Ethical Journalism Newsletter: July 1st, 2014


Ethical Journalism News

Director’s Letter: June 2014

The EJN has been busy in Egypt this year and with good reason. Journalism in Cairo has been under intense government pressure over the past year since the expulsion of President Morsi and the crackdown on his Muslim Brotherhood supporters. Critics of the government and anyone in media suspected of supporting the Brotherhood has been isolated and removed, creating an unprecedented atmosphere of intimidation for independent journalism.

Despite all of this, independent journalism is fighting back. On June 16 the EJN Director joined more than 100 editors and executives in Cairo at a ground-breaking meeting to launch the independent Egyptian Editors Association.

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Impartial Journalism’s Enduring Value

For years now, advocates of new forms of journalism have been blasting away at impartiality as a hopeless goal. Yet impartial journalism is remarkably resilient, despite the mocking and stereotyping it has endured. There’s plenty of room for other models, but it’s worth recognizing the value impartiality delivers.

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The “Media Circus”

As commercial enterprise, media organizations could reduce all news and public affairs sections and operate primarily for recreation and variety, food, fashion and lifestyle, and entertainment news which has already expanded its share of news schedules.

But the press is also a social and political institution. It has been called the fourth pillar of democary. The obligation then is to keep the news as separate enclave with a specific function in the world of media. Set this important function apart from other media purposes and protect it from the ratings game; just as the Constitution protects its freedom. Clearly, the protection of press freedom is not based on the business of making money.The basis for such protection is the public’s need to know and a democracy’s need for an informed citizenry. (via CMFR)

New York Times Reporter Apologizes To Iraqi Journalists After ‘Bribe’ Tweets

New York Times foreign correspondent Rod Nordland apologized to Iraqi journalists on Monday after claiming in a series of tweets this past weekend that an Iraqi army official had given cash payments to members of the press.

Nordland stood by his allegation that several Iraqi journalists accepted envelopes with cash following Saturday’s news conference with army spokesman Lt. Gen. Qassim Atta. But in a statement, Nordland emphasized that he didn’t intend to lump all Iraqi journalists together. (via The Huffington Post) Says Enough With Russian Media’s Ukraine Coverage

Responding to a flood of anti-Ukraine propaganda in the Russian mass media, the website TJournal has temporarily hidden a service that aggregates news stories trending on the RuNet. (via Global Voices)

Hacking Trial: Lessons from the ‘Media Trial of the Century’

After eight months of sensational revelations during the phone-hacking trial we have at least three devastating insights into the operations of the UK arm of a global media group, but also the revelations highlight broader policy concerns about what to do in the future to constrain the abuse of power demonstrated by Rupert Murdoch’s UK newspaper group. (via Media Reform Coalition)

Toeing The Line Between Right & Wrong: Media Ethics

In an advertising-driven world where media organizations increasingly identify themselves as businesses first, the ethics line has become blurry in favor of the bottom line. Ethics are eroding fast and risk disappearing or becoming a remote memory in the minds of older generations. There was a time in history when media professionals spoke of a complete separation between “sales and editorial” in the same tone as the separation of “church and state”. (via Entrepreneur Middle East)

Reports & Resources

2014 Study Impact of Social Media on News: More Crowd-checking, Less Fact-checking

The Social Media Impact (#SMING14) survey conducted by ING among an international group of journalists and PR professionals shows that dialogue on social media is gaining importance. Journalists widely use social media posts despite having doubts about their reliability. At the same time PR professionals believe that news is becoming less reliable as journalists do less fact-checking. (via ING)

Truth Goggles Launches As An Annotation Tool For Journalists

Truth Goggles is a tool to enable anyone to annotate an existing piece of online content to raise and answer questions about what’s been reported/written. Journalists can use it to add more context, and to prompt readers to think more critically about information in an article. (via Poynter)

Events & Workshops

Data Protection: What Should Be Public And What Should Be Private?

The Media Society and ITN are hosting a debate to explore the shifting data protection regime and to examine the implications for journalists and the publishers of online news archives. It will take place on Monday 14 July, 4.45pm, at ITN’s headquarters in Gray’s Inn Road. (via The Guardian)

The EJN Newsletter Will Return on July 22nd

The newsletter is taking a short break for the summer! We’ll return to our normal weekly schedule on Tuesday, July 22nd.