Ethical Journalism Newsletter: March 25, 2014


Ethical Journalism News

EJN Director’s Letter: March 2014

The big stories on the news agenda this month – Crimea, a lost Malaysian airliner and the trial of Oscar Pistorius – are vivid reminders that open journalism and its mix of hard-nosed news reporting garnished by comments and updates beyond the newsroom is here to stay. On the other hand these stories also illustrate just how important it is for journalists and editors to eliminate the threat of irresponsible use of information – rumour, speculation and mischief-making that can poison the art of good journalism.

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Get ready for ONA’s DIY Ethics Code, because one size does not fit all

Most journalists understand the importance of an ethics code. But in our fast-changing profession, not everyone agrees on exactly what the code should say. In an effort to bridge this gap, ONA is hard at work on a “Build Your Own Ethics Code” project, an outgrowth of the new News Ethics Committee. We’re curating a toolkit to help news outlets, as well as individual bloggers/journalists, create guidelines that respond to their own concepts of journalism.

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The nonprofit Africa Check wants to build more fact-checking into the continent’s journalism

“Fact checking isn’t an easy practice in the U.S. or the U.K., but I think it operates in a different environment in Africa, where it simply isn’t as easy to get a hold of the data and the quality of data you get a hold of is more questionable,” said Cunliffe-Jones, noting that there is not as strong a culture of freedom of information across much of Africa as in many Western countries. (via Nieman Journalism Lab)

The plight of the irreplaceable source

Why should people talk to reporters? It’s a question that’s seldom raised among news people, which is too bad, because it’s an important one. When you think about it, that question goes to the foundation of the entire edifice of a free press. And that foundation, at the moment, is shaky. (via The Organization of News Ombudsmen)

Turkey: Council of Europe to examine Twitter ban

A decision by the Turkish authorities to block access to the Twitter social media network may breach European human rights law. Daniel Holtgen, the Council of Europe’s Director of Communications, used the network to confirm today that the organisation is looking into the legal basis for the ban. (via The Council of Europe)

Interview: president of IRPI Cecilia Anesi talks about secure leaks platform IRPILeaks

Last year the Investigative Reporting Italian Project (IRPI) introduced a platform for Italian and international whistleblowers, the first of its kind in the country. The project has been called IRPILeaks and, like the Dutch PubLeaks and WikiLeaks, is a tool for those want to leak staying anonymous and safe. (via The Online Journalism Blog)

Reports & Resources

Election Coverage: A Checklist for Ethical and Fair Reporting

Suggestions for individual media organisations concerning editorial preparation for elections in line with Clause 9 of the Code for Election Coverage. This document is intended to assist media organisations in drawing up their own checklist.

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‘The Subject’: A New Crowdfunding Tool for Brazil’s Independent Media

Aimed at providing an alternative to the traditional business model of media production, a new crowdfunding platform for independent journalism has been launched in Brazil. (via Global Voices)


IPI World Congress: Celebrating Freedom: Two Decades of Evolving Media

Cape Town, South Africa

This year, the International Press Institute (IPI) celebrates the 20th anniversary of its last Congress in Cape Town, on the eve of the historic all-race elections. EJN Director Aidan White will be speaking on a panel entitled “Media and the Unending Question of Ethics: A Look Towards Solutions” on Saturday, April 13th at 14:30.

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Asia Media Summit

Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

The 11th Asia Media Summit 2014 is organised by the Asia-Pacific Institute for Broadcasting Development (AIBD) and hosted by the Ministry of Culture and Information and the General Commission for Audiovisual Media.

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CMPF Summer School and Boot Camp 2014

The Summer School and the Boot Camp are organised by the Centre for Media Pluralism and Media Freedom (CMPF), co-funded by the European Union, at the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies of the European University Institute. Building on its successful experience of previous years, this year’s Summer School will offer the opportunity to 30 journalists and media practitioners, mainly from Europe, to learn about the latest academic research, policy, market and professional trends in the area as well as to share their experiences, ideas and points of view. Deadline to apply is April 18, 2014. (via Centre for Media Pluralism and Media Freedom)