Going Global to Solve the Ethical Crisis
The ethical journalism session danced lightly over a range of tricky issues, but none can of them can be ignored.
The session concluded that we can never let governments off the hook for the range of threats that journalists face, but many of the ethical problems in the newsroom are self-inflicted.
The contributions from Khady Cisse, Ziliania Otero and Georges Sadaka were revealing about how media corruption, political bias and incompetent reporting provide a massive global challenge to the media development community.
If we want a journalism fit for democracy we will have to invest in more ethical training and more credible forms of accountability that will build public trust. That will not be easy, but we can make a start through practical co-operation.
On that note it was good to sit with a group after lunch that rolled out some ideas for follow-up work on overturning the recent Hungarian media law which is little more than a charter for political control of journalism.
One idea is to draft a counter-manifesto setting out the case for an independent and credible accountability system that will respect ethics and keep political hands off the controls of media. Given the need to build a culture of responsible journalism in the new world of information it’s an idea that should be taken up across the globe.