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Newsletter - March 24 2021
New Chair elected for Ethical Journalism Network
Christopher Hird has been elected the new Chair of the Ethical Journalism Network, replacing Dorothy Byrne who has stepped down after several years at the helm of the UK-based charity.

Hird is the founder and managing director of Dartmouth Films, which has pioneered new ways of funding, producing and distributing documentaries in the UK. A former stockbroker, he worked as a journalist on the Economist, Daily Mail, New Statesman and Sunday Times, where he edited Insight.

After leaving written journalism he was a TV reporter and producer, making programmes for all the main UK networks.

Among his non-executive roles he has been a trustee of Index on Censorship, One World Media and the Centre for Investigative Journalism. He is currently on the board of the Bureau of Investigative Journalism and is a trustee of Theatre Royal Stratford East, the Wincott Foundation and Picture People. He is the author of Investigative Journalism Works: the Mechanism of Impact (2018).

“It is both a thrill and a great responsibility to become the chair of the Ethical Journalism Network at this time. The EJN has done tremendous work in the past in helping journalists in some of the most troubled areas of the world. Ensuring that this work continues is a big responsibility," he said.

"The events of the last year have again and again underlined the importance of building solidarity and support for journalists everywhere committed to honest, independent journalism. With the support of EJN’s board, staff and advisory committees, it will be exciting to make this happen."
Byrne, who leaves the EJN for a role as president of one of the colleges at Cambridge University, said: "The EJN is an organisation of great importance in the building of trust in journalism. The promotion of ethical standards has never been more important. I am stepping down as I have been elected as President of Murray Edwards College at Cambridge University, starting in September. I will also continue to be involved in documentary film making.  I will remain a member of the EJN’s UK Committee."
Challenges to Independent Media in Czech Republic
The Ethical Journalism Network, together with their partners the Evens Foundation and the Fritt Ord Foundation, produced the following report which looks at the challenges that the media are facing in Czech Republic. 

This report follows the publication of reports on Poland, Hungary and Bulgaria and is part of a series of reports that will be published over the coming months on the media situations in Slovakia, Georgia and Ukraine.

Based on a number of interviews conducted with media practitioners in the Czech Republic,  this report finds that the ownership of the most influential news outlets by a handful of billionaire tycoons and politicians including the prime minister has had a chilling effect on journalism in the country. The overall impact of their takeover has been a decline in the credibility and trust of the media among the public and a drop in the Czech Republic’s international press freedom rankings.  The Covid-19 pandemic has exacerbated all  of the problems outlined in this report, particularly in the regions.

Click here to read the report
A year of the global pandemic has highlighted both the immense pressures on journalists and the essential value of ethical journalism in a public health crisis.

At the time of writing, Brazil is the second worst affected country in the world, in terms of cases and deaths, after the United States.

For our journalist colleagues there, the pandemic has brought significant pressures, but also a growing realisation that – even under attack for the work they do – the pursuit of ethical journalism is absolutely crucial in fighting the crisis. 

As well as reporting on the most important story in living memory, one that has brought the health system of their vast country almost to its knees, Brazilian journalists have been verbally attacked by their country’s president Jair Bolsonaro, and faced increased physical and online harassment – in a country that has long been one of the world’s most dangerous for journalists.  In addition, they have been exposed to increased economic pressures that have threatened their jobs and journalism practice, while been forced to navigate a swathe of misinformation.

For this piece, we heard from several Brazilian journalists who shared with us their perspective of how they have navigated the challenges of this year.

We are grateful to our colleagues at the Brazilian Association of Investigative Journalists (ABRAJI) for this Portuguese translation of our infographic for responsible reporting on the pandemic.

Click here to read the piece
Hannah Storm – EJN Director and CEO

The Ethical Journalism Network is an alliance of reporters, editors and publishers aiming to strengthen journalism around the world. We work to build trust in news media through training; education and research because we believe that fact-based communications delivered by well-trained and ethical media professionals are essential to help people better understand the world around them.

The EJN is a coalition of more than 70 groups of journalists, editors, press owners and media support groups from across the globe and we are growing. We are a registered UK charity and supervised by a Board of Trustees and an international network of advisors.

EJN is now on Instagram, follow us @ethicaljournalismnetwork
Copyright © *2021* *Ethical Journalism Network, All rights reserved.

The Ethical Journalism Network is a registered charity in England and Wales. Charity Number 1166150

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