Ethical Journalism Newsletter: October 28th, 2014


Ethical Journalism News

From AIDS to Ebola: Journalism, Disease and the Mentality of Fear

In many cases, it is the role of the journalist to point the public’s attention to things they should be afraid of: that hurricane brewing in the Gulf; air bags that blast shrapnel onto drivers; that sinkhole near the bridge. But there is another – I am tempted to say more important – role. That is to take corrosive fear, the kind that leads to prejudice and hate, and apply the disinfecting light of cool reason and reliable information. (via Poynter)

Fear-Mongering with Polls on Ebola

Recent polls have arrived at starkly different conclusions about the level of fear among Americans over the Ebola virus. These differences are not trivial – any quick perusal of the news will show how widely politicians and the press have used polling on the Ebola issue (showing a fearful public) for their own purposes – the press to hype their stories, politicians to enhance their electoral prospects. (via iMediaEthics)

The Guardian Readers’ Editor on the Paper’s Coverage of Israel/Palestine Issues

When we received a complaint from the Israeli embassy on 16 October about the Guardian’s coverage of Israel/Palestine issues, it was the 17th this year and the third in three days. There are many pitfalls for the unwary writing about the Israel/Palestine conflict… I think there are two reasons why the Guardian has a focus of interest on Israel and Palestine: one is historical and the other pragmatic. (via The Guardian)

90% of Journalists’ Murderers Across the World Get Away with it – Report

Governments are falling short in their efforts to combat impunity in the killing of journalists, with 90% of murderers walking free, according to a report issued by the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ). The report, The road to justice: breaking the cycle of impunity in the killing of journalists, argues that governments have failed to take meaningful action to reduce the high rates of targeted violence and impunity against journalists. (via The Guardian)

Egyptian Media to Limit Criticism of Government

A group of Egyptian newspaper editors pledged Sunday to limit their criticism of state institutions, a day after Egypt’s president, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, warned of a “conspiracy” behind a militant attack last week that killed at least 31 soldiers. The statement raised the likelihood of growing limits on dissent, and appeared to be an attempt to please Mr. Sisi, who drastically sharpened his own tone on Saturday in dealing with the simmering Islamist insurgency centered in the Sinai Peninsula. (via New York Times)

Is GamerGate About Media Ethics or Harassing Women? Harassment, the Data Shows


If you haven’t heard of #GamerGate, lucky you. If you have, and you have an opinion about it, you probably fall into one of two camps. You’re in the camp that thinks it’s a Web-based movement of gamers upset about a perceived lack of ethics among video games journalists. Or you’re in the camp that thinks it’s a Web-based campaign of harassment against women who make, write about and enjoy video games, masquerading as a movement of gamers upset about a perceived lack of ethics among games journalists. (via Newsweek)


Journalism, Whistleblowing and the Security State

20 November 2014, London – This unique event, hosted by the Birkbeck Institute for Social Research in collaboration with the Campaign for Press and Broadcasting Freedom and Media Reform Coalition, brings together a group of whistleblowers from the US national security state to address UK academics, activists and journalists. Panellists will discuss recent threats to independent journalism and whistleblowing on both sides of the Atlantic, placing developments in the context of massive surveillance and the on-going War on Terror. (via Media Reform Coalition)