The EJN’s impact 2017-18
In Africa, the EJN’s programme of activities included sessions on improving how ethics and journalism are taught at universities and other teaching institutions, with representatives from universities in Kenya and Nigeria.
We reached 156 media ombudsmen and regulators to discuss issues of self-regulation in countries across Europe from Africa, the Middle East, China, Turkey and across Europe including actions at a dedicated meeting for Lebanese media organized by the Maharat Foundation and at the Organisation of news Ombudsmen annual conference in Chennai, India.
Africa Programme 2017-2018
During 2017 and the beginning of 2018 the EJN carried out actions that have paved the way for an extended programme for the next three years working with the Federation of African Journalists, and a range of local partners. We carried out work with the continent’s leading journalists’ groups in Nigeria and also held a targeted session in Cameroon ahead the elections in the autumn of 2018 and brought together media leaders in Nairobi in the aftermath of the controversial second round of the Kenyan Presidential elections to discuss how to address media bias, hate speech and propaganda as well as over the issues facing East African journalism.
All three meetings acknowledged a deepening crisis for journalism in Africa and made strong calls on media owners and managers to engage in dialogue to up their game with better governance and more transparency in order to improve the financial prospects of the profession and the news industry. In particular, the meetings called for media owners to open themselves up to a thorough review of how they work and to set higher standards in the management and operations of media companies.
It was agreed to circulate the EJN Ethical Media Audit, which helps managers and owners to bring the owners and executive branch of media into line with the ethical standards expected of journalists and editors in the newsroom.
An important initiative launched in Africa during 2017 and 2018 is an EJN programme in partnership with Norwegian media professional groups representing journalists and media employers and supported by Kopinor, the copyright agency in Norway. This programme – The Ethics of Authors Rights in the Digital Age – is an innovative online teaching tool which will raise awareness in the African media community on ways of tackling the pressure on authors’ rights from technological change.
EJN Programme Report for 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 (plus a regional conference in Uganda, see below) has further extended EJN support in Africa and paved the way for a new programme in 2017.
In October, the EJN was active at two events – the East Africa and Great Lakes media conference on migration, hate speech, ethics, safety and conflict organised in Kampala with the Ugandan Union of Journalists (See Appendix Three) and at a workshop on ethics organised by the International Association of Women in Radio and Television in Johannesburg.