In February 2021, the Ethical Journalism Network (EJN) was awarded funding from the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust, through their Power and Accountability programme, to fund a project to identify and begin to address structural racism in UK journalism. The resulting policy report, published in March 2023, provides an overview of the challenges that Black journalists are facing in the British news media. Read and download below.
In February 2021, the Ethical Journalism Network (EJN) was awarded funding from the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust, through their Power and Accountability programme, to fund a project to identify and begin to address structural racism in UK journalism. Furthermore, the research aimed to understand how this is impacting on the development of more accountable news content that can work to overcome
systematic racism in structures and society.
The project set out to:
- To reinforce the importance of ethical standards in journalism and media organisations;
- To establish a baseline understanding of representation in newsrooms and newsroom policies in the United Kingdom;
- To develop a series of recommendations and guidelines for the news media industry and their staff which will in turn serve as a benchmark for future work and outputs in this area;
- To begin to build the capacity of journalists and media organisations to develop a more strategic approach to dealing with structural racism in the newsroom;
- To provide practical support to journalists and media organisations to enable them to establish best practices to contest structural racism.
The Ethical Journalism Network
The Ethical Journalism Network (EJN) is founded in the underlying belief that ethics and respect for human rights, particularly freedom of expression, are core elements of democracy. The EJN exists to promote high ethical standards in journalism. Those ethical standards are reflected in the principles for journalists of reporting:
- With accuracy and based upon facts
- With humanity and respect for others, and
- Responsibly and with accountability.
What we do
- Networking: We connect and support a network of diverse media and civil society organisations who are united through a commitment to the five core principles of ethical journalism and the conviction that they are central to democracy and human
- Education: We support and enable journalists and media practitioners to share expertise and develop their skills to uphold ethical standards and equip them to understand and overcome challenges they may face in doing so.
- Facilitation: We support and strengthen media organisations to embed ethical practices.
- Research: We publish useful research to highlight and increase understanding of ethical challenges facing journalists today and to increase understanding of the consequences of journalism which does not uphold ethical standards.
- Amplify: We support and encourage efforts by the media development and press freedom community to create at all levels a safe, secure, and professional environment to undertake independent journalism.
The work of the EJN is guided by the following strategic priorities:
- To strengthen the craft of journalism by increasing skill levels and improving the knowledge of ethical principles within the media.
- To promote respect for the status of journalism and raise awareness of current ethical challenges affecting the work of journalists including the importance of ethics, human rights, and good governance both in the exercise of journalism and in the administration of news media.
- To build a strong and supportive global network to strengthen cooperation between media professional groups at national and international levels, including regional affiliations.
- To encourage dialogue and collaborative working between the media community, civil society, and policymakers to raise awareness of the value of informed, ethical journalism in advancing human rights, conflict resolution and the promotion of racial tolerance, equality, and diversity.
Author: Dr Aida Al-Kaisy | Publication design: Mary Schrider | Cover image © RyanJLane/iStock