28th November 2022
By Wendy Collinson

Support the Ethical Journalism Network

Building quality and trust in news

We work to build trust in news media through training, education and research because we believe that fact-based communications delivered by well-trained and ethical media professionals is essential to help people better understand the world around them.

Journalism everywhere is under attack. In the face of unscrupulous politics, the scourge of fake news and online hate, and the self-serving spin of public relations, we believe everyone who is committed to truth, honesty and decency in the news should stand up for ethics and for the future of journalism.


Why we need your support

Journalism makes a positive difference to people’s lives. It promotes an understanding of complex events. It brings people together. It opens the door to dialogue and peace-building. Through quality journalism, people get the facts and information they can trust.

Providing reliable and inclusive journalism has never been more difficult. Journalists, editors and media owners are learning the hard way that the information revolution, for all its liberating qualities, is a two-edged sword.

Abusive online communications, fabricated news, and new forms of propaganda, today reinforce problems of political bias, undue corporate influence and conflicts of interest that have always haunted newsrooms. It is an age when populism is on the march, and the public information sphere is fragmented, intolerant and polarised.


Ethical journalism for democracy

What has emerged could signal a full-blown crisis for pluralism and democracy.

We need more ethical journalism and independent, fact-based reporting to tell all sides of the story, and to show respect and humanity.

But it’s not enough to strengthen newsrooms. We also need transparency and good governance in the ownership and management of media and a meaningful commitment to self-regulation across all platforms of journalism.

Commitment to ethics in journalism is a golden asset and can make a world of difference to people’s lives, but that will not happen automatically. Your support will help build a bridge that links media and journalists fighting for standards around the world.


What we do

The EJN is a unique organisation of journalists supporting other journalists around the world in their struggle to be ethical and to tell the truth. We have achieved a great deal, directly helping to build trusted journalism in some of the most difficult places. Today, our work promoting guidance on hate speech, migration and transparency is used across the globe.

  • In Africa, the Middle East, and the Western Balkans the EJN has developed ground-breaking programmes to build trust in regions where corruption and unscrupulous politics have so weakened the news media.

  • In Turkey, we have been among the first responders to a media crisis that has devastated hopes for a free media to build democracy.

  • Across Europe, we have helped strengthen media reporting of the migration crisis and the fallout from the war in Syria.

  • We have worked with journalists to develop action plans against hate speech. Our five-point test for hate-speech is now essential training material internationally.

  • We have launched the world’s first interactive database of journalism ethics and self-regulation in cooperation with the Missouri School of Journalism.

We have targeted trust issues in the ownership and management of media and made self-regulation and media literacy a priority for public policy in more than 30 countries, including Bosnia and Herzegovina, China, Croatia, Cyprus, Egypt, Indonesia, India, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Nepal, Sudan, Rwanda, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine and the UK.

We have an ambitious plan of work, including:

1. Newsroom development: Launching new online tools to help journalists face the ethical challenges of journalism – understanding technology and how we can use it to build an open and trusted space for journalism in the digital age;

2. Education: In cooperation with leading universities in Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia we will develop new models for educating journalists on how to recognise, analyse and defeat the threat of propaganda and disinformation;

3. Solidarity in spreading the ethical message: We will build regional and national coalitions of editors, journalists and media support groups to work on their own targeted programmes to support the core principles of journalism and defend editorial independence in news media where the peril is greatest – in Turkey, in Poland, Russia or Hungary as well as in the emerging economies of Africa and the Middle East;

4. Transparency and trust: Strengthen our ethical media audits programme in every country in which we work. Ethical newsrooms are vital, but so too is ethical ownership and administration of media. Without both, journalism cannot prosper.

5. Bringing ethics into the mainstream: We plan to ensure that standards in newsrooms and boardrooms are an integral part of media development and media literacy programmes. Today’s journalism is not just about skills, it’s also about values.


What you can do

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