“What decisions are made before photographs of refugees and war victims appear in our newspapers, or as video and stills on our computers, mobiles and television screens? Should journalists be more critical when publishing and interpreting such pictures?” These were among the questions we explore in our latest report Refugee Images – Ethics in the Picture.
The report is is co-authored by Maud van de reijt a Dutch investigative journalist and historian and Misja Pekel a documentary filmmaker at the Dutch public broadcaster Human. Maud and Misja both work, on Medialogica, a TV series about public opinion and the influence of media. Earlier this year they produced Sea of Pictures a documentary examining the editorial process around publishing the tragic images of Aylan Kurdi. This and other pictures used in telling the refugee and migration story have triggered debates in editorial offices across the world, but what, the report asks, have been the dilemmas faced by photo-editors and other journalists and what lessons have we learnt?
The report, published to coincide with International Migrants Day on 18 December, is one of the chapters of the EJN’s upcoming report Ethics in the News which will be published on January 6, 2017.
After a year of unprecedented news-making Ethics in the News encourages us to step and ask – what is the future of ethical journalism in an age when it appears that the public around the world is falling out with facts, humanity and accountable truth-telling?
South Sudan’s War and a Stolen Generation
To mark International Migrants Day South Sudanese photojournalist Jok Solomun Anyang has kindly shared a photo essay with the EJN.
South Sudan gained independence from Sudan on 9th July 2011 as a Complementary to the comprehensive peace agreement (CPA) signed in 2005. The agreement that ended Africa’s longest-running civil war which lasted for over two decades.
However, in December 2013 rivalry between President Salva Kiir and his Vice President Riek Machar spilled over into conflict. Thousands of South Sudanese sought shelter in United Nations camps, while hundreds of thousands have sought refuge in the neighbouring countries of Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia and Sudan. Most of them are children, women and vulnerable groups.
“The future for a generation of children in South Sudan being stolen by the years of long conflict in the country which has driven hundreds of thousands of children from their homes”, Jok told me via email.