WAN-IFRA

A publication of the World Editors Forum

Date

Sun - 21.01.2018


ethics

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Journalism needs to be rebooted to ensure its ethical standards are up to date for the digital era, argues Amadou Mahtar Ba, Chief Executive of the African Media Initiative (AMI), an organization committed to building media across Africa.

While raising capital for media development across the continent Mahtar said he was often told that the media is not ethical.

“We live in wonderful times where everybody has a voice and can transmit news and views. This puts extra responsibility on media professionals, journalists, teachers, editors and bosses,” he told delegates at the Highway Africa media conference in Grahamstown, South Africa this week.

“Ethical background and predisposition may be what separates a citizen blogger and a journalist. The future of our industry relies on rebooting journalism with ethical standards as central operating system. We need to keep our house in order and try to come up with common values instead of stereotypes.”

Mahtar believes its not just journalists who need guiding codes.

Author

Cherilyn Ireton

Date

2012-09-14 09:43

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Kevin Carter’s most famous photograph shows a malnourished toddler who had buckled in the dirt under the menacing gaze of a vulture in southern Sudan as she tried to reach a feeding centre.

The image appeared on page 3 of The New York Times on March 26, 1993, and then in other publications around the world as what Bill Keller has called “a metaphor for Africa's despair,” drawing global attention and aid to a famine-stricken region. 

Carter reportedly waited 20 minutes before taking the iconic photograph, in hopes that the creature, seemingly poised to devour the child, would spread its wings. It did not. Once he had captured the image, the photographer chased the bird away, and the toddler continued her journey.

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Author

Emma Knight

Date

2012-07-30 19:20

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An ethics debate seized the French media on Monday, after national television network TF1 broadcast on Sunday evening extracts from a leaked recording of conversations between police and Mohamed Merah, the 23 year-old Toulouse native with links to Al Qaeda who confessed to the murder of seven people in March 2012.

The audio clips were recorded during the 32-hour standoff between Merah and France’s elite Raid squad as police negotiated to bring the armed man out of his Toulouse apartment alive. The standoff ended when police shot Merah dead as he jumped out the window of his flat, guns blazing. Clips from the recording reveal Merah saying that he “loved death more than they [the police] loved life” and that he “was ready for all the tactics negotiators would try.”

Merah also spoke of wanting to carry out more attacks like the ones he had already admitted to: the shooting of three soldiers in Montauban, which he said was motivated by their engagement in Afghanistan, and the murder of a rabbi and three children at a Jewish school in Toulouse, which he said had not been premeditated.

The killer had filmed himself carrying out these acts, and the footage appeared on a USB stick at Al Jazeera’s Paris bureau soon afterward. The network decided not to air the graphic material. France’s other major television news channels stated that they, too, would refuse to run the footage if given the chance.

Author

Emma Knight

Date

2012-07-09 18:21

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It seems the corruption of the news media in China extends not only to suppressing negative content, but also to planting positive content as well. According to The New York Times, various Chinese print and television media organizations regularly profile executives or otherwise feature companies in exchange for thousands of dollars in bribes.

Although such practices are technically illegal in China, the transactions are so rampant that many public relations firms and advertising agencies openly admitted to paying for coverage, the article said.

The Bejing office of Ogilvy and Mather, for example, told The New York Times in an email, “Our policy is to advise our clients to not participate in such activities. However, in some industries, such as luxury, the practice of soft news placements is very common so this is something that we have also done before.”  

Author

Gianna Walton

Date

2012-04-04 18:50

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Most people (hopefully!) understand the consequences of putting something online: once you upload a compromising photo or tweet something controversial, it’s available for everyone to see. But when news stories emerge and social networking is the only readily available source of data, how much should journalists publish from private Facebook or Twitter accounts? Are certain things off-limits, or is it truly anything goes? In a recent article, Poynter examines some general guidelines of reporters for publishing such content.

Poynter highlights the confusing nature of Facebook’s privacy settings as one of the main sources of journalistic dispute. Since there are numerous levels of privacy, from closed groups to more open fan pages, journalists disagree about which privacy levels are acceptable to draw from, the article said.

And, though Facebook posts between friends may be considered in the public domain, “informed consent” to publish the material might not necessarily be implied by the user, Poynter said.

“Journalists are stepping into gray territory with no widely agreed-upon standards,” Nisha Chittal of Poynter wrote.

Twitter, however, seems to be a decidedly public platform, the article said.

Author

Gianna Walton

Date

2012-03-30 16:56

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A new story has surfaced in the on-going debate about how far media needs to go in its quest for journalist neutrality.

Jim Romenesko reports on his blog that Kevin Corrado, president and publisher of the Green Bay Press-Gazette has harshly criticized 25 journalists working for Gannett Wisconsin Media for signing a political petition, advocating the recall of Wisconsin governor Scott Walker.

Corrado writes in a column for the Press-Gazette that disciplinary measures are being taken against the reporters who signed the petition, on the grounds that signing the petition has compromised their journalistic impartiality. He states that what they did was “wrong” and the company is considering providing all its journalists with additional ethics training.

Corrado writes, “the principle at stake is our belief that journalists must exercise caution and not cause doubts about their neutrality, especially at a time when the media is under a microscope and our credibility is routinely challenged.”

Author

Hannah Vinter

Date

2012-03-26 18:04

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The Independent reported yesterday that the UK Press Complaints Commission, which has come under heavy criticism for its failure to curb phone hacking at the News of the World, is due to close down in the near future, and replace itself with a new regulator.

The paper writes that the PCC will close “in a fast-tracked programme that will kill off the name of the PCC, abandon its current structures and governance, and establish a new regulatory body”. It states that the new regulator will be established before the Leveson Inquiry into press ethics delivers its report at the end of the year.

The Independent writes that the PCC’s closure was discussed at a full meeting of the commission, headed by its chairman Lord Hunt.

For more on this story please see our sister publication www.sfnblog.com

Author

Hannah Vinter

Date

2012-03-08 19:07

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The news media is a pillar of democracy: it informs citizens about issues in the public interest and acts as a watchdog over the powers that be. Consequently, journalism plays a significant role in emerging democracies.

To play this role effectively, however, news media need to stand out as credible and respected sources, and to be credible they need to be accountable. As highlighted in Tunis at the WAN-IFRA Arab Free Press Forum, after years of propaganda, it is difficult for newly-free publications to establish themselves as trustworthy sources of news, particularly when facing competition from blogs and social media.

Ethics are a cornerstone for a credible and professional news media environment. As reported by BusinessGhana, media practitioners and associations in the Cote d'Ivoire recently adopted a new code of ethics for journalists at a forum in Abidjan.

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newsrooms_and_journalism/2012/02/ethics_codes_the_way_to_regain_credibili.php

Author

Federica Cherubini

Date

2012-02-29 19:06

Text: 

WikiLeaks' latest leak, which is calls 'The Global Intelligence Files' is not as yet particularly interesting because of the content of the files, but because of the fact that WikiLeaks is back, and because of the partnerships that the episode reveals.

WikiLeaks claims to have created an online database of more than five million emails from Stratfor, a global intelligence company based in Austin, Texas, sent between July 2004 and December 2011. Stratfor provides its subscribers with geopolitical analysis via emails and explains on its site how it differentiates itself from news organisations.

A WikiLeaks press release claims that the emails show "Stratfor's web of informers, pay-off structure, payment-laundering techniques and psychological methods" and that the company "cultivates close ties with US government agencies and employs former US government staff."

Link: 
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newsrooms_and_journalism/2012/02/wikileaks_starts_release_of_5_million_st.php

Author

Emma Goodman

Date

2012-02-28 17:35

Text: 

The Huffington Post UK has launched a new 'Inspiration' section on its site which will enable brands "to communicate directly with prospective consumers via video, blogs and social media," announced a press release from AOL.

Its first focus is a cross-platform package in conjunction with other AOL properties to promote Iceland as a year-round tourist destination. As the press release says, the 'Inspired by Iceland' campaign, sponsored by Promote Iceland and Iceland's government, is "the first Europe- wide marketing campaign that fully integrates a comprehensive suite of AOL advertising products, content and platforms."

There are other posts on the page that are unrelated to the Iceland effort, and HuffPost UK editor-in-chief Carla Buzasi said that the Inspiration section is dedicated to "all things inspirational." Food will be a theme over the next few days, then careers and lifestyle, with participation from both HuffPo's journalists and bloggers.

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newsrooms_and_journalism/2012/02/huffington_post_uk_launches_advertorial.php

Author

Emma Goodman

Date

2012-02-24 13:58

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