15th May 2015
By Stefanie Chernow

Ethical Journalism Newsletter: May 15th, 2015


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News and Debates

Politicians keep pushing some claims despite what fact checks say

By running TV ads that recycled and repeated claims that journalists had previously found false, Kentucky Democrat Alison Grimes and the Republican Governors Association were demonstrating another tactic political organizations use to respond to fact-checkers: sticking to their guns. (via The American Press Institute)

Prince Charles ‘black spider’ memos published following Guardian’s FoI battle

Secret letters sent by the Prince of Wales to government ministers will be published following a ruling by the UK’s highest court. Charles’ correspondence with ministers – known as “black spider” memos – will be released following a long-running battle by Guardian newspaper journalist Rob Evans to see the documents following a Freedom of Information request. (via Press Gazette)

4 Ways Twitter Can Curb Its Harassment Problem

Trolls fill Twitter with abusive language and other forms of harassment, but a new report has identified some key ways the site can beat them back. (via The Huffington Post)

Taking the high road in the propaganda war

Only truth — not propaganda — can beat back Russia’s misinformation offensive. (via Foreign Policy)

Reports & Resources

EJN Work in Africa: Self-regulation in South Africa

Along with the rest of the world, South Africa’s media have faced enormous economic and technological pressures, but what sets them apart is the overriding influence of political pressure, which has shaped the media landscape and the form of media regulation in particular.

The coming of democracy to South Africa 20 years ago placed the media on the agenda for transformation. Broadcasting was extensively restructured, with attempts made to turn the SA Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) from a mouthpiece of the apartheid state into a genuine public broadcaster. At the same time, space opened up for private commercial and community broadcasters, which have become important players with growing audiences.

Calls for the transformation of the private print media focused on demands to make the community of owners and editors more demographically representative of the population, and to eradicate all vestiges of racism in the news.

Click here to download the EJN Trust Factor report.

Events & Workshops

The 1st Eastern Partnership Media Conference


The 1st Eastern Partnership Media Conference will address the role of media in the Eastern Partnership (Eap) region. The conference will look at the current challenges in the media field in the Eap countries, and consider appropriate responses to them. As one of the outcomes, the conference will provide recommendations regarding consistent and coordinated support from the EU to freedom of expression in the Eap partner countries.

Continue …

The Jerusalem Press Club: Freedom of the Press Conference 2015


EJN panel on 25 May at 14:00
Are there Limits to the Freedom of the Press?

Following the murderous attack on Charlie Hebdo, which left 11 journalists and a French policeman dead, the lead cartoonist of the magazine declared that he will stop using Mohammed in his cartoons. Short of terror against journalists on one hand, and limitless freedom of the press from the other hand, is there a middle way, where press freedom and sensitivity to religious feelings can be balanced?

Aidan White, Director of EJN, Ethics in Journalism Network

Continue …


Online Journalism Awards

Submit your work to the 2015 Online Journalism Awards, which honor excellence in digital journalism. Ten of the 37 awards administered by the Online News Association (ONA) come with $60,000 in prize money. You may enter work in any language. Deadline to enter is May 29, 2015. Winners will be announced at the Online News Association Conference and Awards (ONA15) in Los Angeles, Sept. 24-26.