October 18th, 2010
Training in media ethics is essential for practitioners of new media, a seminar in Tokyo heard today. Shoji Motooka of NHK-Japan told the annual ABU/FES Seminar that training was important because, in the digital era, media staff were extremely busy and had little time to consider ethics. The seminar, which looked at Media Ethics and Media Freedom, was jointly organised by the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU) and the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung of Germany.
Agha Nasir of Pakistan’s GEO TV said the problem was not the technology but the people using the new media, many of whom lacked experience. They needed to be taught ethics. The outgoing head of RRI-Indonesia, Parni Hadi, also stressed the importance of training. He said young reporters in Indonesia tended to focus on covering violence and needed training on issues such as peace journalism.
Other speakers stressed the importance of verifying content found on the Internet before using it, to ensure its accuracy. “Journalist ethics is undergoing a difficult transition from traditional ethics to a mixed media ethics,” Anothai Udomsilp of Thai PBS said. Adelheid Feilcke of Germany’s Deutsche Welle said traditional broadcasters who were now using new media were having to learn how to handle instant criticism and insults from users.
Participants agreed that accuracy, not immediacy, remained the first priority for broadcasters despite the ability of new media practitioners to post news online almost instantly.
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