WAN-IFRA

A publication of the World Editors Forum

Date

Sun - 04.12.2016


ethics

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The latest dramatic twist in the BBC saga has seen the new director general resign and other senior staff step aside. What might be surprising is that it was not the now notorious Jimmy Savile case that actually brought them down, but the misidentification of a child abuser as a former prominent conservative politician.

BBC DG George Entwistle resigned on Saturday after it was confirmed that the BBC’s flagship news programme Newsnight had incorrectly implicated Lord McAlpine, a former Tory treasurer, in a story about paedophilia. 

There has been considerable criticism of Entwistle's £450,000 pay off (a year’s salary) from members of parliament and the National Audit Office is due to look into the justification for the sum.

Tim Davie, who was director of audio and music, has stepped in as acting director general and has pledged to “get a grip” on the news operation and its journalism. It seems clear that Davie is a temporary solution, as BBC chairman Lord Patten is actively seeking candidates, the Guardian reported yesterday.

Author

Emma Goodman

Date

2012-11-12 20:12

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Is it wrong for a PR firm to forego a monthly retainer, and charge its clients only when it succeeds in getting them mentioned by the media?

Does it make a difference if the PR firm is doing this to help startups shy on capital?

What about if the PR firm has put specific price tags on particular media outlets?

These are the questions that public relations professionals, their clients, tech bloggers and their readers have been grappling with in the wake of yesterday’s announcement by TechCrunch Co-Editor Alexia Tsotsis of a blog-wide ban on PR company PRserve, following her discovery that the firm had been charging clients $750 for getting them covered by an “A-level blog like TechCrunch.”

Chris Barrett, the Founder of PRserve, responded by posting a notice on the company’s website in which he claimed to be “confounded” by the situation. “The only difference between how we share stories and the way a traditional PR firm works is that we do not charge a $5,000 monthly retainer, irrespective of results. We only collect an extremely modest amount for successful stories (a flat rate of $425 - $750 per story), depending on the media outlet,” he wrote.

Author

Emma Knight

Date

2012-11-09 19:24

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Flash quiz: what is the highest-circulation English-language newspaper in the world?

(Hint: Rupert Murdoch doesn’t own it.)

The correct answer, as you are likely aware, is the Times of India, which has a circulation of 4.3 million, and reaches an average of 7.64 million readers with each issue.

While money may not exactly be growing on trees in the news industry these days, the 174-year-old title, published by family-owned media conglomerate Bennett, Coleman & Company (B.C.C.L.), is planted in fertile soil: it is the most widely read English-language daily in a country where newspaper circulation is rising by 8 percent per year overall, and 1.5 percent per year for English-language newspapers.

Author

Emma Knight

Date

2012-10-23 09:28

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South African newspaper the Citizen has admitted that it made a mistake by publishing a manipulated photograph on the front page of its Wednesday edition, after the cover elicited strong reactions from journalists about the ethics of editing news images.

The photograph, supplied by news agency Agence-France Presse (AFP), was taken after a suicide attack killed 12 people, including eight South African aviation workers, in Kabul, Afghanistan on September 18. In the original image, two bodies lie beside the charred skeleton of a minibus that was blown up in the attack. In the version that was published, the bodies have been digitally wiped from the picture.

The Citizen released a statement on Thursday, explaining that during an editorial meeting on Tuesday, the photograph was deemed too graphic to publish in its natural state, and a decision was taken to blur the bodies. Instead, they were “digitally cloned out of the photo,” apparently inadvertantly. “The photo should never have been published in that form,” said the Citizen’s Editor Martin Williams. “We regret this and are taking steps to ensure that it does not happen again,” continued the statement.

Author

Emma Knight

Date

2012-09-21 17:48

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The Ukrainian press faces many challenges, said Oksana Bogdanova, Editor-in-chief of Komsomolskaya Pravda, at the 19th World Editors Forum in Kiev last week. Her paper is a major Ukrainian daily with a readership of a million a day.

Professional standards and ethics are not always valued, and subsequently trust in the press has fallen and therefore so has the audience. The press also has to fend off competition from television, and faces further complexity because the country has both Ukrainian- and Russian-language media.

A significant problem is that the majority of media are owned by larger corporations, who do not rely on their media properties for income, she explained. Oligarchs invest in media not for profit, but to advertise and lobby for their other businesses. They are therefore not interested in developing their publications.

The few companies whose media business provides their basic income are much more interested in developing their products,  and “providing new technologies, defending the authority of media, independence of the press and professional standards,” said Bogdanova.

She questions whether, as the influence of new technologies becomes more and more apparent and anyone can express their opinion, the role of the journalist will become less necessary. She believes it will not, but stressed the need for higher journalistic standards.

Author

Emma Goodman

Date

2012-09-14 17:30

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