Ethical Journalism Newsletter: June 17th, 2014

Ethical Journalism News

The Fog Machine of War: Chelsea Manning on the U.S. Military and Media Freedom

When I chose to disclose classified information in 2010, I did so out of a love for my country and a sense of duty to others. I’m now serving a sentence of 35 years in prison for these unauthorized disclosures. I understand that my actions violated the law. However, the concerns that motivated me have not been resolved…I believe that the current limits on press freedom and excessive government secrecy make it impossible for Americans to grasp fully what is happening in the wars we finance. (via The New York Times)

[VIDEO] Is Press Freedom On The Decline In Established Democracies?

What are the threats to press freedom from within established democracies? Last week EJN Director Aidan White opened the discussion at the WAN-IFRA World Editors Forum 2014 in Turin. Click here to watch the opening remarks.

Media Ethics: The First Casualty In Conflict

In the race to be the first to break the story, speculation and sensationalization were the priorities for reporters covering the recent terrorist attack at a Karachi airport. (via Mint Press News)

5 Survival Tips For Reporting Between Religious Red Lines

Covering religion can be tough – anything we write is bound to rub somebody the wrong way. Yet faced with legal, social, political and economic constraints, how can journalists and bloggers responsibly cover sensitive religious issues in their countries and abroad while staying out of trouble? (via Religion News Service)

Those Magical Four Or Five Words: How To Write An Ethical Headline

The headline writers and other editors who collectively represent the desk of a newspaper have an enormous responsibility. They are the back room controllers of facts, accuracy, style and presentation. They will never get the profile or public recognition of a good reporter. At some level, they are the selfless spine on which the journalistic body is constructed. (via The Hindu)

Handling Rumors on Social Media

In ethical terms, minimizing harm – a mainstay of ethics including the Society of Professional Journalists code – calls for great care because of the potential of false information to do damage. But in the social media sphere, where the public is immediately awash in good and bad information, journalists often best meet another duty – seeking truth – by aggressively questioning rumors openly in real time. (via Ethics Advice For Journalists)

Canada’s Sun News Will Name Victims, Not Accused Moncton Murderer

Now that the suspect has been charged, Sun News said, “We will no longer name him and we will no longer show you his pictures because we feel at this network it is more important not to let him go down in a blaze of glory and it’s more important to give the attention to the victims and the families.” (via iMediaEthics)

Objectivity And Impartiality In Digital News Coverage

The former director of BBC News asks whether traditional journalistic disciplines are relevant in a digital environment, in an essay from the Digital News Report from the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism. (via The Guardian)

Reports & Resources

Trooclick: A New Truth Layer For The Web

Trooclick is a browser plugin (Chrome and Firefox) that alerts you if an article you’re reading includes what they call “glitches.” A glitch could be an incorrect fact, information that conflicts with other media reports about the same topic, or something about the publisher’s ethics, or the ethics of the article itself, that a reader should be aware of. (via Poynter)

Reporting On Sexual Assault

The key code of ethics for Australian media – the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance code of ethics – does not refer specifically to reporting on sexual assault. However, it does place emphasis on accurate, honest, fair and balanced reporting. (via The Australian Institute Of Family Studies)

Soft Censorship, Hard Impact: Report Warns Of Increasing Threat To Independent Media

A new global report on “soft censorship” warns of increasing threats to independent media posed by official use of financial leverage and regulatory powers to influence reporting and the very viability of media outlets. “Soft Censorship, Hard Impact”, produced by the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) and the Center for International Media Assistance (CIMA), details the advance of soft censorship, and urgently calls on governments to fully respect principles of transparent and non-discriminatory state advertising, aid and funding for all media outlets. (via IFEX)

Events & Workshops

Turning the Page of Hate Workshop: How Journalists Can Combat Sexual Bias

June 25th, 2014: Hate speech that is intended to incite violence against gender and sexual minorities can spread faster and farther than ever before thanks to the rise of digital media. How can journalists prevent hate speech and stereotypes in their reporting while upholding democratic values of press freedom? Designed for working journalists and students, the workshop aims to add context to the story by providing ethical tools for journalists reporting on gender and sexuality issues.

The event is hosted by EuroPride Olso 2014 and will feature the EJN Director as a speaker. Join the Facebook group here.


Global Security Seminar 2014

Journalists are invited to apply to attend the 2014 Global Security Seminar, to be held from 22-24 October in London. This major seminar will bring together leading security experts, authoritative commentators and journalists for a series of lively presentations and debates addressing some of the world’s most pressing security and terrorism issues. The application deadline is June 30th, 2014. (via The Thomson Reuters Foundation)