Ethical Journalism NOW

OK I’m going to take a wee break from translating stuff because it is a bit of a head-wrecker. But before I do, given what the previous post was saying about journalists and media, it is worthwhile noting this development here -Periodismo ético YA- Ethical Journalism Now! – a platform that developed out of assemblies at Ópera in Madrid (a short dander away from the Puerta del Sol), under the general 15-M movement, but independent of any other assembly. Here’s its manifesto. Of course it is of no relevance in Ireland, where the power of media outlets owned by Denis O’Brien, Tony O’Reilly and Rupert Murdoch, the canny property market investments of the Irish Times, a public broadcaster that relies on sponsorship from investment banks for its current affairs programmes, among other things, are reliable indicators that journalists are unfettered and undimmed in their commitment to providing the public with the truth. But I am sharing it all the same.

MANIFIESTO PLATAFORMA PERIODISMO ético YA

“All reporting should be an honest search for the truth” (David Randall)

  1. We demand that communications media give coverage to reporting content that helps the citizen to understand the reality around us, and to have a better critical consciousness. For different motives, there is a diminishing presence in communications media of: special envoys and correspondents, specialists in science and technology, education and culture, and other areas that contribute to a better informed citizenry and therefore a more free society.
  2. We refuse to spread propagandistic reports: hidden advertisement, infomercials, or to accept money, gifts, privileges or perks of any type. Neither the advertisers nor the advertisement can be allowed to infuence the reporting journalism that gets published.
  3. Independent media are neessary to maintain reporting plurality in light of the domination of mass media. We believe it is necessary to protect the work of freelance journalists, alternative media, media 2.0 and citizen journalism. All these exercise their profession and the reporting of news without the pressure and interference that exists in the large media groups.
  4. We consider it essential to establish effective limits to the merging of communications media. Its consolidation in the hands of financial instutions and the powerful places freedom of information in grave danger. This is why we have deemed it necessary to develop a Media Observatory so that the citizenry is made aware how and by whom it is being informed. Furthermore, we demand the establishment of a public, independent and participative Media Observatory that strengthens the right of people to plural and truthful reporting.
  5. We demand access to public information. It is a fundamental right of all persons and is recognised in international legislation and jurisprudence. Spain is one of the few European countries that does not have a specific law that regulates this matter. We understand access to public information as inherent in the right of freedom of expression.
  6. No to the privatization of public media. These should be politically independent, objective and plural, access to employment in these media should be equal opportunity, and its financing should be both transparent and sustainable.
  7. We reject the working precarity of communications professionals. The practice of journalism has an added value: truthful, independent and accountable information is not a normal good, it is fundamental for the full development of democracy. We do not want eternal interns nor to have to do without veteran journalists, among other examples of labour abuses.
  8. We demand the creation of a Journalist Statute and of editorial councils that make news professionals participants in the editorial line of the outlet for which they work.
  9. We consider fundamental the effective application of a Deontological Code that assures good practice in the work of reporting and recognises the social commitment of every journalist.
  10. We request a greater development of the conscience clause that protects the independence of the journalist. Moreover we demand that the organisations and associations of journalism professionals stand up for quality reporting, and not merely the working conditions of the workers.

This manifesto has been developed by citizens and news professionals inspired by the 15M movement, agreed in the Ethical Journalism Platform NOW assembly. It will be presented to the General Assembly of the Acampada Sol

Agreed through consensus of popular and open assembly that took place in ‘Ópera’ (plaza de Isabel II) in Madrid, 30th May 2011.

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3 Responses to “Ethical Journalism NOW”


  1. 1 Tirnanog33 June 3, 2011 at 4:35 pm

    Don’t be to harsh on the Irish media.We have many good journalists and good journalism, despite RTE’s occasional use as an uncritical mouthpiece for the government’s propaganda machine..

    • 2 CMK June 3, 2011 at 7:23 pm

      ‘Many’ good journalists? ‘Some’, perhaps, possibly, on a good day, under a favourable light. But ‘many’, no, I don’t think so. Funnily enough most of the few decent journalists in this state work for RTE, despite, I agree, RTE’s role as an uncritical purveyor of state propaganda.

  2. 3 Hugh Green June 3, 2011 at 4:59 pm

    There are decent journalists working for all the outlets I mention above. It’s more a question of the general conditions under which they operate.


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