"We must walk the walk not just talk the talk. We need to hold ourselves accountable as well as those we report on. We have a responsibility to the audiences we serve and to the wider public to be truthful and accountable, transparent and independent, to root our work in humanity and the basic principles of ethical journalism as we educate ourselves and others about the role of journalists and what is at stake when press freedom suffers."
David Kaye: UN Special Rapporteur on the Promotion and Protection of the Right to Freedom of Opinion and Expression
Alastair King-Smith: Coordinator of the UK Foreign Office’s Global Campaign for Media Freedom
Getachew Engida: Former Deputy-Director General of UNESCO, Distinguished Professor of Leadership & Management, Development Institute (CALDI); Tsinghua University, Beijing, PR China.
Elias Meseret Taye: Journalist and Lawyer, Correspondent for The Associated Press (AP) to Ethiopia and the African Union (AU)
Racheal took the opportunity to highlight to the impact of the EJN's "Turning the page onhate" campaign, which was launched in Kigali five years ago to mark the 20-year anniversary of the Rwandan genocide.
In a world plagued by censorship, press freedom violations and propaganda, the campaign provides tools for reporters to help them judge what type of rhetoric is acceptable and what is intolerable. The campaign has been active not just in East Africa but other parts of the continent, the Middle East, Europe and Asia.
As part of the campaign, the EJN create a 5-point test for journalists to use to identify hate speech and take into consideration the wider context in which people express themselves.
UNESCO, the Council of Europe and other institutions have supported the campaign by translating the infographic of the 5-point test into over 25 languages.
This year’s EJN magazine hears from journalists in Honduras, Philipines and South Sudan about how they try to uphold standards in environments where ethical journalism can get you attacked or even killed.
- Honduran investigative journalist, Wendy Funes, writes about women in the front line of journalism: "For female journalists there is a barely visible, unequal drama, in which they are generally victims of forced displacement, sexual harassment, and smear campaigns on the basis of their appearance, age, and sexuality, not to mention murders, attempted murders and the murder of their children."
- South Sudanese journalist, Gai Alier John, writes about the muzzling of independent journalism in South Sudan: "Unless the world rises up against this intimidation and ends impunity for the enemies of a free press, journalism will soon lose all meaning and purpose in South Sudan."
- Award-winning photojournalist, Raffy Lerma, writes about photographing the drug war in the Philippines: “I don’t dwell on the risks of my job. It’s my obligation as a Filipino. I live here. These are my countrymen. Thousands of people are getting killed and what’s sadder for me is how many Filipinos don’t see anything wrong with it. There are other solutions to the drug problem. And I hope that when they see these images, they do something about it. I hope in some way my work can help end this dark period.
- Only nine percent of humankind lives in a country where press freedom is good (RSF)
- Journalists see social media as biggest challenge to news industry in 2019, survey finds (Press Gazette)
- On World Press Freedom Day, nothing fake about rising dangers (WAN-IFRA)
EJN Annual report 2018/19: Ethics and the Fight for the Future of Journalism
Our year in numbers:
Over the last year, the EJN reached far more than the participants through our core activities than ever before.
We carried out 166 programme-related actions (50 more than the same period last year) where the EJN had direct contact with our target groups – journalists and media executives; media academics and students of journalism; policymakers and civil society groups totalling over 7,100 individuals.
Summary of EJN Activities 2018-2019
The major EJN achievements during the past year include:
Establishing with Turkish media partners the ground-breaking Coalition for Ethical Journalism in Turkey, proving that even in hostile conditions ethical journalism is a source of solidarity for news media;
Supporting and preparing policy on media ethics as a bulwark for democracy through the Declaration for Information and Democracy launched at the Paris Peace Forum (November 2018) and endorsed by a number of governments;
Preparing a blueprint for future journalistic work through a course on Ethics and Data Journalism that will bring artificial intelligence and the social intelligence of journalists together in a new values-based framework for media work;
Working with media across the Western Balkans to identify trustworthy and ethical media leading, in March, 2019, to the Launch of the Balkan Network of Trusted Media, supported by more than 40 leading news media;
In the UK submitting evidence to the high-profile, government-commissioned Cairncross Review, which proposes a radical rethinking of how to fund journalism – particularly at a local level – and points the way to a sustainable future for journalism;
Working with Chinese media, journalists and media academics to develop practical tools to raise awareness of ethics and self-regulation;
Successfully launching the EJN’s Ethical Media Audits – a tool to improve transparency and governance in the ownership and administration of media – with an independent news leader in Jordan;
Opening the first phase of a two-year project to promote independent journalism in Poland, Hungary, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic and Slovakia in partnership with the Evens Foundation.
The strengthening of our programme with UNESCO and the European Federation of Journalists to support independent media in the Western Balkans targeting self-regulation and good governance. This year activities were focused on Albania, Bosnia, Montenegro, Serbia and Turkey;