Ethical Journalism Newsletter: August 22nd, 2014


Ethical Journalism News

African Hate Speech Campaign a Regional Solution to a Global Problem

Media leaders, professionals and interested citizens came together in Nairobi on Wednesday evening to launch the pan-African Turn the Page on Hate Speech (#TurnthePageonHateSpeech) campaign, which aims to fight the spread of hatred across the region by promoting discussion of how the media can contribute more positively to the cause. Yet Africa is by no means the only region where this kind of hate speech is a problem – it is a truly global issue that touches every corner of humanity.

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James Foley and Fellow Freelancers: “Exploited by Pared-Back Media Outlets”

For more than three years now, much of what the world has seen, read and learned about the Middle East has been produced by journalism’s newest hands. They are not recruits, in the true sense of the word: few have the endorsement of established media outlets. Even fewer have been sent to the region with budgets, backing, or even basic training. But from Tunisia to Syria and all stops in between, freelance reporters and photojournalists have reported history with a determination that old media could rarely match, even during the halcyon days when media organisations could afford to maintain correspondents and bureaux around the world. (via The Guardian)

Media Now Part of the Problem in Ferguson

More members of the media covering the protests in Ferguson, Mo., are beginning to talk about how their presence is affecting — even escalating — the problems such as confrontations with law enforcement officers. And much of that scrutiny is playing out on social media. (via Kansas City Star)

When Everyone is a Journalist, is Anyone?

We are used to telling ourselves by now that journalism is a manifestation of a human right — that of free expression. Smartphones, cheap recording equipment, and free access to social media and blogging platforms have revolutionised journalism; the means of production have fallen into the hands of the many. This is a good thing. The more information we have on events, surely the better. But one question does arise: if we are all journalists now, what happens to the privileges journalists used to claim? (via Index on Censorship)

“We Can No Longer Assume that a Story is True Because it Appears in the Paper”

The current campaign by The Australian newspaper against the Australian Press Council not only casts doubt on the future of the Council, but raises the question of whether our concept of “the press” is obsolete. Attempts to reimpose 20th century professional ethics and standards on the 21st century media, are doomed to failure. The best response to our current situation is to free ourselves from the assumption that such ethics and standards are the norm, and departures from them an exception. (via The Guardian)

Filling the Gaps: Crowdfunded Reporting in Ferguson

As violence continues to flare in Ferguson, Missouri, over the shooting of unarmed teenager Michael Brown and the heavily-armed police response to resulting protests, the mainstream media has also come under criticism. But at Beacon Reader, a platform launched last year to allow journalists to publish work directly funded by readers, there has been a call for independent coverage by journalists reporting directly to their audience. (via

Rule #1: Do No Harm; Rule #2: Fear-Mongering is Harmful

I believe in the enterprise of journalism, even when it lets me down in practice. The fourth estate is critically important for holding systems of power accountable. But what happens when journalists do harm? (via Poynter)

Reports and Resources

Hate-Speech: A Five-Point Test for Journalists

Turning the Page of Hate in Media Campaign for Tolerance in African Journalism

The modern newsroom is a challenging place. In the competitive world of media information flies around at breakneck speed. There is little time for checking facts and images or corroborating information and virtually no space for laid back discussions on the ethics of journalism. But even when time is scarce, reporters and editors must pause and take a moment to judge the potential impact of offensive, inflammatory content. Here’s a five-point checklist for journalists to use to ensure they don’t contribute in a negative way to the spread of hatred.

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#TurnthePageonHateSpeech Campaign Page

In a year marking two momentous events – 20 years since the end of apartheid in South Africa and 20 years since the Rwandan Genocide – African media leaders and owners are joining forces to say NO! to hate speech. In the lead up to the 7th African Media Leaders Conference which will be held in Johannesburg, South Africa, from November 12-14, the African Media Initiative (AMI) is running a dynamic and engaging social media campaign. (via African Media Leaders’ Forum)


African Media Leaders Forum

Johannesburg, South Africa

At the African Media Leaders Forum in Johannesburg from November 12-14, African media leaders and owners will gather to hold frank discussions on how to uphold high ethical standards in the tricky world of politics and business.

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