Ethical Journalism Newsletter: June 5, 2015


Ethical Journalism News And Debates

New research: 11-point plan for protecting journalism sources in the digital age

Acts of journalism should be shielded from targeted surveillance, data retention and handover of material connected to confidential sources. That’s a key early finding of a study on the state of journalistic source protection in 121 countries undertaken for UNESCO by the World Editors Forum (within WAN-IFRA). Preliminary outcomes from the research were launched in Washington DC during the World News Media Congress. (Read more on WAN-IFRA)

Ipso accused of ignoring Sun attempt to ‘victimise’ blind transgender woman

Trans Media Watch says press regulator failed to comment on a Rod Liddle column ‘victimising’ Emily Brothers after she had made a complaint about him. (Read more on The Guardian)

Public editor: The Times should push back hard on ‘background’ sourcing

The Clinton campaign is igniting its engine for 2016 and already they have put the press in a compromised situation by expecting to much information to stay on background. Yet by readily accepting background as a norm suggests an inappropriate coziness with those one is reporting on, making journalists too much a part of the political process. (Read more on The New York Times)

Twitter blocks Politwoops for breaching terms of service

Archiving statements made, then deleted, by elected officials goes against social network’s rules. But should the public’s right to know override the terms of service? (Read more on The Guardian)

Gawker Media votes to unionize

The problem at many journalism startups is that the work culture is governed by the entrepreneur credited with founding the publication, meaning staffers are subject to that person’s whims. Gawker hopes to show that its unions will affect the flexibility of digital startups on overtime, breaks, how you use your time and choosing assignments. (Read more on The Huffington Post)

Qatar outraged by Washington Post ‘myth’ about World Cup deaths

Doha government contests blog claiming 1,200 migrant workers have died on World Cup construction sites – but article has been repeated across the world. (Read more on The Guardian)

Reports and Resources

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

The debate on self-regulation 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 more on Brazil in the EJN report on self-regulation.

[VIDEO] The Trust Factor: Self Regulation, Codes of Conduct and Accountability

Systems of self-regulation of media and journalism need radical rethinking if they are to survive the harsh economic and political realities of news media in the digital age. That’s the key conclusion of an international survey issued by the Ethical Journalism Network.

The report – The Trust Factor – tests how well journalism is monitored and its mistakes handled in 16 countries, including challenging hotspots in the Middle East, Africa, Latin America and Asia.

In this roundtable debate key professionals of the media industry discuss the different types of media regulation and why self-regulation is critical to building public trust.

Watch the EJN video The Trust Factor: Self Regulation, Codes of Conduct and Accountability.