23rd May 2016
By Stefanie Chernow

Ethical Journalism Newsletter Newsletter – 24 May 2016



Readers trust fact-checkers more than traditional media but not blindly, new study finds

Fact-checking is a useful referee for public debate and complements traditional media, but its consumers are not without their reservations, according to focus groups conducted with readers of Argentinian fact-checking website Chequeado.

Read the full article here. (Poynter)

Pakistan Newspaper Uses Algorithm to Play a Nasty Trick on Readers in Comments Section

A publication in Pakistan is taking an aggressive approach to stressing the importance of press freedoms—by helping readers better understand the unpleasantness of having their own words inverted. The Daily Times and agency Grey Singapore wanted to drive home the dangers of censorship with their “Free My Voice” campaign.

They wrote an algorithm that automatically flipped the meaning of commenters’ posts, and applied it to comments beneath a controversial article about the Islamic country’s blasphemy law (which includes such punishments as life imprisonment for desecration of the Quran—but often finds accused parties murdered before their trials are complete).

Commenters praising the article or its subject automatically found themselves criticizing it, and vice versa, with the site changing their intent over and over. Eventually, the gimmick bounced them to a landing page for the publication’s campaign, where they could sign a petition supporting it, or donate.

Read the full article here. (AdWeek)

Thailand’s media criticised after broadcasters ignore warnings & show murder suspect killing himself live in TV

The live broadcast of Wanchai Danaitamonut, a murder suspect, shooting himself dead after police tracked him down to a Bangkok hotel on Thursday, has been the talk of the town and also led to a war of words among Thai journalists on social media. The Thai Journalists Association and other media organisations issued warnings to the journalists and media executives asking them to stop their live coverage and be considerate.

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

Joel Simon of CPJ scores the US presidential candidates on press freedom

When it comes to political campaigns, journalists traditionally serve as the referees, covering the action but not taking sides. There is one issue, however, on which journalists might be forgiven for showing preference—choosing who among the candidates is best for the media. For anyone trying to see how the candidates measure up, here’s a scorecard to help them decide. Up to five points are awarded for policies or actions that benefit the media; likewise, up to five points are subtracted when they are detrimental.

Read the full article here. (CJR)

The Bizarre Coverage of the Two Girls Recovered from Boko Haram This Week

Thursday’s incredible news that two of the Chibok schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram were found has captured international attention, but the details surrounding their recovery remain murky. Meanwhile the reactions to the events by both the international media and Nigerian authorities have ranged from clumsy to possibly deceitful.

Read the full article here. (Okay Africa)

Indonesia’s scholars & government differ on whether Marxism is an acceptable subject for discussion

Amid intimidation from the Islam Defenders Front ( FPI ) against scholarly discussions on Marxism, the country’s intellectuals and the government are still arguing about whether the leftist ideology is an acceptable subject for discussion. If the country’s scholars and the government are unable to settle their differences, the FPI’s hostility could become the ultimate winner in this lengthy debate over freedom of expression.

Read the full article here. (Jakarta Post)

Global Migration? Actually, The World Is Staying Home

The refugee debate creates the impression of unprecedented mass migration. That image is completely incorrect. The real question, when we look at migration globally, is why there is so little of it.

Read the full article here. (Spiegel Online)

For more on migration in Europe read our report:

Why newsrooms should train their communities in verification, news literacy, and eyewitness media

Bringing communities into the news process is a powerful way to spread journalistic values, train residents on reporting processes and foster user generated content that is more useful for newsrooms. Newsrooms are well positioned to become participatory journalism laboratories, helping more people navigate, verify and create powerful stories online and via social media.

Read the full article here. (First Draft News)

Is China’s Public the World’s Warmest Toward Refugees?

Last week, Amnesty International released its first Refugees Welcome Index, based on a global survey of more than 27,000 people across 27 countries. China’s public was ranked the world’s friendliest towards refugees: 94% (third only to Spain and Germany) said they would “personally accept people fleeing war or persecution” into their country, far above the global average of 80%. As many as 46%, by far the largest proportion in any country, said they would welcome refugees into their own homes, compared with a global average of 10%. 86%, also the highest proportion anywhere, said that China’s government should do more to help refugees. The results appear to contrast sharply with Beijing’s policy toward the Syrian refugee crisis: the country has offered humanitarian assistance and support in increasing Middle Eastern countries’ capacity to take in refugees, but as of last August hosted only 35 Syrian refugees and asylum seekers itself, according to the United Nations.

Read the full article here. (China Digital Times)

For more on media and migration read our report on migration within China: Moving Stories – China – An inside story: China’s invisible and ignored migrant workforce.

Press Release | Foreword | Introduction | Recommendations

Research: UK national daily newspaper coverage has strongly favoured pro-Brexit argument

Press coverage during the first two months of the EU referendum heavily favoured the pro-Brexit side of the debate, according to a new academic study. The research by the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at Oxford University studied two sample days of coverage per week for the two months from 20 February when Prime Minister David Cameron revealed the date of the vote and signalled the start of the EU referendum campaign.

Read the full article here. (Press Gazette)


EJN to attend EU parliament meeting on press freedom

On May 25th the communications officer of the Ethical Journalism Network, Tom Law, will be attending a meeting at the European parliament to exchange views on how to monitor and safeguard media freedom and pluralism in the European Union with journalists, NGOs and media representatives. The EJN has been invited to participate by Sophie in ‘t Veld a Dutch member of the European Parliament, who is the rapporteur for the parliament’s report on “The establishment of an EU mechanism on Democracy, Rule of Law and Fundamental Rights”.

For more information see the press release regarding the proposed binding EU Pact on Democracy, Rule of Law and Fundamental Rights.

European Dialogue on Internet Governance 2016, Brussels – Embracing the digital (r)evolution

The Ethical Journalism Network’s director, Aidan White will be moderating a session at the European Dialogue on Internet Governance (EuroDIG) in Brussels on the subject of “Content is the king revisited: Opportunities and challenges for media, content, and news in the changing media landscape of an Internet-enabled world”

Event: EuroDIG 2016

Venue: Square – Brussels Meeting Centre, Brussels, Belgium

Date: 9-10 of June 2016

Online profiles: https://www.eurodig.org/

Information from the organisers:

EuroDIG 2016 is hosted by EURid in cooperation with the European Commission. Registration opens from March, 1 – May 31 2016.


EuroDIG’s key principles are “always open, always inclusive”. During the programme drafting process, we do not exclude any proposal. Instead of accepting or disregarding session proposals, we call for issue proposals (not sessions) to be discussed on the next EuroDIG agenda and cluster them accordingly. The aim is to identify submissions that can be incorporated in one session while reflecting different perspectives.
Some proposal submissions may be clustered in a category that does not match the initial expectations of the submitter. To avoid such misinterpretations, subject matter experts are involved in the clustering and programme drafting process. All submitters and the community were kindly invited to comment on a first draft programme outline. Now the programme is consolidated and all submitters are invited to join the various org teams. This is the best way to accommodate all individuals and stakeholder groups willing to participate in shaping the final programme.

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: http://statewatch.org/conference/

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 communications officer, Tom Law, 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 & MENA Cross-Border Collaborations

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.