Activity 3: What are the responsibilities of the media?

Jon Fasman, Anne McElvoy, Chris Lockwood and Alexandra Suich-Bass are journalists at The Economist newspaper. Below, they answer three key questions.

What is responsible reporting?

Jon Fasman

Jon says...

  • Tell the truth
  • Check your information. Be suspicious when something sounds good to you and lines up with what you believe - make sure it's accurate and not just something you want to be true
Anne Mcelvoy.JPG

Anne says...

  • Report accurately
  • People are fleeing from trauma and have been badly affected once. What you write about them can have a big impact on them so be accurate

Why is responsible reporting important during a refugee crisis?

Chris Lockwood

Chris says...

  • Reporting can be powerful. It forces governments to react and encourages people to open up their homes and send money to help

What advice would you give to someone who is watching or listening to the news during a refugee crisis?

alexanddra suich-bass

Alexandra says...

  • Not all of the news is accurate. Note the outlet, check it's professional and reliable
  • Check social media posts to see if they are accurate or misleading. Are there fake videos or edited clips?
  • We can get overwhelmed by the news so take a break and talk to someone if you are upset or concerned

You can hear the whole interview by clicking here.

Should there by any consequences for newspapers who do not report responsibly during a refugee crisis? Add your thoughts below.

Comments (15)

  • Manor Park logo quiet_guineapig | Manor Park Primary Academy | United Kingdom
    05 May 2022

    Hi everyone, I'm quiet_guineapig from MPPA. To answer the question, I believe anyone being irresponsible whan reporting should be sentenced to court, or at least lose their privilege of being a reporter so that they learn their lesson. I also believe they should be sued at least £250,000 or more depending on what they have reported and the severity of it. In conclusion, I think no one should ever be irresponsible when it comes to danger for anyone!

    Reply to this comment
    1. avatar.jpg James @ KPMG
      quiet_guineapig's comment 06 May 2022

      Thank you, quiet_guineapig. You clearly feel strongly about reporters being responsible.

      How would you define "irresponsible" in law, so that a judge can decide whether a reporter has broken the law or not?

      For example, if the reporter states incorrect information that they thought was right, is that irresponsible in a world of propaganda?

      Reply to this comment
  • British Council.jpg trusting_pear | Shohour High Public School | Lebanon
    05 May 2022

    I believe that yes there should be consequences for newspapers who don't publish about the refugee crisis as an overloaded topic. And to give my point a touch of authenticity I relied on internet:
    https://rm.coe.int/1680706b00
    If you check the Executive summary 4: Media Trends, you can tell how media can be a weapon used to spread hate speech throughout the European Refugee Crisis. However, if you check Section I: Context of Mediacoverage of the "Refugee Crisis", which proves that regarding media policies it's a must to have a coverage on this topic as media plays an essential role in public representation of unequal social relations and the play of cultural power.

    Reply to this comment
  • British Council.jpg willing_imagination | Marka Prep. Girls School 2 | Jordan
    05 May 2022

    I will try as much as possible to answer the question, and it is related to journalistic honesty and integrity, as the events must be mentioned as they occurred and to ensure their authenticity, as well as the sources that give this information must be trusted. Professional honesty in the refugee issue or others. The person who publishes misleading information must be held accountable, as publishing such information may endanger the lives of others. Therefore, careful publication must be taken or the situation is dealt with honestly and ethically.

    Reply to this comment
  • British Council.jpg willing_imagination | Marka Prep. Girls School 2 | Jordan
    07 May 2022

    Garage for refugees. It was the name of a group created on Facebook by Syrian refugees in 2012, joined by tens of thousands of Syrian refugees. Its goal was to exchange experiences and information about countries of asylum and ways to adapt to a new life, and to learn about work and learning opportunities for refugees.
    The establishment of this group came out of the need to know information that many refugees do not know, especially in the absence of professional media interested in covering service issues related to refugees, or to facilitate their interaction with host communities.
    http: // instute: aljazeera.net

    Reply to this comment
  • British Council.jpg fabulous_flight | Marka Prep. Girls School 2 | Jordan
    07 May 2022

    Yes, financial fines must be imposed on them or they be suspended from their work temporarily until they respect their working life

    Reply to this comment
    1. Serena @ Arup
      fabulous_flight's comment 12 May 2022

      fabulous_flight, great work getting involved. Firstly, please could you clarify what you mean by ' they respect their working life'? Secondly, some people may say that although some journalism may be irresponsible it is still freedom of speech. Where do you think the line is for fining a journalist for their work and allowing someone to express themselves freely?

      Reply to this comment
  • British Council.jpg amazing_reflection | Shohour High Public School | Lebanon
    07 May 2022

    In our recent life, media and news is the most influential tool that has its effective impacts on society, to seek more into this I depended on internet to make it more obvious about media role: https://www.wiley.com/en-us/The+News+and+Public+Opinion%3A+Media+Effects+on+Civic+Life-p-9780745645186
    So it can turn the public against refugees if they wanted to, and some newspaper had done that by saying "Refugees Are Invading" as headline which seems to be an enticing headline against refugees that make people feel unsafe and uncomfortable toward refugees and be against them, I relied on https://talk.economistfoundation.org/projects/refugees-and-responsibility/the-discussion/activity-4-how-could-these-headlines-influence-opinion/ to get this newspaper.
    Such newspapers have to face concequences because they're threatening others' rights (refugees rights) of safe living and they're making discord between citizens and refugees, these newspapers must be punished and be prevented to publish such inflammatory headlines.

    Reply to this comment
  • British Council.jpg aware_painting | Shouka Prep Girls School | Occupied Palestinian Territory
    09 May 2022

    Should be the role of media and journalist, which is linked to the refugee crisis on the level of the required responsibility to overcome the global crisis, the role of the media and the press will have the most influence in clarifying the crisis experienced by the world because of the role of popular media and force public informed him, and therefore must stand when its responsibilities, duties and humanity to clarify the seriousness of the crisis and the steps necessary to avoid hazards and extension, for example not the media platform which is adding to the force of refugees and hope for change and for the future, to be the press is the voice of the refugees, which shows the suffering of refugees and the difficulties of living, and the fight against hate speech, which urges the killing of refugees and burned and let them drown in the sea, from my personal perspective I see that refugee issues are not Bjmahirih because they are often burdened with complex detail and where they come from? And where are they heading? Many people remain far from the refugee stories, so it should play an active and key role in clarifying the refugee issue, and this is their right to show their case to the world to find a way out of the crisis.. so let the media and press face the truth and the global refugee crisis.

    Reply to this comment
  • High Lawn Primary.jpg active_power | High Lawn Primary School | United Kingdom
    10 May 2022

    I believe that before using information the media should double and triple check whether it is true or false information and if they put false information in their newspapers or news shows the company should be fined a large sum of money.

    Reply to this comment
    1. Serena @ Arup
      active_power's comment 12 May 2022

      Thank you for your contribution active_power. Do you think we as readers have some responsibility in arriving at our own conclusions? What are some ways in which we can distinguish between fact and opinion in the media?

      Reply to this comment
  • British Council.jpg rational_grape | Makini Academy | Kenya
    11 May 2022

    I think the news reporters or journalists should select the images that refugees feel would be good to use. I say this because there are many reasons for images to be unfair or just bad. The images can dehumanize refugees when seen by the public and the headlines on them should also be a worry because the headline will tell the reader of the newspaper the topic they are talking about. The refugees themselves should be the ones to choose because sometimes they might give images that dehumanize refugees. They will be taken as intruders by the earth if we keep it up.

    I found the idea from the post with the link https://talk.economistfoundation.org/projects/refugees-and-responsibility/the-discussion/activity-4-how-could-these-headlines-influence-opinion/

    Reply to this comment
  • British Council.jpg bright_conversation | Shouka Prep Girls School | Occupied Palestinian Territory
    17 May 2022

    I think that there should be consequences for newspapers that do not publish about the refugee crisis because it is the media that informs people of the suffering of refugees.The media must make the refugee issue a priority

    Reply to this comment
    1. katie.jpg Katie @ Topical Talk
      bright_conversation's comment 17 May 2022

      This is a great point, bright_conversation. Could you explain how the media might "make the refugee issue a priority"?

      Reply to this comment
      1. British Council.jpg bright_conversation | Shouka Prep Girls School | Occupied Palestinian Territory
        Katie @ Topical Talk's comment 18 May 2022

        (Make refugees a priority) means putting the refugees,affairs ahead of other matters,i.e.clarifying
        the suffering experienced by the refugees and she doing light on them

        Reply to this comment

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