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XENOPHOBIA AND DISINFORMATION - AN ISSUE FOR THE MEDIA
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  • Issues Raised by Journalists
  • Tuesday, March 14, 2006

    Media Ethics Code

    Media Ethics Code in English, Arabic and Hebrew:
    1. Write the facts as you see them

    2. A story without a source is a source of trouble

    3. A source is not a source when the story is based on rumour

    4. When in doubt, cut it out

    5. Prejudge no one

    6. Be objective

    7. Divorce comment from news and label it as such

    8. Commentators are not exempt from the duty to be accurate

    9. Never incite racial or religious division

    10. Enlighten, lest we fail to understand one another
    1 - قل الحقيقة كما هي
    2 - الأخبار من غير مصدر، مصدر للمتاعب
    3 - الإشاعة ليست مصدراً للحقيقة
    4 - احرص على الحقيقة، واقطع الشك باليقين
    5 - ابتعد عن الأحكام المسبقة
    6 - كن موضوعيا
    7 - افصل التعليق عن الخبر
    8 - توخى الدقة
    9 - لا للعنصرية
    10 - اعرف الآخر لتفهمه
    כתוב את העובדות כפי שאתה רואה אותן
    סיפור ללא מקור – מקור לצרות
    מקור אינו מקור, כאשר הידיעה מבוססת על שמועה
    כאשר יש לך ספק, בעובדות תסתפק
    אל תדון איש במשפט קדום
    היה אוביקטיבי
    תבחין בין דעה וידיעה
    פרשנים אינם פטורים מחובת הדיוק
    לעולם אל תסית למחלוקת גזענית ודתית
    הסבר והבהר, שמא לא נבין איש את רעהו

    2 Comments:

    Anonymous Tim Pendry said...

    Final thoughts on the “ethics code”:

    Tim P.

    Media Ethics Code
    Media Ethics Code in English, Arabic and Hebrew:

    1. Write the facts as you see them

    Surely, if you invite people to see facts as they see them, you are inviting their subjectivity about the facts themselves instead of about the interpretation on how they fit together. The danger here is that the difference between reportage and opinion is elided. Surely just “Write the facts before you interpret them”

    2. A story without a source is a source of trouble

    Agreed but it does not go far enough because there is no judgement in this about the reliability of the source. Surely, not only most a story have a source but the source has to be assessed as reliable – so “A story without a reliable source is a source of trouble”.

    3. A source is not a source when the story is based on rumour

    Surely this merely repeats 2. above as amended since a reliable source, by definition, is not presenting rumour.

    4. When in doubt, cut it out

    Agreed

    5. Prejudge no one

    Agreed

    6. Be objective

    Agreed – if philosophically unsound. Better perhaps: “Keep asking yourself if you are being objective”

    7. Divorce comment from news and label it as such

    Agreed – but really a gloss on 1. above and they could be conflated.

    8. Commentators are not exempt from the duty to be accurate

    Agreed

    9. Never incite racial or religious division

    Agreed but with the caveat that it remains legitimate (surely) to point out when one racial, ethnic (you miss this term) or religious group is attempting to exploit or hurt another.

    10. Enlighten, lest we fail to understand one another

    A bit woolly this one. Doesn’t really say anything.

    WHAT IS MISSING

    A tougher line on sources, my old hobby horse – “protect your sources only when they need protecting” and “reward attributability and on the record statements” and “demand institutional attributability while you protect private confidentiality” and “ask for corroboration and evidence from your source” and “tell your readers what your source’s interest is likely to be”

    I would add “report rumour as rumour and say what facts are needed to allay it when rumour is a material fact in policy-making”

    Wed Apr 05, 06:55:00 pm GMT  
    Blogger William said...

    Tim,
    Thank you for these helpful comments. We really need to re-examine this whole media ethics code business - preferably before the next media awards !

    Tue Oct 03, 03:04:00 pm GMT  

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