The dangers of hate speech in journalism are well known and can have tragic consequences. In response, the Ethical Journalism Network launched the Turning the Page of Hate campaign in 2014 to mark the 20 year anniversary of the Rwandan genocide. As part of the campaign, the EJN create a 5-point test for journalists to use to identify hate speech. Watch Aidan White explain how journalists can use the test in the video below.

Find out more about the EJN test for hate speech

For more context and details about how to use the five-point test for hate speech, read our report.

The EJN’s 5-point test infographic has been translated into over 20 languages. Download it and use it in your newsroom. Contact us if you would like to support the campaign by translating the test into more languages.

Hate Speech

Words Matter: A Glossary for Journalism in Cyprus

On 10 June 2018 a group of journalists from both sides of the divided island of Cyprus launched a small publication, Words Matter: A Glossary for Journalism in Cyprus. This handy guide to troublesome words and phrases routinely used by Cypriot media exposes how casual and thoughtless use of language contributes to hidden bias in the newsrooms on both sides of one of the world’s most enduring and bitter conflicts.

The glossary is the centerpiece of a Cyprus Dialogue Project which for the past two years has been promoting co-operation across the political divide that has separated Turkish-speaking Cypriots from fellow Greek-speaking islanders for decades. It is an invitation to media owners, editors and working journalists to discuss how they frame their stories and narratives and the language they use in so doing.

This glossary has been inspired by the Office of the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media (in the framework of its project “Cyprus Dialogue” with the Union of Cyprus Journalists and the Association of the Turkish Cypriot Journalists -and Basın Sen later) which, in partnership with the Ethical Journalism Network, a global coalition of media professional groups, has worked with a team of thoughtful and experienced colleagues in journalism, Dr. Bekir Azgın, Christos Christofides, Esra Aygin and Maria Siakalli, as proposed by the ethics committees on both sides of the island, who have taken over the implementation of the project.

Further information

Glossary of Hate Speech in Egyptian Media

Ethical Journalism Network, American University in Cairo and Egypt Media Development Programme launched a Glossary of Hate Speech in Egyptian Media in Cairo in October 2017, in order to help media identify hate speech and deal ethically with dangerous words and images. The glossary was given a regional launch at the Arab Reporters for Investigative Journalism (ARIJ) conference in Jordan in December 2017 at a meeting of EJN’s Arab Media Hub to Combat Hate Speech in Journalism

The glossary begins by providing background on how Egyptian law and the country’s constitution define hate speech, as well as relevant universal human rights principles. The guide provides examples of where media have fallen short of their ethical responsibilities when dealing with dangerous language and images. But it also illustrates good practice and provides guidance to help journalists and media identify hate speech and report on it in an ethical context using the EJN’s five-point test for hate speech.


A Dilemma for Journalists the World Over

EJN report Ethics in the News Front PageAs part of the EJN’s 2016 publication, Ethics in the News, Cherian George wrote that hate speech presents a major challenge to today’s journalism.

Socially conscious journalists have been rightly alarmed at how rapidly hate-filled messages seep into, and often overwhelm, comment on the internet. Less talked about is how journalists’ own professional procedures — including how news is defined — may amplify the voices of hate propagandists. Then there are the media outlets that purvey intolerance, serving as ideological spokesmen and cheerleaders for forces of hate, from xenophobics to religious extremists.

George’s piece was one of four pieces in the report focusing on hate speech. The others were:

Turning the page of hate in media in 2016

At the Federation of Africa Journalists conference in Abuja, Nigeria, the EJN Africa representative Rachael Nakitare made a detailed presentation on the Africa sections of the Moving Stories report and the EJN’s 5-point test for hate speech. The EJN was able to support colleagues from Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda and Burundi to attend the session. This action and an earlier event in Nairobi has further extended EJN support in Africa and paved the way for a new programme in 2017.

In September 2016 the EJN organised with the Ugandan Union of Journalists a media conference on migration, hate speech, ethics, safety and conflict organised in Kampala.

The EJN made a keynote address at a regional conference on Combating Hate Speech in Media organised by the Council of Europe which took place on 20-21 June in Tbilisi with participants from Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine.

In August hate speech was again the focus of EJN interventions at meetings in Amman, Nairobi and in Palestine. Finally, in December last year, the EJN met with journalism leaders from Tunisia, Egypt, Morocco, Lebanon, Palestine and Jordan in Cairo and put in place a programme of action for the Arab Media Hub Against Hate Speech for the coming year.

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