8th June 2016
By Stefanie Chernow

Ethical Journalism Network Newsletter – 10 June 2016


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Sex obsession mars slavery coverage, experts tell journalists

Media coverage of modern slavery is often misinformed, unethical in its treatment of survivors, and obsessed with the sex trade, according to a global survey of leading anti-trafficking experts, with 70 percent of respondents saying shoddy journalism does more harm than good. Sensationalism, simplification and superficiality topped the list of gripes of almost 50 activists, lawyers, academics and law enforcers active in fighting a crime that affects up to 36 million people worldwide.

Read the full article here. (Thomson Reuters Foundation)

SABC boss dares critics to challenge protest ban

South African Broadcasting Corporation boss Hlaudi Motsoeneng has dared those who believe the public broadcaster is wrong to not air visuals of violent protests to complain to the Broadcasting Complaints Commission of South Africa (BCCSA). “Those who believe the SABC is wrong can go and complain. I can assure you that they will not succeed,” Motsoeneng said on Tuesday night during a discussion hosted by the National Press Club in Pretoria.

Read the full article here. (IOL)

French TV station asks journalists to produce ‘advertorials’ in reports

A French TV station is being criticised for asking its journalists to produce ‘advertorials’ – which would not be clearly identified. Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has condemned the plans by the management of the 24-hour news channel iTélé in order to attract more advertising. The staff are currently voting on a union motion on the plan, which began yesterday and will continue all week.

Read the full article here. (News Talk)

Burden or Brothers? Media Representations of Refugees in the Middle East

Much of the research analyzing media representations of refugees since WWII has come from western countries and focuses on incoming asylum seekers and refugees. There are three main themes that summarize the existing media discourses about refugees in western media, namely in Europe, North America, Australia, and New Zealand: ‘voiceless masses,’ ‘bogus opportunists,’ and ‘substantial threats to national security and identity.’ Notwithstanding the existence of some positive discourses, the media and research on the media tend to focus on negative portrayals of refugees as the ‘other,’ drawing the line between ‘us’ and ‘them.’


Read the full article here. (Faculty of Law – University of Oxford)

Too Early to Call? The AP Got It Right but at What Cost?

The PBS Ombudsman, Michael Getler, on the controversy caused by the Associated Press calling the Democratic presidential nomination for for Hillary Clinton this week.

Read the full article here. (PBS)

A Computer Tried (and Failed) to Write This Article

For now, machine journalists should probably stick to box scores and basic weather reports.

Read the full article here. (The Atlantic)

Putin Preaches Free-Press Gospel At State-Run Media Forum

Russian President Vladimir Putin has told a media forum in Moscow that information should not be subject to “repressive actions,” comments that come amid mounting signs that his government is stepping up efforts to curtail dissenting voices in the Russian media. Putin told the June 7 conference sponsored by the state-run media behemoth Rossiya Segodnya that “information should be objective from all viewpoints and should not be subjected to any repressive actions with the goal of correcting it.” He also appeared to lob a thinly veiled accusation of hypocrisy at Western officials, suggesting that “some authorities” voice support for media freedoms when it serves their interests and dismiss information they dislike as “propaganda.”

Read the full article here. (Radio Free Europe – Radio Liberty)

How Donald Trump’s media strategy emerged over decades

Donald Trump has often been burned by the media, The New Yorker’s Mark Singer says, but it’s never stopped him from returning to the flame. Singer, who wrote a profile of the real estate magnate in 1997, is publishing a book on the now-GOP frontrunner this summer. And he says Trump’s love-hate relationship with the media in his presidential campaign echoes the one he crafted over decades in New York’s tabloid-driven media culture.

Read the full article here. (CJR)

Covering hurricanes, tropical storms: Key resources for journalists

A journalist’s role is critical when it comes to reporting on tropical storms and hurricanes. The public relies on news reports for the most up-to-date weather information as well as guidance on how to prepare and when to start preparing for dangerous conditions. In the midst of weather-related emergencies, government agencies look to news organizations for help quickly distributing details about evacuations, school closures, shelters, medical care, transportation, food and clean water.

Reporters who write about weather as part of their beats and even those who only pitch in on such stories occasionally should familiarize themselves with emergency-management procedures in their cities, counties and states. They also should know which local and national organizations monitor weather patterns and issue warnings and advisories. It is a good idea to identify key sources, including media liaisons and press officers, and to establish relationships with these individuals before they are needed.

To help journalists cover this important topic, Journalist’s Resource has compiled a list of reports, tip sheets, research studies and other resources that should be useful to media professionals of various experience levels.

Read the full article here. (Journalist’s Resource)

Media narrative on migration is shifting

A new study has found there was a shift in the way the media have been covering stories about migrants and refugees over the recent years, with more humanistic approaches being more prevalent today.

Read the full article here. (In Cyprus)

Shift in media focus from migrants as a threat, UCy study finds (Cyprus Mail)



Global Editors Network Summit – Building Trust in the Digital Newsroom – 15 – 17 June 2016

The Ethical Journalism Network is organising a round table discussion on Thursday 16 June at 18:00 – 18:30 during the Global Editors Network Summit to debate how media can build trust in the digital newsroom.

Read more here.

Final chance to enter the Online Journalism Awards!

The extended deadline for this year’s Online Journalism Awards is this Friday, June 10, at 11:59 pm ET. The winners will be announced at the Online News Association Conference (ONA16), on 17 September 2016 in Denver.

Read the full article here. (ONA)

European Conference Marking Statewatch’s 25th Anniversary- Civil Liberties, the State, and the European Union

10:00 – 17:00, Saturday 25 June 2016

Resource for London, 356 Holloway Road, London N7 ( map)

For 25 years Statewatch has been working to publish and promote investigative journalism and critical research in Europe in the fields of the state, justice and home affairs, civil liberties, accountability and openness. We invite you to join us in London on 25 June 2016 at our Conference where there will be:

Workshops and discussions on the refugee crisis in the Med and in the EU; mass surveillance; the EU’s crisis of legitimacy and accountability; the policing of protest and criminalisation of communities; racism, xenophobia and the far right; strategies of resistance and the defence of civil liberties.


Click to Book now:

European Media Coverage of the Refugee Question- Institute of the Mediterranean (IEMED)

As part of the Institute of the Mediterranean’s series of conferences on Migration around the Mediterranean, the Ethical Journalism Network’s Advisor, Jean-Paul Marthoz, the EU Correspondent for the Committee to Protect Journalists, will be attending a roundtable on the European Media coverage of the Refugee question in Barcelona on 20 June 2016. The roundtable discussing will include an exploration of the Ethical Journalism Network’s recent report: Moving Stories – International Review of How Media Cover Migration. The debate will focus on how the refugee issue has been approached from the different European countries, what the dominant narratives are, what are the ethical considerations media professionals need to have when dealing with refugees, and how media professionals have coped with the situation. Journalists who have experience of covering migration will also be taking part.

Read more information about the event here.

Second European Media and Information Literacy Forum

The Ethical Journalism Network’s director, Aidan White, will be participating at the Second European Media and Information Literacy Forum in Riga, Latvia from 27 June 2016 – 29 June 2016. Watch the EJN’s Director, Aidan White, speaking at the first event in the series in Brussels here.

Read more information about the event here.

EJN Participating in Inaugural Aegean Summit in Athens, Greece- Creating an Annual Meeting Point for Independent Media Startups & Journalists: Europe, Mediterranean, & MEAN Cross-Border Collaboration

The Ethical Journalism Network’s director, Aidan White, will be speaking at the inaugural Aegean Summit in Athens on July 1st. The event hopes to become a forum for new and independent media in the Euro-Mediterranean & MENA with international speakers and participants.

The EJN will be participating in the session on the second day of the summit focusing on how migration & refugee crisis is being covered in the region’s media, referring to the findings from the EJN’s Moving Stories report on how media cover migration. The session will also explore how to work collaboratively to improve media literacy, responsible communications, tackle hate speech & intolerance, and strengthen self-regulation of independent media.

Read more about the event here.