10th July 2015
By Stefanie Chernow

Ethical Journalism Newsletter: July 10, 2015


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News and Debates

Q&A with Sonya Song: ethics of gathering social data and more digital newsroom challenges

In the fast-paced news environment, reporters are inclined to publish a story, push it out on social media and move on to their next piece. But if journalists aren’t carving out time to reflect on the article’s performance or how their audience interacted with it, they’re missing out on a crucial piece of the engagement puzzle. (Read more on IJNET)

Edom Kassaye: An Ethiopian journalist jailed for her integrity

In April 2014, nine bloggers and journalists were arrested in Ethiopia. Several of these men and women had worked with Zone9, a collective blog that covered social and political issues in Ethiopia and promoted human rights and government accountability. In July 2014, they were charged under the country’s Anti-Terrorism Proclamation. They have been behind bars ever since and their trial has only recently begun. (Read more on Global Voices)

Why cross-cultural competence is a must in journalism education

While any communications professional knows of the value of AP style, interview etiquette and deadlines, some argue that there is another increasingly necessary skill that journalism students should be familiar with in a globalizing world: cross-cultural competence. (Read more on MediaShift)


Does Facebook have a duty to the news or to journalism, and if so what is it?

Jeff Jarvis says Facebook has certain responsibilities because it is such a powerful platform for news, but it’s not clear the social network agrees. (Read more on Fortune)

The problem with taking protesters at their word

It’s the media’s job to distinguish between ordinary people in a crowd and paid professionals who show up to protests. (Read more on Columbia Journalism Review)

Reports & Resources

The Trust Factor in Brazil: Work in progress, but self-regulation fails to convince

The Brazilian Constitution, approved in 1988, dedicates an entire chapter to Social Communication. Its rules were considered modern and capable of maintaining pluralism in the country’s media. However, more than a quarter of a century later, most of its articles regarding social communication and media regulation have not been acted upon.

This may explain why self-regulation of journalism is an issue of hard debate among experts, media owners, journalists, the civil society and the government.

There is no specific board or council working exclusively to promote and carry out media self- regulation. On the other hand, Brazil has a complex system of laws and institutions that in some way undertakes the role of regulating the media.

The debate over the past 20 years has polarised. Some argue that as a democracy, the Brazilian society must defend the plurality of opinions, freedom of press and freedom of expression. And that to achieve this status of freedom, media regulation must take place under a framework in line with international standards and specifically under the supervision of an independent regulatory authority, with a group of members playing this role.

Others disagree. They say it is not true to affirm that media regulation does not exist in Brazil. The supporters of this point of view assert that the country does have laws and different boards and agencies that have the media under different kinds of regulations.

Read the full EJN report here.

Untold Stories in Colombia: corruption, censorship and bullet points for ethical journalism

In Colombia there are first and second class journalists and they live and work in two very different worlds. One group are journalists who work for big communication corporations, headquartered in the country’s main cities; the others are regional journalists, serving more than 70 percent of the country’s population, the people who have been directly affected by an internal conflict that has become the oldest in the world, lasting for more than 50 years.


IJNet Live: How journalists can deal with ethical dilemmas

Around the world, reporters, editors and their news organizations are constantly tested ethically: In tough economic and political environments, journalists accept money in exchange for positive stories about a candidate. In more developed countries, top dogs at news organizations sometimes censor reporters based on an advertiser-publisher relationship. Who controls the Internet, where almost everyone now publishes, has also become an ethical issue for journalists.

Join IJNet for a live chat on July 15 at 10 a.m. EDT to learn more about how journalists can overcome these obstacles. Participants will be free to ask questions, pose their own ethical dilemmas and get advice from Aidan White, the director of the Ethical Journalism Network; Tom Kent, the standards editor at the Associated Press; and Ceren Sözeri, an associate professor at Galatasaray University in Istanbul.

Interested participants can enter the chat here on the day of the event or ask questions on Twitter using the hashtag#IJNetLive.

During the chat, White, Kent and Sözeri will discuss EJN’s most recent report, Untold Stories: How Corruption and Conflicts of Interest Stalk the Newsroom. Untold Stories focuses on various ethical issues throughout 18 diverse countries, including the United Kingdom, the Philippines, Colombia, India, Egypt and nations across Eastern Europe.

More information can be found at IJNet.