Ethical Journalism Network 5-Point Test For Hate Speech

TURNING THE PAGE OF HATE:
A MEDIA CAMPAIGN FOR TOLERANCE IN JOURNALISM
When it comes to hate speech, journalists and editors must pause and take the time to judge the potential impact of offensive, inflammatory content. The following test, developed by the EJN and based on international standards, highlights questions in the gathering, preparation and dissemination of news and helps place what is said and who is saying it in an ethical context.

  1. STATUS OF THE SPEAKER
    How might their position influence their motives?
    Should they even be listened to or just ignored?
  2. REACH OF THE SPEECH
    How far is the speech traveling?
    Is there a pattern of behaviour?
  3. GOALS OF THE SPEECH
    How does it benefit the speaker and their interests?
    Is it deliberately intended to cause harm to others?
  4. THE CONTENT ITSELF
    Is the speech dangerous?
    Could it incite violence towards others?
  5. SURROUNDING CLIMATE – SOCIAL / ECONOMIC / POLITICAL
    Who might be negatively affected?
    Is there a history of conflict or discrimination?
    DON’T SENSATIONALISE!
    AVOID THE RUSH TO PUBLISH
    TAKE A MOMENT OF REFLECTION
    Hate Speech
    The dangers of hate speech in journalism are well known and can have tragic consequences. In response, the Ethical Journalism Network launched the Turning the Page of Hate campaign in 2014 to mark the 20 year anniversary of the Rwandan genocide. – Ethical Journalism Network

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