WAN-IFRA

A publication of the World Editors Forum

Date

Tue - 23.01.2018


ethics

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The News of the World phone hacking scandal has ignited an international discussion on ethics in journalism. News organisations are both distancing themselves from News International's tactics and taking a second look at their own policies. In light of recent phone hacking allegations by a former employee, Trinity Mirror announced today that it will be conducting a review of editorial procedures and controls across its publications.

The investigation is due in large part to James Hipwell, who worked at The Daily Mirror from 1998 to 2000. In an interview with The Independent, Hipwell said phone hacking was "endemic" and "seen as a bit of a wheeze". This revelation, as well as his statement that he was willing to testify to authorities, was the first concrete accusation of phone hacking at a publication outside of News International. If the investigation brings back evidence supporting his claim when it concludes in September, this could blow the lid off of the scandal, pulling the entire tabloid industry in an uncomfortable position.

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newsrooms_and_journalism/2011/07/hacking_allegations_prompt_trinity_mirro.php

Author

Florence Pichon

Date

2011-07-26 16:43

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The issue of press regulation is something of a hot topic at the moment; everyone has been talking about it. As the aftershocks of the Murdoch phone hacking scandal proceed to strike the media industry, David Cameron today announced that the members of a new Media Ethics Inquiry have now been finalised:

Shami Chakrabarti, director of Liberty
David Currie, former director of OfCom
Sir Paul Scott-Lee, former Police Chief
Elinor Goodman, Chanel 4 political editor
George Jones, former political editor of The Daily Telegraph
Sir David Bell, former chairman of The Financial Times

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newsrooms_and_journalism/2011/07/media_ethics_inquiry_members_announced.php

Author

Katherine Travers

Date

2011-07-21 13:20

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The phrase "I don't have direct knowledge" has been thrown around often in today's Parliament hearings with Rupert and James Murdoch.

In the conference, British lawmakers grilled the Murdochs on financial details of settlements, facts about earlier phone hacking cases, political influence, and who exactly was responsible for the illegal phone hacking. Rupert Murdoch prefaced the questions with the statement, "This is the humblest day of my life."

He then distanced himself from responsibility, saying that News of the World represented just one percent of his company and that he was not told by editors about large payments to settle phone hacking cases out of court. His answers were slow and he appeared to have trouble remembering details. His son, James, kept trying to jump in and answer questions, but one Parliament member kept redirecting corporate responsibility questions back to Murdoch senior.

When asked, Rupert Murdoch said that he was "not really in touch". He claimed to talk to his senior editors about once a week, but later revised the answer to once a month. According to him, the conversations remained informal, opening with his question, "What's doing?" and stayed on topics of news stories. He insisted that he did not influence the stories. He later revised his account again, saying that he would not normally pay that much attention to British newspapers that make up just 1 percent of his business.

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newspaper/2011/07/the_parliament_hearings_the_humblest_day.php

Author

Florence Pichon

Date

2011-07-19 19:16

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As the toll of casualties from The News of the World scandal increases, the race is on for other publications, owned by various subsidiaries of the Murdoch media empire, to distance or rebrand themselves so as not to find themselves caught in the line of fire.

Over the weekend yet more senior figures, from the worlds of journalism, politics and policing have been further embroiled in the scandal and have paid the price. Former head of News International Rebekah Brooks (who resigned from her post last week) was arrested and later released while Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson has resigned along with Les Hinton, C.E.O. of Dow Jones, who testified in British Parliamentary Inquiries in 2007 and 2009 attesting that phone hacking was the fault of one single reporter and not symptomatic of wider company policy.

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newspaper/2011/07/as_the_toll_of_casualties.php

Author

Katherine Travers

Date

2011-07-18 16:38

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To every action there is an equal and opposite reaction - it seems that Newton's third law is as easily applicable to the media as it is to elementary physics. It is natural that in the aftermath of the News Corp. phone hacking scandal should prompt significant questions about press regulation across the globe. So, the industry is now lying in wait to see exactly what shape these reforms will take.

Even in Australia, Murdoch's birth place, questions have been prompted about the potential for a media review, as Prime Minister Julia Gillard admitted in a speech that recent revelations in Britain have prompted "considerations about the role of the media in our democracy". There have also been calls for reviews of media legislation from the leader of the Australian Greens Party, Bob Brown.

News Ltd., the Australian subsidiary of News Corp., has pre-empted any parliamentary inquiry by announcing an internal investigation into the possibility of similar malpractice. When questioned in an interview with Reuters , CEO and Chairman of News Ltd. John Hartigan claimed to be "Hugely confident that there is no improper or unethical behaviour in our newsrooms."

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newsrooms_and_journalism/2011/07/regulation_regulation_regulation.php

Author

Katherine Travers

Date

2011-07-15 15:21

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Bloggers are the free agents of journalism. Less constrained than any free-lance writer, they have the ability to write exactly what they choose; a blogger is at liberty to be the voice of dissent, to argue for the underrepresented or oppressed and, in short, say what nobody else is going to say.

These privileges arise from uncensored publishing. Although the strength of the blog lies in fact that it can represent an individual voice, how can we know how information is gathered and whether the writer(s) of the blog is employing ethical and honest practices in writing? Is it possible, is it right, to unite the blogoshpere under a code of ethical practice?

Cyber journalist has attempted to do just that, basing their suggestions of the Society of Professional Journalists' Code of Ethics. Evidently, the current News of the World debacle has raised questions about standards of good practice within journalism. With David Cameron and Nick Clegg denoucing the U.K. Press Complaints Commission and calleing for the rules of regulation to be re-written, everyone is asking the question: how do we regulate the press and should bloggers be included?

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newsrooms_and_journalism/2011/07/do_bloggers_need_an_ethical_code.php

Author

Katherine Travers

Date

2011-07-13 13:44

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The Huffington Post is again getting attention over the treatment of its writers. After Ad Age's Simon Demunco wrote about how the Huffington Post had used Ad Age's content but failed to drive significant traffic to the site in exchange, Peter Goodman, the Huffington Post's executive business editor, responded by saying that the criticism was completely valid. He said that the writer of the offending post had been suspended indefinitely.

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web_20/2011/07/huffington_post_suspends_a_writer_for_ov.php

Author

Teemu Henriksson

Date

2011-07-12 17:00

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"Thank you & goodbye", read the headline of the last edition of News of the World, published yesterday. The newspaper quit its operations after a series of revelations, most glaring being the paper's involvement in the hacking of the voice mail of a disappeared 13-year-old girl.

The Sunday paper's closure was announced only four days earlier, and although the British media industry is still recovering from the move, it seems likely that it will be profoundly affected, in one way or the other, by current circumstances.

Last week, the British Prime Minister David Cameron called for the replacement of the Press Complaints Commission (PCC), which he said had failed to act sufficiently in the phone hacking affair, with a new body. The Guardian's Roy Greenslade discussed what this could mean in practice, speculating that the end result would most probably be a body with a new name and staff, but a very similar function to the PCC.

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newspaper/2011/07/the_effects_of_news_of_the_worlds_closur.php

Author

Teemu Henriksson

Date

2011-07-11 18:00

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During health pandemics and environmental catastrophes, a press debate arises every time over the thin line between informative and accurate reporting about risks and preventions and useless, if not damaging, alarmism.

We saw it during the Swine Flu of 2009 and the Avian Flu of 2003, and now it's the time of the E coli bacterium. According to the Guardian, it has killed 22 people and has infected people across 12 countries, causing alarm across Europe.

Information about the geographical origin of the outbreak is so far unclear, as is the information about which vegetable caused the epidemic.

After an initial assumption of a Spanish cucumber origin, the Guardian reported that it seems now that the outbreak was probably caused by bean sprouts grown in Germany, where the cases are centred.

Over the course of the past week, different vegetables were implicated as the source of the infection.

As Libération reported, citing AFP, the German newspapers provided extensive coverage investigating the different alleged origins of the outbreak.

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newsrooms_and_journalism/2011/06/the_e_coli_infection_and_its_coverage_in.php

Author

Federica Cherubini

Date

2011-06-06 16:58

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Bloomberg has launched a new opinion section of its website, Bloomberg View. The site's announcement said that Bloomberg View would feature contributions by regular columnists, op-ed articles and unsigned editorials.

Adweek reported a Bloomberg spokesperson saying that the launch was part of a redesign of the Bloomberg.com website. David Shipley, the New York Times's former op-ed page editor, will oversee the new section, and the full list of columnists and editorial board members can be found here.

Bloomberg's announcement went on to discuss the decision to include unsigned editorials, which for some may seem an old-fashioned feature. It argued that editorials could have an important role in providing the reader with a clear view of world affairs: "The job of an editorial - - is to describe the world clearly and honestly; to test its opinion against legitimate counterarguments."

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newsrooms_and_journalism/2011/05/bloomberg_view_launches_with_columns_op-.php

Author

Teemu Henriksson

Date

2011-05-25 14:02

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