8th September 2015
By Stefanie Chernow

Ethical Journalism Newsletter: September 8, 2015


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Ethical News And Debates

The Little Boy Whose Tragic Picture Helped Get Media Back on Track

For most media across Europe and North America the migration story this week moved from being a political game of numbers to a compelling drama in which empathy and compassion dominated the headlines.

The painful scenes of desperation in Budapest central railway station and, most striking of all, the image of three-year-old Aylan Kurdi, a drowned Syrian refugee child lying face down on a Turkish beach stirred media and journalism across the globe.

This turn of events took many media by surprise, after all for the last year there have been many vivid and explicit images of the suffering of migrants and refugees risking their lives in dangerous sea crossings, often at the mercy of brutal and cynical people traffickers.

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The limits of photojournalism: What those pictures of the Syrian boy didn’t tell us

Liz Sly, a Washington Post Beirut-based correspondent, has tweeted photos of dead Syrian kids many times and had no responses, she told me. This time, she says, she got lots of responses, some very negative. So why do we remember the ones we do? (Read more on Poynter)

Public Editor: Why The Globe published photos of a drowned Syrian boy

It is worth remembering that a newspaper has a responsibility at times to show the horrors of war and death – but never to do it lightly. There have been times throughout history when the publication of a photo has changed the public understanding and/or opinion of a world event. They are iconic photos that, yes, can shock and appall readers. And to what end? (Read more on The Globe and Mail)

The media has made Kim Davis a conservative martyr, missing the bigger picture

The story has all the trappings of a media circus: A low-level official from a no-name county champions down-home religious beliefs in defying a top-down change in federal law. The tale of Kim Davis, a county clerk from northeast Kentucky who was jailed Thursday for refusing to issue same-sex marriage licenses, couldn’t have written itself any better for today’s hyper-partisan, social media-driven outrage machine. (Read more on Columbia Journalism Review)

Ipso denounced as ‘sham body’ controlled by member newspapers

Public letter by dissatisfied complainants comes as campaign group Hacked Off claims new press watchdog lacks independence. (Read more on The Guardian)


Job Vacancy: Communications Officer

The Ethical Journalism Network, a coalition of international and regional media and journalism support groups formed in 2013, is looking for a Communications Officer to promote the organisation and to raise its profile both within the global journalism community and among related stakeholders.

The EJN is a charity and carries out work in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia. It provides education, training and useful information to strengthen the craft of journalism working with media organisations, journalism departments of universities, media support organisations and international donors.

The EJN seeks to improve ethics, good governance and standards of media self-regulation and wants to raise awareness of the importance of independent journalism in building respect for democracy and human rights.

The duties of the Communication Officer will be

  • To promote the EJN through social media and all relevant channels and to make the organisation visible, including to those beyond the EJN community
  • To develop, oversee and implement a communications strategy aimed at promoting the EJN and its work across all platforms of media
  • To strengthen the strategic partnerships of the EJN with the global media community and with the EJN’s strategic partners including universities, media support groups and civil society;
  • To set up web-based systems for EJN communications work;
  • To oversee the editing, publication and promotion of EJN materials;

The person we are looking for will have

  • A strong interest in and experience of digital media development, a good understanding of social media, and a working knowledge of journalism with experience of creating original written and visual content. Some experience of creating infographics would be desirable.
  • A good knowledge of information technology and the technical skills to develop and implement a multi-platform communications strategy. The successful candidate should be able to identify the platforms on which the EJN’s message is likely to resonate and have the technical know-how to deliver those ideas.
  • Excellent people skills and a collaborative working style as well as the ability to communicate sensitive messages to diverse audiences, both externally and within the organisation.
  • Fluent written and spoken English is essential. Knowledge of other languages, particularly French, Arabic or Spanish, is an asset.

The Communications Officer will work closely with the Director and will occasionally represent the EJN at international meetings.

Anyone interested in this post should send their CV with a covering letter setting out their reasons for interest in the post and their thoughts on the EJN’s existing communications profile to The Director, 11 Vicarage Road, London, E15 4 HD or to [email protected] marked “Communications Post.” The closing date for applications is September 30th 2015.

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