Day 4 Tightrope: Which editor made it to the other side? – Media Freedom Week

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On the fourth and final day of Media Freedom Week, 24 October 2019 in Johannesburg. We hosted an exciting game show style event that looked at ethical dilemmas for journalists and the process in which editors make difficult decisions in newsrooms. Our game show host Thabiso Tema from Power Fm and SuperSports kept the energy going! The audience got to see the ethical dilemmas our editors and decision makers go through in producing news.

Our scenario setters Phathiswa Magopeni, Head of News at the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) and Chris Vick, PR Spin doctor did not hold back when it came to the extreme ethical dilemma scenarios they presented to the editors. Scenarios such as  brown envelopes, reporting on children really got the editors squirming.

“There’s a lot of introspection that needs to happen on ethics. I’m really anxious about how it’s easy to play people, if I can easily do it how many other people can do it?” – Chris Vick Spin doctor talking about the manipulation of narratives in the digital space.

Our editors Nicki Gules (Sunday Times), Beauregard Tromp (Mail & Guardian) and Qaanitah Hunter (Sunday Times)

Nicki Gules who says she became a journalist by accident 31 years ago, emphasised “scoops come and scoops go, it might suck but your reputation is more valuable than one story”.

“First check yourself and how confident are you in the facts and check your journalism” – Qaanitah Hunter replying to a scenario about  ground breaking story implicating a media house connected to the story. Beauregard Tromp further highlighted the importance of disclaimers and transparency during his session.

Here are some tweets from the evening:

 

Our audience definitely felt like they were on the hot seat themselves! very good points on ethics being raised by all editors and at the end they all left with prize tokens. Next year it will be even bigger and better!

Did you miss this event? watch the full event here!

 

We would like to thank all of our partners who made this such a tremendous success and we hope that you will all join us for Media Freedom Week 2020!

 

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