Professional Ethics and Media Pluralism


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Building Trust In a New World Of Information - Aidan White

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Professional Ethics and Media Pluralism

  1. 1. Ethical Journalism Network Building Trust In a New World Of Information Aidan White Twitter: aidanpwhite
  2. 2. Who we are A coalition of media professional groups from around the world committed to building trust in media and promoting principles of ethical journalism, good governance and self- regulation in the digital age
  3. 3. African Centre for Media Excellence African Media Initiative Alliance of Independent Press Councils of Europe Article 19 Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union Association of Commercial Television in Europe CASCFEN Center for International Media Ethics Center For Media Freedom & Responsibility Editor-In-Chiefs Forum Hungary European Broadcasting Union European Federation of Journalists European Journalism Centre European Magazine Media Association European Newspaper Publishers Association European Publishers Council Fundación Nuevo Periodismo Iberoamericano Global Editors Network Global Forum for Media Development iMediaEthics International Association of Women in Radio & Television International Press Institute Internews Europe Media Diversity Institute MediaWise Online News Association Organization of News Ombudsmen Pakistan Coalition for Ethical Journalism PANOS South Asia Punto24 Religion News Service Reynolds Journalism Institute South East Europe Media Organisation South East Europe Network for Media Professionalization Tanzania Journalists Alliance Thomson Foundation World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers World Press Freedom Committee
  4. 4. Human Beings are Ethical Animals Society is based on respect for rights. These rights are agreed international standards. • Universal Declaration of Human Rights • Convention on Civil and Political Rights • Regional Human Rights Instruments
  5. 5. Ethics and Journalism Journalism’s conventions and standards are set out in codes. There are more than 400 codes at national and global level. Ethics
  6. 6. Ethical Journalism is not Free Expression • Journalism is not free speech, it is constrained expression. • It works in a framework of values. • It has purpose. • It is a public good.
  7. 7. Journalism is about Telling the Story in Context According to ethical obligations: • Truth • Independence • Impartiality • Humanity • Accountability
  8. 8. But there are other Constraints… Internet, Changing Industry, New Culture of Communications, Politics, Commercial Interest, Hate Speech and intolerance
  9. 9. Turning the Page of Hate: A New Campaign to Promote Tolerance in Journalism Launched April 18th 2014 in Rwanda to mark 20 anniversary of Genocide Aims to mobilise journalism at all levels against manipulation of media and journalism as weapons of hatred and incitement to violence
  10. 10. Case Study: Rwanda 1994: 800,000 Killed. Hate media helped organise slaughter
  11. 11. Hate Speech in the Media Focus Islamaphobia Anti-Semitism Genocide Religion Race relations Migration Gender equality Homosexuality
  12. 12. Hate speech and free expression Hate speech can be a way of mobilising public support for actions that threaten the lives of others. Propaganda has always been an important strategic aspect of making war. But people are entitled to free speech, even if they hold offensive and hurtful opinions. But what are the limits? And who draws the red lines which define the frontiers of tolerance?
  13. 13. Challenge of Combating Hate in Media • Hate speech matter of international concern since 1945 • International legal prohibition over hate speech related to race and ethnicity • Lack of clear definition • Need for informed, careful and inclusive journalism
  14. 14. Threats From Stereotypes A mob of wild-eyed men yelling, during anti-US protests over the infamous Innocence of Muslims Film in 2012. Was this an accurate picture? Did Media stir up Hatred?
  15. 15. Case Study: Islamaphobia 2006: Mohammed Cartoons. Global row over free speech rights after cartoons caused offence to Muslims. Politically-inspired violence. At least 150 killed. Media manipulated. 2010: United States pastor Terry Jones becomes global media sensation for wanting to burn the Koran. Unknown number of deaths. Media manipulated. 2012: Inaccurate media story of anti-Muslim film, Innocence of Muslims. At least 73 killed.
  16. 16. The confusion between image and reality in the world of open information
  17. 17. Between Racism and Satire?
  18. 18. The Art of Apology This was meant as a joke, but it was completely wrong because it is based on a fallacy -- that racism is no longer accepted, and that it can be laughed at safely. De Morgen offers its apologies to anyone who feels offended. Sorry. We are in this case guilty of bad taste. We remain on the side of the multitudes fighting against all forms of racism.
  19. 19. Telling the Story in Context: Avoid a Rush to Publish Show Humanity Be Transparent Be Accountable
  20. 20. Audience and Media in Partnership • Rethinking Acts of Journalism • Expand the Base: Ethics are for All • Industry Commitment to change • Good Governance, Self-regulation • Leadership from within journalism • Partnership with the audience
  21. 21. Ethical Journalism Network Media Making Their Mark at Election Time
  22. 22. Five Principles for Election Coverage
  23. 23. 1. Build Public Trust • Publish Ground Rules and develop a Media Election Code • Publicise Rules of the Elections • Highlight Watchdog Function of Media • Work in Partnership with Audience and Social Media
  24. 24. 2. Practice Your Principles • Establish Internal Guidelines to strengthen Ethical Base: Editorial Independence • Avoid Conflicts of Interest • Show Zero Tolerance of Hate and Incitement in political speech
  25. 25. 3. Quality Journalism • Provide staff training, election law, good practice for political reporting • Insist on Good governance from top to bottom of Media pyramid • Focus on Safety of all staff • Separate Comment, News and Advertising
  26. 26. 4. Audience Voice • Establish citizens’ groups to test opinion • Use in-depth interviews with a mix voters (not just vox-pop) • Highlight the experiences and aspirations of ordinary people • Use Crowd-sourcing, Social Media Moderate all User Content • Don’t put Clicks before Quality
  27. 27. 5. Newsroom Leadership • Set Targets and Benchmarks: Establish a newsroom task force • Review your performance and use all platforms of journalism • Take account of audience feedback and be different – don’t follow the pack, follow the money • Work with other media to respond to external threats
  28. 28. Ten Reporting Tips • Report events as they happen. • Be impartial in every way: Give equal prominence to major candidates. • Be inclusive and respect diversity • Avoid sensationalism. Because someone says something outrageous doesn’t make it news.
  29. 29. …and more • Never accept any inducement – cash or otherwise – from a candidate or a political party. • Do not makes promises to politicians about your story. • Exercise fair play. If a person is unfairly attacked, give them a chance to reply.
  30. 30. …and more. • Avoid inflammatory language. If someone is abusively insulting, say so. Do we need to repeat the offence? • Report what candidates say -- not what their supporters say candidates said. • Do not take sides in political arguments.
  31. 31. Principles of self-regulation 1. Internal – Company Level • Mission statement, Code of Conduct • Good governance and transparency • Respond to concerns and complaints 2. External – National Structures • Industry-wide system of self-regulation • Politically independent • Mix of professional and public representation
  32. 32. EJN at Work Pakistan: Ethical Audits and elections. Turkey: Business and politics as Threats Egypt: The Threat of Self Censorship Indonesia: Model Press Councils for Asia Africa: Turning the Page of Hate Myanmar: Building Solidarity Europe: Pluralism and Media Rights Studies: Does self-regulation work? Corruption on the Inside? Tools to combat hate.
  33. 33. Build Trust