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Accountable Journalism shares resources to promote ethical communication

A new website that collects, shares and allows the update of media and ethical codes is designed to encourage ethical communication and greater sensitivity to the link between media regulation and ethics.

by Nick Tjaardstra nick.tjaardstra@wan-ifra.org | November 17, 2015

The largest database of individual media codes from news outlets, industry bodies and media regulating bodies has been made available online via Accountable Journalism, a new website launched this week by The Ethical Journalism Network (EJN) and the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute (RJI) at the University of Missouri.

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.@EJNetwork, RJI launch database http://bit.ly/1RZvqjA 

EJN, RJI launch media codes database to promote ethical communications | RJI

The Ethical Journalism Network and RJI are today launching the Accountable Journalism website, which includes the largest database of media codes in a user-friendly and searchable Web application.

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The new site allows you to search the database for media codes based not just on the code’s originating country but also by topic, type of organization, region and date of creation. For example, search for ‘newspaper’, ‘bias’ in the ‘United Kingdom’ or ‘digital’, ‘user generated content’ in the ‘Middle East’.

The database currently holds over 400 codes, which are mostly codes that are drafted and adopted by an individual outlet (e.g. a newspaper), a sector of the media industry (e.g. broadcasting), a union/ association of journalists, a press council or a press club.

It also contains links to help manage hate speech.

“The relevance of media codes has never been more pertinent than they are in today’s communications landscape,” says Aidan White, director of the EJN. “With the number of voices and the rapid exchanges on the Internet increasing, ethical journalism is needed more than ever to protect the integrity of free expression. It is important work to encourage the development of media codes, and how they relate to acts of journalism.”

To keep this database up-to-date, the project relies on continuous crowdsourcing, and thus the initiators are calling on media professionals to send their code of ethics to contact@accountablejournalism.org.