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Media Ethics

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Grace Bayley

on 18 January 2016

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Transcript of Media Ethics

Ethics of
Reporting Conflict

Journalism of Attachment
Media Ethics
What is an
embedded journalist?
Lizzie Bailey
Grace Bayley
Mark Hardaker
"Those journalists prepared to get on side will become “embeds” and receive every assistance."
"Those who try to follow an independent path will be shunned."
So what do you do?
Calls for ‘Journalism of Attachment’
"care as well as know"
"will not stand neutrally between good and evil, right and wrong."
Greatest War Reporters
(Martin Bell - Daily Mail 2011)
Greatest War Reporters
(Martin Bell - Daily Mail 2011)
- Journalists begin to say what they think ought to have happened, rather than what did.
Critics say:
-Judgement takes over from forensic investigation of interesting unpleasant facts.
I know I am right because I care.
A little bit of history...
According to former war reporter Martin Bell , two of the greatest ever war reporters were...
500 journalists were embedded with the US military in the Iraq war.
'Embeds' had to sign a contract:
No details reported about future operations
No mobile phones or satellite phones
No travelling in their own vehicles
No photography showing an enemy prisoner
Agree to honour news embargoes (blackouts)

"US and the UK governments both complained that embedded journalists were only being provided a snapshot of the war."
"Journalists complained that they were embedded with units that weren’t seeing any action."
"Some crossed the line of objectivity, by wearing military gear, including weapons, and by pointing out snipers to soldiers."
What are the ethical challenges of embedded versus independent reporting?

1. Ethical challenges you may face as an embedded reporter?
2. Ethical challenges you may face as an independent reporter?

*5 minute exercise*
CNN effect

The relationship between television
journalism and diplomacy -

CNN effect’suggests the idea that real-time communications can provoke major responses from domestic audiences to global events. (Robinson 2002)

The Peace Journalism Option
Images source:
The National Press Photographers Association (NPPA) says: "As journalists, we believe the guiding principle of our profession is accuracy; therefore, we believe it is wrong to alter the content of a photograph in any way that deceives the public."
"While art may be manipulated, information may not"
(Patterson and Wilkins) From Media Ethics: Issues and Cases 1994
Faking it?
Images source:
Images source:
Christina Lamb, former foreign correspondent
for the Sunday Times, speaks about the ethics
of reporting conflict.

Kate Adie
John Simpson
Martin Bell
Rebecca Ricks
Problems with embedding
(Phillip Knightley)
Saving Private Jessica
Sheila Brown:
‘From the Death of the Real to the Reality of Death' (2004)
Ethical dilemma?
The year is 2013.

You are a reporter working for The Sunday Times.

You are sent to Zimbabwe to speak to villagers about unemployment, political problems and repression.

It is illegal for reporters to be in the country.

If villagers are seen speaking to foreign journalists their lives could be at risk.

How do you get your story and what are your concerns?

In Kylie Tuosto’s article, she concludes that the relationship between media and military is a complicated situation.
Perhaps it is not an elaborate scheme meant to deceive the public, but rather the result of primitive human instinct.
In conflict situations it may be impossible to remain unbiased, impossible to not take sides, impossible to remain independent of the man on your right.
“There is a balance to be struck between the demands of truth and the danger of desensitizing people.”

"With some news stories a sense of shock is part of a full understanding of what has happened. But the more often viewers are shocked, the more it will take to shock them.”
BBC 2005
(Knightley, 1989)
The Social media revolution
“Media’s international news coverage shrinks, the market for citizen journalism from around the world will likely increase in the future as amateurs play an even larger role in providing audiences with first-hand information about the world. But just as with reality television shows, this citizen content may lead audiences to believe they are viewing something more authentic and unfiltered than they are likely to be actually seeing.” Melissa wall (Citizen Journalism, Global Perspective)

Would the 'Saving Private Jessica' case be reported the same way with today's rise of the new media and social media?
SWU Radio slide (Mark)
She argues : "A journalist will censor the reality of war because it exposes the public to its brutality."
"The families of soldiers want to learn of their loved one's death in a respectful way."
The relationship between governments and reporters
Rupert Murdoch

Strong supporter of the war and wanted an 'on-screen' live war coverage day and night
“Brilliant strategy because it’s all about relationships.”
Katie Delahaye Paine
'Bystanders journalism'
Reporting from a safe distance away - detached
Photo 1:
Photo 2:
Photo 3:
Photo 4:
Photo 5:
Femi Oke, journalist and host of Al Jazeera’s social media show “The Stream”, has described the Arab Spring in 2011 as a historic period in social media.
“Three years ago was the Arab Spring revolution in Tunisia and Egypt. What Al Jazeera noticed was there were lots of communications on social media, especially Facebook and Twitter, about protests and campaigns, the conversations were happening on social media,”.
Full transcript