20 years after the horrors of Rwanda, African journalists and media are launching a new campaign called Turning the Page of Hate which aims to promote more tolerant public discourse and to strengthen the craft of journalism. This campaign is built upon the knowledge that media have the potential to inspire public confidence and can play a leading role in creating informed and secure democracies. But that will not happen unless journalists are ethical and well informed and media enjoy editorial independence and the right to report freely.
The genocides in Rwanda and Srebrenica were emblematic failures of the international community. The scale of the brutality in Rwanda still shocks: an average of 10,000 deaths per day, day after day, for three months, with hateful radio broadcasts inflaming and inciting Rwandans to kill Rwandans. (via The Huffington Post)
The offending tweet tests both the limits of Twitter’s policy on abusive behavior and the increasingly common “I Didn’t Mean It” defense of inflammatory users. Twitter does not ban offensive speech, but it does claim to prohibit users from making “direct, specific threats of violence against others.” The company’s approach to policing content is notoriously hands-off. (via The International Business Times)
In India, no mainstream newspaper openly endorses political parties. Some papers reveal their preference by the choice of their columnists and the focus of the areas covered. By not endorsing any party or candidate, The Hindu has been able to give itself space and elbow room to look at multiple issues critically and evaluate the stated positions of various parties based on their own feedback. (via The Hindu)
Reporters Without Borders hails the resolution on “the promotion and protection of human rights in the context of peaceful protests” that UN Human Rights Council adopted on 28 March. It recognizes and endorses the essential role journalists play in covering demonstrations and condemns the harassment and attacks they often suffer while so doing. (via Reporters Without Borders)
UNESCO has recently published a book on community radio prepared by the Centre for Law and Democracy (CLD), “Tuning Into Development: International Comparative Survey of Community Broadcasting Regulation.” The book focuses on international standards governing the regulation of community radio as well as the legal framework for this in some thirty countries from different regions of the world. It also includes a set of recommendations on better practice regarding the regulation of community broadcasting. (via The Centre for Law and Democracy)
A two-day “Media dialogue on hate speech in Africa” will be held on the 17th and 18th of April 2014, bringing together local and regional media leaders and journalists, researchers, and others from the world of media to help prepare professional strategies that can turn the page of hate speech on the African continent. This meeting in Kigali, Rwanda is organized by the Africa Media Initiative (AMI) through its partnership with Media High Council and Rwanda media community and is held in co-operation with and supported by Ethical Journalism Network.
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.
The Al Jazeera Media Training and Development Center and the Norwegian Centre for Human Rights are pleased to work together to offer young journalists in the Arab region a workshop from 27 April – 01 May, which covers the major issues connected to change, development, democracy, freedom of press and human rights. The EJN Director Aidan White will be giving a presentation on ethical journalism and human rights during this workshop.
During this year’s conference from 5 – 6 May, the interrelated issues of the role of free media in strengthening good governance and effective institutions, the safety of journalists as a prerequisite element of the rule of law, and the issue of reporting and monitoring the progress of the sustainable development goals including access to information will be part of the discussion.
The 2014 Senior Journalists Seminar seeks to enhance media coverage of religion and elevate the public debate regarding religion and its role in the public sphere, specifically as it regards US-Muslim relations. The 2014 Senior Journalists Seminar will bring together American and Asian journalists for a 21-day professional dialogue, study and travel program. The deadline to apply is 8 May, 2014. (via The East-West Center)