Center for International Media Ethics
The Center for International Media Ethics (CIME) is a non-profit organization that provides ethics training to journalists worldwide and advocates for the importance of training & discussion on ethics among media professionals.
History and mission
CIME began in July 2007, after thirty-two young journalists and professionals from five continents gathered in Prague for a week-long seminar. After this week CIME emerged as a formal international framework with the intent of helping journalists take on a proactive role in shaping their societies.
CIME encourages each journalist to take on a proactive role in defining ethical practices through the choices and decisions made at work on a daily basis. They urge journalists to work together to make their own judgments and identify their own strategies. The driving emphasis is that journalists together have the power to formulate and enforce a tacit code of ethics as a status quo of their profession.
CIME has already hosted its Forum five years in a row, to provide panel discussion sessions for a group of selected journalists on the topic of ethics. This provides a framework for media professionals to share strategies on local ethical dilemmas that come up in their work. They host the CIME Forum in low-income countries where journalists cannot normally afford ethics training, with the goal of improving the overall journalism ethics standards in each given country.
The Center for International Media Ethics has held international conferences on the role of ethics in media, publishes a monthly newsletter focused on this discussion, and provides ethical training for low income journalists.
- CIME Forum
The CIME Forum is an annual event that brings together media professionals for training, panels and discussion in ethical practices. The Forum is held each year in a different country. The first CIME Forum took place in Cotonou, Benin (West Africa) in February 2009. The second Forum then took place in Oaxaca, Mexico in 2010 and the third CIME Forum took place in Budapest, Hungary in 2011. The fourth CIME Forum was held in Thimphu, Bhutan and fifth CIME Forum in Islamabad, Pakistan from 23 to 24 August 2013 to gather journalists from the South Asian region in a discussion on socio-economic responsibility of journalists.
- International Media Ethics Day
The Center for International Media Ethics’ inaugural International Media Ethics Day (IMED) was celebrated on Friday, Sept. 23, 2011. More than 300 participants in 11 countries from four continents participated in the day’s events, with many others discussing media ethics issues online. Following the success of the first IMED, the second International Media Ethics Day that took place on September 21, 2012 attracted even more participants and sturred great interest in journalisitic communities worldwide. For this IMED, the Center for International Media Ethics cooperated with 23 local organizations and organized 23 workshops in more than 20 countries. Participation was also facilited through online platforms to enable everyone to participate and have their say about Media Ethics.
Location of workshops:
- Afghanistan organised by the Afghanistan Journalists Center, in Herat.
- Albania organised by the National Council of Radio and Television Albania, in Tirana.
- Argentina organized by the Foro Periodismo Argentino (FOPEA), in Buenos Aires.
- Benin organised by l'Institut PROFAMEC, Programme de Formation des Médias et de la Communicationin dans la Maison des Médias, in Cotonou.
- Cameroon organised by Télesphore MBA Bizo, CIME Fellow and the Cameroon Radio Television at the Centre de formation professionnelle de audiovisuel, CFPA at Ekounou.
- Ghana organised by the Ghana Media Advocacy Programme, in Accra.
- Hungary organised by the National Media and Infocommunications Authority (Nemzeti Média- és Hírközlési Hatóság) and the Budapest College of Communication and Business.
- India organized by Bijay Singh, Sr Journalist, founder of Indian Journalists Welfare Foundation and in association with Jharkhand Working Journalists Union, in Jamshedpur.
- Ivory Coast organised by Celestin Gnonzion, national expert national on communication ethics, CIME ambassador for the Ivory Coast at the Centre de Recherche et d’Action pour la Paix (CERAP), in Abidjan.
- Myanmar organised by Free Press Myanmar, in Mandalay.
- Nigeria organised by Dr. Samson Ademagba Sambe from the Community Outreach Newspaper and the Mass Communication Department of the University of Mkar, in Mkar.
- Nigeria organised by Titilayo Bamigboye, CIME Fellow and Gbenga Adeniji, CIME Ambassador at Jubel Magazine office, in Lagos.
- Nigeria organised by Aveseh Asough, CIME Fellow, WAZOBIA FM and Cool FM Abuja, in Abuja.
- Nepal organised by Ujjwal Acharya, CIME Ambassador to Nepal and the Center for Media Research - Nepal (CMR-Nepal) in Kathmandu.
- Pakistan organised by Mishal Pvt. Pakistan and Puruesh Chaudhary, CIME Ambassador to Pakistan.
- Peru organised by Universidad Peruana de Ciencias Aplicadas.
- Ramallah, Palestine organized by the Palestinian Committee for Media Rules and Ethics (PCMRE) and the Palestinians Journalists Syndicat.
- Romania organized by the Association for Journalism and Online Media AJOM in partnership with Media Factory, in Iasi.
- Russia organized by Young Journalists in Moscow at the Central House of Journalists, in Moscow.
- Uganda organized by Fredrick Mugira, CIME Fellow and the African Initiative for Development Communication (AIDC) at the Vision Group Mbarara Bureau, in Mbarara.
- Vanuatu organized by the Media Asosiesen blong Vanuatu.
Earlier in 2011 CIME launched a web-based survey that explored how journalism and media ethics works in various parts of the world, as told from the perspective of media professionals themselves. That questionnaire aimed at establishing a general concept of how media professionals view their position in the industry and their country’s ethical standards of media.
The study revealed many new and diverse opinions, one of them being that most of the respondents disclosed that they have faced ethical dilemmas at work and have behaved unethically. This however was blamed on internal or external pressure from their editors, employers, concerned stakeholders and often the government.
Emphasizing the point in this study was that one of the sources of this unethical behavior is the lack of a commonly accepted and widely used code of journalism ethics in the countries or regions of the respondents. Its been noted that it is also a common deficiency that the employers of journalists do not have an ethics code or the journalists are simply not aware of it. This according to CIME results in a lack of knowledge about ethical rules and creates ignorance among media professionals about better practices that could be followed.
The Center for International Media Ethics recently launched a new web-based survey to find out what the general public thinks about today’s media. This is in correlation with the recent wave of phone hacking scandal and allows to discover people's trust towards media.
- CIME Ethicontest
The first-ever CIME Ethicontest launched in September 2010, incorporates new journalists and voices into a global network of media professionals. Journalists, writers, researchers, media students and others interested in media ethics are invited to share their viewpoints. The topic of the 2013 contest is on whether citizen journalists can produce professional journalism and reviewed and evaluated by Dr Stephan J. Ward acknowledged media ethicist and award-winning author, professor and director of the Center for Journalism Ethics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in association with CIME.
- CIME Ambassador Program
The Center for International Media Ethics (CIME) launched the CIME Ambassador Program. The Ambassador Program serves as an outreach program for CIME, assisting in the international promotion of media ethics. In addition to providing journalists from all over the world with an opportunity to acquire training with CIME, this program offers chosen representatives the chance to be CIME representatives in their respective regions.
- Conferences and seminars
CIME actively participates in numerous international journalism conferences, advocating the importance of training and discussion on ethics among media professionals. These have included events sponsored by the Deutsche Welle Global Media Forum (2008, 2009; presentation), TEDxWestminster (2010; presentation), SEEMO Investigative Journalism Days (2010 and 2011; presentation), the European Journalism Centre (2009, 2010; presentation), the International Press Institute (2009; participation) and the Council of the EU (2011; participation) among others.
CIME frequently engages with university students and programs, giving lectures and participating in panel discussions on issues related to media ethics. These include past seminars and presentations at the University of Oxford (participation), the London School of Economics (presentation), Columbia University (participation), Yale University (participation), the University of Sheffield (presentation), the College of Europe (presentation), and the University of Manouba (presentation).
Journalism is adapting to economic woes and changing structurally to suit digital formats and new technology. Maintaining high ethical standards during the transition is a major challenge.
According to Ethics for Media and the Center for International Media Ethics, "J-ethinomics" offers a solution. A combination of journalism, ethics and economics, J-ethinomics is founded on the idea that ethical reporting increases the demand for news.
CIME provides ethical training courses through its educational branch, EthicsForMedia but with a focus on the market value of ethical practises. It offers courses in journalism ethics with a focus in J-Ethinomics, combining Journalism, Ethics and Economics.
J-Ethinomics is a term coined by the founder of the Center for International Media Ethics. It uses ethics to build trust in the news, sustaining demand for the media industry. More generally, J-Ethinomics also highlights how the work of journalists impacts political and socio-economic development processes. Basic principle: The public perception of news as “ethical” affects a media company's economic viability. People will be more inclined to pay for your news if they consider it trustworthy.
The Center for International Media Ethics, in an ongoing effort to act globally, has started partnerships with organizations such as Thomson Reuters TrustMedia Foundation, Ethiopian Journalists Anti-Corruption Network and established networks in countries like Afghanistan and Pakistan to help strengthen media ethics in the country by promoting respect for truth, accuracy and privacy.
CIME welcomes Afghan journalists from Kandahar to its online media ethics training in August and September. The Afghan-Canadian Community Center provides its facilities equipped with computers and internet connection to local journalists in order to be able to participate in the J-Ethinomics course.
The Board of Directors of CIME:
- Melisande Middleton (co-founder)
- Kayeromi Gomez (co-founder)
- Martha Ivanovas
- Matthew Kwasiborski
The Board of Advisors of CIME:
- Alison Bethel McKenzie
- Teresa Allen
- Geoffrey Nyarota
- Dr. Damian Tambini
- Martin Huckerby
- Dr. Stephen J. A. Ward
- Marketa Bilska
- Christopher Drake
The belief that ethical reporting builds trust in the media and thereby generates return for media companies, has not been fully explored by quantitative research and the need to further corroborate on this matter is necessary. The organisation has not conducted enough quantitative research on the topic to prove its idea but recently they started to fill this gap by undertaking survey studies on ethical journalism.