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Global Investigative Journalism Conference

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Reuters AlertNet - SOMALIA: Journalist's killing widely condemned 

Reuters AlertNet - SOMALIA: Journalist's killing widely condemned:

........

"Kate Peyton, 39, who was working for the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), was shot on Wednesday in front of her hotel as she was getting into a car. She was rushed to a local hospital and died there later, a local journalist who was at the scene at the time told IRIN.

"I don't want to speculate about who killed Kate Peyton, but there are certainly groups who have an interest in painting Mogadishu as a dangerous and unstable city," the director of the International Crisis Group's Horn of Africa Project, Matt Bryden, told IRIN.

"The tragic killing of the BBC journalist, whoever is responsible, plays into the hands of those who want to portray Mogadishu as being unsafe as a seat of government and to justify military intervention," Bryden added."

.......

"'The UN deplores this senseless killing of an innocent journalist who was interested in improving the image of the country before the international community,' the acting representative of the UN Secretary-General for Somalia, Babafemi Badejo, told IRIN. 'It is unfortunate this killing took place at this time when the TFG is galvanizing the international community on its desire to relocate.'

The UN-appointed independent expert on the situation of human rights in Somalia, Ghanim Alnajjar, said in a statement on Thursday that 'such attacks on media outlets constitute a serious violation of Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights'.

'A free and independent press which does not fear any party is a main pillar of any political settlement,' he said.

A veteran journalist, Peyton had worked for the BBC since 1993. She was widely travelled on the African continent."

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Reuters AlertNet is a humanitarian news network based around a popular website. It aims to keep relief professionals and the wider public up-to-date on humanitarian crises around the globe.
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Tuesday, February 08, 2005

USATODAY.com - U.S. journalists fare well on test of ethics, study finds 

USATODAY.com - U.S. journalists fare well on test of ethics, study finds:

Recent opinion polls show declining respect for the news media and a growing belief among many Americans that reporters have little regard for ethics.

High-profile journalism scandals involving ethical lapses at CBS News, The New York Times, USA TODAY and other media outlets have fed the public's distrust of reporters.

Just this week, a survey of 112,000 high school students found that 36% say newspapers should get government approval before publishing stories and that 32% say the media enjoy too much freedom.

But in a new study, journalism turns out to be one of the most morally developed professions in the country, ranking behind only seminarians, physicians and medical students."


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ASNE - Can you improve your code of ethics? 

Ethics Cookbook

Readers must know that the newspaper that arrives on their doorstep every morning is there to serve them — not politicians of a certain stripe, not special interest groups. That puts the burden on us — editors, reporters, copy editors, news researchers, photographers, designers, graphic artists and support personnel — to avoid conflicts of interest or even the appearance of such conflicts.

The News & Observer, Raleigh, N.C.


Codes of ethics can help newsroom staffers make sound decisions about the many ethical problems they may encounter in their work. Ethics codes — some newspapers don’t call them that — are one avenue to building journalism credibility.

ASNE asked two leading thinkers to analyze 33 current codes of ethics assembled by the Ethics and Values Committee. Their goal was to highlight the most common — and useful — ingredients of these documents to help editors evaluate their own codes, if they have one, or help editors create one, if they choose. ASNE thanks editors who sent in their codes.

Diane H. McFarlin
executive editor, Sarasota (Fla.) Herald-Tribune
chair, Ethics and Values Committee


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Guidelines and Principles for Reporting on Issues Involving Children 

Preamble


"Informed, sensitive and professional journalism is a key element in any media strategy for improving the quality of reporting concerning human rights and society. The daily challenge to journalists and media organisations is particularly felt in coverage of children and their rights.

Although the human rights of children have only recently been defined in international law, the United Nations Convention on the rights of the Child is already so widely supported that it will shortly become the first universal law of humankind.

To do their job of informing the public effectively, journalists must be fully aware of the need to protect children and to enhance their rights without in any way damaging freedom of expression or interfering with the fabric of journalistic independence. Journalists must also be provided with training to achieve high ethical standards.

The following guidelines for journalists have been drawn up by the International Federation of Journalists on the basis of an extensive survey of codes of conduct and standards already in force across the world. The purpose is to raise media awareness of children's rights issues and to stimulate debate among media professionals about the value of a common approach which will reinforce journalistic standards and contribute to the protections and enhancement of children's rights."


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