Ethics and Diversity in the Media: We Are Learning to Be Responsible Journalists

A professional journalist knows how to separate opinions from facts, respect the balance of sources, avoid stereotypes and discrimination, demonstrate tolerance and critical thinking and, last but not least, abide by the Journalist’s Code of Conduct. These are just some of the fundamental principles learned by the SAJ students at the course of Ethics and Diversity in the Media. Nadine Gogu, executive director of the Independent Journalism Center (IJC), was the one who worked with the students.

The course lasted five days, during which the students approached various topics directly related to the basic principles of ethics and deontology. Together with the trainer, students discussed about the confidentiality of sources, about how to protect people in vulnerable situations in news reports and articles, and about how to avoid explicit obscene language and morbid images.

The students also discussed issues such as privacy vs. public interest, manipulation, (in)tolerance and (non-)discrimination. The young people took note of the elements of false news and of how they can be traced.

Another topic addressed at the course was coverage of diversity in the media. For a better understanding of this phenomenon, Nadine Gogu invited Angelica Frolov, Lobby and Advocacy Program Coordinator of the GENDERDOC-M Center, to come and meet the students. The guest spoke to young people about the rights of LGBT people and how one can avoid discriminatory terminology in the media. “The society must be educated and properly informed. We need a critical mass of people. Here, journalists must intervene. When we understand that diversity is natural, things will change,” Angelica Frolov said.

At the end of the course, Nadine Gogu recommended to the students to do their job honestly, fairly, and to constantly keep ethical principles in mind. “Be honest with yourself, your readers, listeners and viewers. Weigh every decision you make and take responsibility,” the trainer added.

The next course starting at the School of Advanced Journalism is Radio Journalism.