media Awards 2016. “The award recognises responsible reporting on asylum seekers and refugees during a climate of increased global migration.”

Read more about the award here. (British Red Cross)


Moving Stories – International Review of How Media Cover Migration

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