Advocacy Journalism
print the article

Related articles
  1. Annual CNN African Journalist Award
  2. Innovative thinking in news about children
  3. One of the most important Catholic newspapers in Canada stops its publication
  4. Palestinian universities to pilot model course on safety of journalists
  5. EJN launches new migration reporting guidelines
  6. Australasian Catholic Press Association : Awards for Excellence 2016
  7. Pope asks journalists to be professional and to respect human dignity
  8. International Day for Universal Access to Information
  9. The Ethical Journalism Network (EJN)
  10. Protecting threatened Journalists: the Journalists-in-Residence Programme
  11. Interview of the new CNS editor in chief
  12. AMECEA social communications department acquires tablets for online correspondents
  13. Burundian journalist receives the Peter Mackler Prize
  14. Register for the European Media Freedom Conference
  15. Tanzanian media professionals asked to be more compassionate
  16. RSF launches its campaign “Some wins don’t deserve medals”
  17. 2016 International Press Freedom Awards
  18. Malawian journalists must report on resilience policies
  19. Spheres: Journal for Digital Cultures
  20. UNESCO workshop: Inform, Engage, Investigate: Media and humanitarians in crisis situations
  21. RSF calls on Maldives to stop dismantling critical media
  22. Journalism in Conflict and Post-Conflict Conditions: Worldwide Perspectives
  23. CBC News programmes on Human Rights wins CJF Jackman Award for Excellence in Journalism
  24. Catholic Relief Services (CRS) Promoting Investigative journalism
  25. Journalists in Indonesia told to be messengers of peace
  26. Manipur to miss newspapers for month as agency is forced shut
  27. The Digital News Report 2016
  28. The use of drones in journalism
  29. RSF report on Syrian journalists
  30. 25 June 2016 – 4th edition of the #ImpactJournalism Day
  31. Reform of the Libyan media sector
  32. Scholarship for journalists from countries in crisis or at war
  33. IWMF Announces The 2016 Courage In Journalism Award Winners
  34. Radio journalist received award for best Filipino media practicioner
  35. Achievement Award to Tanzanian woman journalist
  36. Defending freedom of the press in Pakistan
  37. Media and journalism in Peace Work
  38. Online reporting: Telling Africa’s story on the web
  39. New network to promote African women
  40. "Poor journalism" is the biggest threat to media freedom
  41. World Press Freedom Day: SIGNIS Statement
  42. AMARC celebrates World Press Freedom Day 2016
  43. The African Free Press newspaper
  44. The 2016 World Press Freedom Index
  45. Empowering people through citizen journalism
  46. The good Sheperd: new journal of Pastoral Theology
  47. South Sudanese media are concerned about freedom of expression
  48. Bangladesh’s Catholic weekly turns 75
  49. Media professionals dedicated to raising gender awareness in China
  50. Korean Catholic weekly to launch e-newspaper
  51. Indian bishop urges media to uphold spiritual values, integrity
  52. Violence against female journalists
  53. Scholarships for Journalists
  54. Zambian Church urges Catholic media to be non-partisan on elections
  55. Archbishop Odama calls on the media to be proactive to ensure peaceful general elections
  56. Give Journalists freedom for South Sudan to grow, says Bishop Santo
  57. New edition of safety guide for journalists in high-risk environments
  58. New presidential decree to support media freedom in Afghanistan
  59. US presidential election: a rocky road for journalists
  60. UEC Chairman calls on the media to be proactive to ensure peaceful 2016 general elections
  61. Engaged journalism at Journalism Schools
  62. Indonesian Catholic weekly celebrates 70 years
  63. SOS Media Burundi
  64. Supporters of slain Sri Lankan journalist call for justice
  65. Good journalism vital for democracy, says Ecuadorian President
  66. What is soft censorship today? A report on the press in Macedonia
  67. Media leaders conference on Safety of journalists
  68. Paulines Publications opens new centre in Nairobi
  69. Reporters Without Borders publishes 2015 Round-up
  70. 10th anniversary of Agahi, the first weekly Catholic magazine in Urdu
  71. Open Earth: The beginning of global GeoJournalism
  72. Radio and newspaper ban make social media first choice for news in Burundi
  73. MISA awards journalists for excellence in reporting on children’s rights
  74. Kerala Jesuits publish new magazine to encourage thinking
  75. The Tablet, the 175-year British catholic journal.
  76. Kenyan women ’ignored’ in local media
  77. Professional and citizen journalism: a not so evident relationship
  78. Japanese newspaper readers help Catholic priest to provide education in rural Cambodia
  79. Floods stop publication of century-old Indian newspaper
  80. Catholic Church in Ethiopia organises media workshop on Laudato sì
  81. The 2015 Titus Brandsma Media Awards
  82. The fourth World Journalism Education Congress
  83. Media house attacked over derogatory cartoon in India
  84. National Geographic magazine’s cover story reveals Mary’s appeal
  85. In times of trouble: how media codes strengthen free expression
  86. CPJ honours Ethiopian journalists for their courage
  87. ’’Special Fund for Media Development’’ in Africa to be set up
  88. Women not portrayed equally by news media
  89. Indigenous journalists are changing the news in Saskatchewan
  90. Uganda Episcopal Conference held training for journalists before Papal visit
  91. Ethiopian journalists asked to promote care and protection of the environment
  92. Pacific media urged to promote gender equality
  93. Research: How Europe’s newspapers reported the migration crisis
  94. Indian newspapers protest against Assam Rifles with blank front pages
  95. Indonesia still obstructs foreign media in Papua
  96. Reporters on the Borders Network
  97. Call for responsible journalism in Kenya for Papal’s visit
  98. Media restrictions on Australia’s asylum seeker policy
  99. Catholic press struggles to earn trust in Australia
  100. Consolidating Peace Journalism through radio in Uganda
  101. New online publication: journal for religion, film and media
  102. International Federation of Journalists has a new general secretary
  103. Is journalism under threat?
  104. A new movement for ethical journalism is needed
  105. The rise of popular factual television in the Asia-Pacific region
  106. Global campaign to end impunity for crimes against journalists
  107. UCAN reporter recognized with environmental journalism award
  108. Media pluralism in danger: Monitoring Media Ownership in Colombia
  109. Pictures, refugees and a Jesuit photographer
  110. “In the eyes of the other”: photographic collection of Salesian Missions in Ecuador
  111. Cartoonists, media and ethics in Myanmar
  112. Press councils from South East Europe gather to discuss media ethics
  113. Bangladesh criticized for impunity over blogger murders
  114. Catholic development commission trains journalists on climate resilient policies in Malawi
  115. The literature Nobel Prize goes to a journalist
  116. The media’s role in fostering interfaith ties in Indonesia
  117. Catholic journalists seek greater impact in northern India
  118. Sri Lanka : The Gnanartha Pradeepaya celebrates its 150th birthday
  119. China: Pope Francis and Xi Jinping’s US trip media coverage
  120. Italy : The slow demise of Catholic magazines
  121. Wazala - a new Christian press agency in the Middle East
  122. Australasian Catholic Press Association celebrated 60th Anniversary
  123. Philippines : Bishop lauds arrest of environmental journalist’s alleged killers
  124. US : Papal Visit and Comprehensive media coverage
  125. US : Chicago archdiocese appointed Commonweal editor as new director of media
  126. Malaysia : Catholic newspaper and self censorship
  127. Liberia: Catholic archdiocese launches media programme in schools
  128. Standards of journalism education
  129. SIGNIS Asia reflects on journalism
  130. Philadelphia: 200 journalists attend seminar on Pope Francis
  131. 2015 Egan Journalism Fellowship Calls for Applications
  132. SIGNIS Services Rome Presents the Reporter Kit
  133. IWMF Launches the Howard G. Buffett Fund for Women Journalists

A new movement for ethical journalism is needed

London, Brussels, October 26th, 2015 (SIGNIS/Ethical-Journalism Network/Aidan White) In early October press councils around the world were urged to join a new global programme that aims to put ethical journalism (EJ) in the frontline of the fight for free expression. In a keynote address to members of the Alliance of Independent Press Councils in Europe and other press council leaders meeting in Vienna the Director of the Ethical Journalism Network, (EJN) Aidan White said a new movement to combat propaganda, misinformation and online hate is urgently needed.

Crisis of communication

JPEG - 9 kb
Aidan White

“We face a crisis of communications caused by political spin, corporate domination of the worldwide web and online abuse,” said White. “But the answer is not to draft new laws which could open the door to new limits on free speech.” Instead, said White, the Ethical Journalism Network (EJN) is working on a new programme to use models of ethical journalism as an inspiration for public policy aiming to improve public communications, particularly online.

He was speaking just a day after the EJN Board, meeting in Oslo with Norwegian media leaders, agreed a new programme to promote co-operation with universities and journalism training schools and to open up a new debate about the need for responsible public communications.

“Free expression around the world is under siege from increasing propaganda, corporate and political spin and an open information landscape dominated by the Internet which has shown itself to be as harmful as it can be a force for good,” he said. In the face of these threats he said there is an urgent need to strengthen the craft of journalism as an antidote to the scourge of misinformation from terrorists, political extremists, government snoopers, and online predators.

Promoting free expression no contradiction with promoting responsible communication

The open information crisis has already been highlighted by the founder of the Worldwide Web Tim Berners-Lee who has called for a new “Magna Carta” for the web – to protect the web from being overwhelmed by governments and corporations. “He’s right,” said White, “but we must be careful that we do not invite governments to intervene with new laws and restrictions, that could make matters worse. Instead, we should promote ethical journalism as an inspiration for more responsible and more reliable public communications.”

He said that there is no contradiction between promoting free expression and at the same time promoting responsible communications. He challenged some free speech advocates who argue that codes of ethics in journalism, even when they are voluntary, could lead to unacceptable restrictions on free speech. “I beg to differ,” he said.

“Promoting ethical communications at all levels is good for democracy and free expression.” “Of course it would be absurd to suggest that we should have the migration of journalistic ethics across the whole of the public information landscape,” he argued, “That would be ridiculous, after all the values of impartiality and independence might be essential for journalism, but they are not appropriate for the wider open information landscape where bias, prejudice and even offensive opinions are essential characteristic of free expression and must be protected.” But he said that some of the key values of journalism are also relevant in for all Internet users involved in public communications.

“Sticking to the facts and avoiding deceptive handling of the truth is important for journalism, for instance, but isn’t that also essential for political speech and corporate communications?

“And isn’t the need to show humanity and to avoid incitement to hatred or violence or discrimination against individuals or vulnerable minorities, which is a cardinal virtue of journalism, also vital to ensuring respectful communications online?” He said such a programme would help tackle some urgent problems – such as online misogyny and increasing Internet abuse of women who figure in the news as well as the surge in information hate around the migration and refugee crisis.

A new programme of Ethical journalism

White says that the new EJN programme of ethical journalism for free expression would bring three benefits.

“First, it will strengthen respect for existing good practice in journalism and the fight for ethics and effective self-regulation in the news business; secondly, it will open the door to new dialogues with the audience on how to improve the quality of public communications; and thirdly, it will help promote alternatives to new laws that arbitrarily draw red lines that limit free expression,” he said.

The EJN strategy in the coming year will be to forge new links with universities and journalism training schools to produce manuals and updated materials on the values of ethical journalism.

Part of the work will include opening new debates among journalists, media academics and the public at large on the need for ethical and respectful communications.

He said that already plans are in place to launch this work in London in association with City University, in Hong Kong with the Hong Kong Baptist University an in Palestine with a consortium of universities that teach journalism on the West Bank and in Gaza.

Part of the programme includes the launch and development of a new global database on journalism codes of ethics and media accountability systems and an ethical journalism forum in co-operation with the Missouri School of Journalism in the United States.

“This will be a practical programme,” said White. “It will respond to the challenge of the digital age to make journalism accountable, but free. It will promote free expression in a framework of self-restraint and respect for others.”

He said EJN supporters such as the World Association of Newspapers, the International Press Institute and the European Federation of Journalists are already vigorous supporters of developing ethical campaigns and he called upon press councils to add their weight to the campaign.

“The information crisis concerns us all,” said White. “If we join forces we can create an information agenda for the digital age that strengthens quality journalism, and at the same time reinforces free expression values for everyone.”


print the article