This article is based on a presentation at the conference "The Ethics of Journalism: Comparison and Transformations in the Islamic-Western Context," under the auspices of German President Johannes Rau (Bellevue Palace, Berlin, 29-30 March 29-30, 2001), organized by the German Institute for Middle East Studies (Deutsches Orient-Institut), Hamburg, and the Ebelin and Gerd Bucerius Zeit Foundadtion, Hamburg. The article will be published in Kai Hafez (ed.), "Negotiating Global Media Ethics"
The paper reviews various initiatives to systematically monitor what the media tell about the world with a view to improving media performance and contributing to media ethics. The general rationale of media monitoring is elaborated as a logic in four steps. The implementation of the idea is presented both by referring to several ongoing projects and by suggesting a new proposal for immediate action. The paper is based on "International Media Monitoring," a volume edited by Kaarle Nordenstreng with Michael Griffin (Cresskill, NJ: Hampton Press, 1999; in this paper referred to as IMM).
The Idea of Media Monitoring
Media monitoring means here to systematically register and review the contents which various mass media offer in different types of messages. While there are approaches to media monitoring with a focus on media production (ownership, economy, etc.) or consumption (audience size, appreciation, etc.), our perspective of media monitoring is strictly at the level of content or performance (for media performance, see McQuail, 1992, and his chapter in IMM).
This is not a narrow perspective, because media content is part and parcel of the political and cultural substance of society. Therefore it is logical to present this perspective in a conference on media ethics. After all, media monitoring feeds us with material to consider the values and principles in media activities, and particularly in these postmodern times it can be seen to be part of the boom of media ethics, which "invites us to keep looking for universals-to restore the great narrative which was lost as enlightenment and modernization went out of fashion" (Nordenstreng, 1995, p. 454). Ultimately, what is at issue is the role of media in democracy (see, e.g., Nordenstreng, 2000a), and media monitoring can be seen as "an audit of democracy" (as suggested by Peter Golding et al; see their chapter in IMM).
The idea of monitoring media performance is a logical extension of the methodological approach in communication research known as content analysis. The classics of content analysis, notably Bernard Berelson and Harold Lasswell, did not introduce the method for its own sake but as an instrument to assess what the media are really doing and to define policy for various aspects of social life-including media themselves. It is indeed paradoxical that while content analysis has been a central part of the empiricist and positivist tradition in media studies, it has also nurtured a policy paradigm inviting us not only to discover the reality but to change it. This is the paradigm that was already promoted by Max Weber in his legendary speech to the first German congress of sociologists in Frankfurt in 1910 (see Hardt 1979, p. 174-182).
Historically speaking, we should recall Karl W. Deutsch, the political scientist known for his paradigm of seeing communication as "the nerves of government" (the title of his book in 1963). In the first volume of the Journal of Conflict Resolution he proposed "an early warning system" to register the amount of media attention given to a conflict area or an enemy country because "continuing hostile attention in the mass media may tend to harden public opinion to such a degree as eventually to destroy the freedom of choice of the national government concerned" (Deutsch, 1957, p. 202). His idea was "to measure quantitatively the relative shares of attention allotted to particular interstate conflicts and issues in the general flow of news, the extent to which these are retained or forgotten by leaders, and the extent to which they have cumulative effects" (p. 204).
It is interesting to compare this proposal with what we can read in the MacBride Commission's report:
The primary function of the media is always to inform the public of significant facts, however unpleasant or disturbing they may be. At times of tension, the news consists largely of military moves and statements by political leaders which give rise to anxiety. But it should not be impossible to reconcile full and truthful reporting with a presentation which reminds readers of the possibility-indeed the necessity-of peaceful solutions to disputes. We live, alas, in an age stained by cruelty, torture, conflict and violence. These are not the natural human condition; they are scourges to be eradicated. We should never resign ourselves to endure passively what can be cured (Many Voices, One World, 1980, p. 177).
Both are outspoken in their normative position on behalf of peace and against war and violence, but Deutsch's proposal is more concrete than any of the recommendations by the MacBride report (for a detailed examination of the latter, see Hancock and Hamelink, 1999).
Deutsch's vision has never been realized, but in these times of Bosnia etc. in the Balkans, Rwanda etc. in Central Africa, and the new CNN-type media diplomacy, it has become ever more topical. The current relevance of the idea is reflected in a recent proposal by Cees Hamelink (1997), who suggested an International Media Alert System (IMAS) to monitor media content in areas of conflict. "This system would provide an 'early warning' where and when media set the climate for crimes against humanity and begin to motivate people to kill others" (p. 38).
Reviewing the history of ideas we cannot overlook Walter Lippmann, who in 1919 wrote of the idea of a "pseudo-environment" created between people and the world largely by the mass media and the idea of the "manufacture of consent" as a system of manipulating public opinion (Lippmeann, 1920/1995). It is clear that recent critical thinking about media performance in books by Herman and Chomsky (1988), Parenti 91993), Hackett and Zhao (1998), and the numerous studies of the Glasgow Media Group (Eldridge, 1995; Philo, 1995; Philo, 1999) build from a relatively long history of attention to media artifice and representation.
Yet we have never before faced conditions in which industrially produced media are sucha global presence in everyday life and provide such a vast range of people with what Lippmann called their "picture" of the outside world. The "globalization" of media not only involves the geographical extension of distribution and transmission, but the homogenization of media forms within a commercial corporate model (Herman and McChesney, 1997). The continued expansion of transnational commercial media, both by means of new technology (especially satellite telecommunications and the Internet) and through the ever larger scale and longer reach of ownership and control has extended and advanced the blurring of distinctions among news, entertainment, and advertising. The commercial imperative has made "information" a more highly ambiguous term than ever before, and the "information industries" encompass media commodities of every stripe.
In such a world traditional categories such as "news" no longer represent informational content that is clearly distinguishable from entertainment, public relations, and commercial promotion. Presented in a commercial format within a commercial context the messages and images of news jostle and blend with those of advertisements and entertainment diversions. The same cultural metaphors and mythological worldviews-concepts of the "primitive" versus the modern; nationalism defined as technological and military power; racial, ethnic and religious stereotypes; Western fashion industry portrayals of feminine beauty; masculinity couched as violent action-proliferate across media genres. Given this fact, the task of media monitoring becomes more and more an evaluation of the performance of global transnational corporations across their multiple spheres of media manufacturing. It is the aggregate content and ramifications of these large-scale media flows that must be recognized, addressed, and responded to if there can be any hope of cultivating a positive media role in the struggle for peace and economic and cultural well-being.
Much recent literature on transnational media issues has sought correctives to the oversimplicity of media imperialism models, pointing to the cultural vigor with which formerly colonized peoples have established unique voices and resistant communities within systems of global communication. The active processing, adaptation, and creolization of dominant Western media forms among non-Western peoples has brought into question the validity of models that describe industrial/communication centers dictating media practices to cultural peripheries. Yet recognizing the existence of complex intercultural relationships and multidirectional cultural influences does not make structural imbalances disappear. It remains an unavoidable reality that the resources and power of media production and concentrated in the hands of increasingly fewer giant transnational conglomerates, and the task of monitoring media performance must necessarily be preoccupied with the surveillance and evaluation of these corporate networks.
The idea has a simple four-step logic that proceeds along the following path:
First, the mass media play a vital role in (post)modern societies and in the surrounding global culture, which makes them a backbone of a pervasive cultural environment-the media have influence.
This influence is today greater than at the time of the MacBride Commission because the "media reality" has gained ground from conventional reality, especially in political life. The problem is made especially serious by the fact that this mediated reality can be bought-unlike conventional reality.
Accordingly, the first step in this reasoning about media monitoring assumes that the mass media continue to be important in the world as instruments to address vast audiences and to shape public and private minds at the national and international levels. This means that, contrary to what many today suggest, new media technologies will not bring about an end of mass media and an "end of journalism." Surely, new means and practices emerge, but the basic characteristics of mass communication seem to remain and even increase in sociocultural influence.
Second, the mass media, in particular the printed press, enjoy a special constitutional statues (based on Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights), which gives them protection against much of conventional social policies-the media have freedom.
This freedom is a vital element in a democratic society-a safeguard of human rights in civil society. Therefore, the special constitutional statues of the media, providing them with autonomy, must be respected and defended as an essential part of the monitoring idea.
Third, the mass media not only enjoy an exceptional degree of autonomy, but also carry duties and responsibilities (based on the same international instruments) that call for normative regulation of this sphere of "cultural ecology," both on legal and ethical levels-the media have accountability.
This accountability is part and parcel of the same special constitutional status that grants freedom to the media. It would be both sociologically and politically naive to place media outside of any social controls. Accountability can conceptually be divided into various levels and aspects, including law and ethics. The aspect related to the present monitoring idea is focused on an analytical appreciation of the media content, thus largely bypassing all the well-known normative and structural aspects, including those media accountability systems that are implemented through professional codes of ethics of media councils (see Nordenstreng, 1999; 2000b). Thus, the monitoring being pursued here has a limited scope-limited but still significant if its potential is fully utilized.
Fourth, the mass media are being regulated by legal and financial means to a degree determined by the political balance of power prevailing in each society. And there is little that the professional and academic community can do about it, but there is an untapped potential for indirect participation in the democratic process of media accountability--through media criticism.
The media criticism called on here is not the kind of more or less politically motivated interest group advocacy that is well known everywhere. What is meant here is scientifically based description and assessment of media performance, mainly carried out by methods of content analysis. And the epistemological paradigm is one of conventional realism rather than postmodern phenomenalism. Thus, it is assumed that an objective reality exists, and it can be discovered more or less accurately, although in practice the media coverage may be far removed from true reality. In other words, the reasoning typically follows the correspondence theory of truth: comparing media coverage with extramedia data. However, truth checking can be left aside, and monitoring may be focused on tracing the trends and interests of the content alone-the ideological narrative of the media discourse which is customary in cultural studies.
Speaking of media criticism, it has practically no tradition in journalism in the same sense as in the fields of film, music, and other areas of performing arts-not to speak of literature, the basis of literary criticism and aesthetics. As a matter of fact, it is a challenge for journalism research to give better shape and recognition to what already has been exercised in some places under labels such as media education or media analysis. In this respect journals such as the Columbia Journalism Review, Amedian Journalism Review, and Extra! constitute a good reference point.(1)
This rationale not only renders support to a "monitoring project," but it even calls forth, indeed demands, some sort of an institutionalized accountability system. The system called forth was not a legal or administrative mechanism by official powers (governmental, parliamentary or judiciary) but something that falls within the sphere of non-governmental civil society. However, the system suggested is not another form of straight self-regulation of the media, because the content analysis is supposed to be carried out by independent scholars, and the overall media performance is supposed to be assessed by panels that would also be relatively independent from the media-otherwise the idea of accountability would be missed.
Obviously this is a line that is quite similar to the reasoning of the Hutchins Commission a half a century ago. The same rationale around social responsibility is more or less shared bya a number of later initiatives which do not only reflect narrow academic or social interests, but should rather be taken as indicators of a fundamental tendency in contemporary society in which the ever-larger role played by the media inevitably leads to reconsideration of the ways in which their accountability is defined and monitored. A strong political signal to this effect cam in 1993 from the Council of Europe whose Parliamentary Assembly passed a resolution and recommendation on the ethics of journalism. (2)
Although scientific content analysis constitutes a cornerstone of the "monitoring project," it does not suggest new, elaborate, and expensive research to be conducted before anything else. It is taken for granted that a lot of content analytical research is being carried out all over the world in any case-as master's these and doctoral dissertations by students, academic contributions by scholars, administrative exercises by authorities, and in some cases as international joint ventures. A notable example of the last mentioned type of research is the "World of the News" study carried out by the International Association for Mass Communication Research (IAMCR) for UNESCO in the early 1980s (see Journal of Communication, 1984, and chapter by Annabelle Sreberny and Robert Stevenson in IMM). The monitoring ideas does not advocate anymore such cumbersome projects that tend to consume a lot of mental and material energy, often with little outcome. Instead, it is strongly suggested to organize the pooling together of existing research and to invest the energies into the digesting of such accumulated research evidence.
There exists a lot of content analysis, especially as case studies, and in some instances such as the Gulf War there is a huge accumulation of evidence from numerous small and large projects, both national and international. The problem is, however, that these exercises are seldom pooled together so as to facilitate an overall review and assessment of media performance-neither in one country nor internationally. If done on a permanent basis such overviews would help to identify neglected areas not only in media coverage but also in studies of media content, which are too often based on a haphazard choice of topic and media. In such a manner one could counteract the tendency to end up with abundant piles of disjointed data, and one could also encourage young scholars to focus on content areas that are strategically important given the research carried out thus far.
As a matter of fact, much content analysis evidence is lost in the absence of an international system of pooling, accumulating, and comparing data from innumerous national case studies that typically focus on a limited topic or time period. Taken together such research evidence provides a great potential "to appraise and report annually upon the performance of the press" (as the Hutchins Commission put it, see below). Indeed, a global overview of media performance based on content analysis evidence would help the students and scholars in the field to better place their particular problems in an overall perspective. One might also self-critically observe that few fields of science have been as sterile in terms of assessing social and global responsibilities as has been the case with communication research, not the least content analysis. Where natural scientists are raising their voice regarding environmental problems and medical scientists continuously assess problems of human health, communication scientists should have a natural role in taking stock of media performance-not only in isolated cases but also as a global issue, both nationally and internationally.
Thus far there have been surprisingly few contributions in this field that address the question in a truly global manner. For example, when there was a need to assess what impact the Mass Media Declaration of UNESCO had brought to the field ten years later in 1988, it turned out that there was little cumulative research to count on (see Gerbner, Mowlana and Nordenstreng, 1993). However, Global Glasnost by Galtung and Vincent (1992) provides an exemplary demonstration of what can be done by capitalizing on a host of empirical data from existing literature combined with insightful theory and ethic.
Finally, one may ask why pay so much attention to content, especially at a time of media concentration and globalization? Is not content just a reflection of structures of production and distribution, ultimately ownership? Is not content after all an ahistorical category?
The rationale explained here by no means suggests to undermine structural factors behind and beyond media content. It admits that there is a need for similar, indeed parallel, monitoring of media concentration, consumption, and so on. But as pointed out above, the rationale is based on a firm belief that mass-mediated content constitutes a strategic part of broader reasoning about the media-their freedom and accountability, ultimately their role in democracy.
Consequently, the idea is not particularly new or radical. Rather at issue is a classic question of journalism-paradoxically neglected in the prevailing tradition of media theory and practice.
Initiatives to Act
In his foreward to "New International Information and Communication Order Sourcebook" (Nordenstreng, Kleinwaechter and Manet, 1986), Sean MacBride reflected on his Commission's work and pointed out half a dozen major issues that he saw ahead, six years after the MacBride report "Many Voices, One World," "in the hope that each one of us will in our own sphere of influence seek to find solutions to these problems" (p. i). One of these was the "growing tendency for the ownership of the means of communication and information to pass into the hands of either governments or multinationals" (p. ii). In this connection MacBride wrote that "it would be very useful to devise some system for monitoring the extent to which certain newspapers and chains of newspapers distort news concerning disarmament in the world" (p. ii).
This was not just a passing remark, as a casual reader might think, but reference to a project that had been initiated in 1983. That year the Mass Media Declaration of UNESCO was five years old, and Sean MacBride addressed attendees of a ceremony commemorating this landmark document of international communication in Paris in November 1983 (for background, see Nordenstreng, 1984). He made a strong point about media concentration and called on professionals and scholars to trace and document this phenomenon, which was working against the positive trend of the time that MacBride used to characterize as a "shift in the center of gravity of power from governments, from established authorities to public opinion."(3)
On that occasion MacBride did not go on to recommend a system of monitoring media performance simply because the idea was not yet articulated. Actually, the first sketchy notes on it were put on paper during that reception by the present author together with MacBride and the chief of UNESCO's Division for Free Flow of Information and Communication Policies, Hamdy Kandil. On that basis a short memorandum was drafted (by Nordenstreng) outlining the idea of two levels: first, on a scientific groundwork by pooling together empirical evidence of content analysis concerning the media coverage of global problems such as peace and war, and second, by a commission of internationally known public figures, who would issue an annual review and assessment of the overall media's performance. A rough estimate of financial resources needed to get such a system established, not counting the actual content analysis work that was supposed to be nationally funded, was US $50,000 a year-something that at the time seemed realistically could be raised by UNESCO and/or the UN. This informal memo served as a reference when MacBride met the UN Secretary General Perez de Cuellar in early 1984 and raised the monitoring idea, among other things, receiving a generally positive response.(4)
Then, in the summer of 1984, Johan Galtung paid one of his seasonal visits to Finland (addressing a seminar of the Finnish peace movement), and he was consulted on the idea by the present author. Galtung reacted enthusiastically and invited a planning workshop to his then base, a free university in Paris in spring 1985, but this offer could not be acted on by the intended core group (including Herbert Schiller and Tapio Varis) due to timing problems. Moreover, the United States announced at the end of 1984 its intention to withdraw from UNESCO within one year, and that spread an atmosphere of caution and controversy around everything related to UNESCO's communication program. MacBride especially was of the opinion that one would be ill advised to go ahead with the idea for the time being.
However, in 1986--the International Year of Peace--MacBride was already prepared to raise the idea in his foreward to the NIICO Sourcebook. By that time he, like many others, had come to the conclusion that it was pointless to wait for UNESCO to come along. In a more general sense, the intergovernmental structures were seen as increasingly doubtful partners. Instead, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) appeared as more and more relevant carriers of initiatives such as the monitoring project and the MacBride Round Table a couple of years later (see Vincent, Nordenstreng and Traber, 1999). It was a move away from established political structures towards the so-called civil society.
It should be added that two related initiatives emerged around 1990, promoted independently of the present project by like-minded activists. First, George Gerbner started what is called the Cultural Environment Movement (CEM) in the United States based on his cultural indicators research and turned into a grassroots movement reflecting the media consumers' interests (among others a "Viewers' Declaration of Independence" was prepared). Second, Cees Hamelink in the Netherlands, with partners such as the Third World Network in Malaysia, began to develop the idea of an international tribunal to examine the structure and performance of particularly transnational media enterprises. The latter initiative has led to the Peoples' Communication Charter (PCC), laying down the normative basis on which later mechanisms are to be established.
Finally, to complete the review of earlier attempts to act-and to demonstrate that this is not just an isolated idea entertained by advocates such as MacBride, Gerbner, Hamelink, and Nordenstreng-it is worth recalling a paragraph from the chapter by Alfred Balk, former editor of Columbia Journalism Review and World Press Review, included in an anthology on media freedom and accountability based on a seminar held at the Gannett Center for Media Studies at Columbia University in 1986. This is what Balk (1989) wrote under the title "The Voluntary Model: Living with 'Public Watchdogs'":
Therefore I submit this modest proposal: that the Gannett Center join with Columbia University's president and journalism dean to select a nationwide steering committee of university, media, and foundation leaders to convene a successor to the Hutchins Commission. Its specific charge should be finally to bring to reality-with Ford, MacArthur, and Carnegie-scale funding-the Commission's vision of "a new and independent agency to appraise and report annually upon the performance of the press"; to coordinate "the creation of academic-professional centers of advanced study, research, and publication in the field of communications"; and to emphasize "the widest possible publicity and public discussion on all the foregoing." This should include an adequately funded monthly journalism review, public television or C-Span and video-cassette distribution of appropriate forums, and MacArthur Foundation-magnitude multiyear grants to experienced analysts who would return the spirit of Lippmann and Liebling to our newspapers, magazines, books, and classrooms (p. 73-74).(5)
Today it is encouraging to note that so many national studies and even institutions have emerged with parallel objectives and tools. For example, in the United States, "Project Censored" is already over 20 years old (Jensen, 1997; Phillips, 1998). Sometimes, such monitoring efforts link up with movements for citizen participation or community media production, as in the Cultural Environment Movement (CEM) in the United States or the Media Foundation and its Adbuster programs in Canada. In the United States, organizations interested in revealing the political biases of news reporting have spring up across the political spectrum, from Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) on the left to Accuracy in Media (AIM), funded and supported by fundamentalist Christian groups on the right. Organizations such as the Center for Media and Public Affairs in Washington, DC and the Media Studies Center of the Gannett-funded Freedom Forum work to maintain a non-partisan image and claim to provide objective scientific analyses of news and media content. Further examples are found in Italy, where the media monitoring organization Citta' Invisible recently launched a "Media Watch" web page to report on Italian media, and in Sweden, where media monitoring has been known as an establishment-oriented rather than radical initiative, with heavy involvement of the business community.
A genuinely international media monitoring project is shaping up in the European Union around the topic of racism and xenophobia with the establishment in 1998 of the European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia, based in Vienna, Austria. Its task it to provide the "Community and its Member States with objective, reliable and comparable data at the European level on the phenomena of racism, xenophobia and anti-semitism." The monitoring at issue here is understood quite broadly to cover education and socialization in general as well as the areas of social and legal policy, but media are also part of its mandate. Therefore it is expected to launch, in collaboration with national institutions (governmental and academic), a permanent system of media performance monitoring in an area so consequential to both the political and economic prospects of Europe.
While official initiatives such as the European Monitoring Centre take shape, the academic community of media scholars could establish its own global media monitoring system by simply pooling together the thousands of case studies being carried out around the world by students and faculty alike. Existing studies already provide a vast potential of evidence regarding specific themes as well as the overall performance of media in society. They need only to be brought together for collective and comparative review.
Obviously the monitoring of media performance is an idea whose time has come. It does not need any UN or UNESCO resolutions for implementation; it is evolving quite independently of governmental and intergovernmental structures. Nevertheless, the idea is also being promoted by governmental concerns such as those currently prevailing in Europe in relation to racism and xenophobia. Both the Council of Europe and the European Union have programs to encourage media and journalists to combat these phenomena and to support at atmosphere of tolerance in society.
As a matter of fact, the media coverage of race, ethnic minorities, and symptoms of intolerance such as xenophobia has become recognized as a social problem by politicians and professionals alike. It is logical, then, that the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) proceeded in 1994 to establish, with the support of the Council of Europe and the European Union, a working group against racism and xenophobia-something that would have been unthinkable a decade ago. And one of the priority activities pursued by the IFJ working group is precisely media monitoring more or less in the sense advocated here.(6)
The IFJ monitoring project will be pursued first and foremost in Europe, with highlights such as an international journalism prize for combating racism and xenophobia (sponsored by the European Union). It will be supported by a parallel academic project that has grown out of the IAMCR working group on ethnicity, racism, and the media coordinated by Charles Husband (ERaM) as well as the action program proposed by Teun van Dijk (see their chapters in IMM).
Thus, the idea is moving ahead along two tracks: professional and academic. Significantly, there is little or no friction between the two: they seem to support each other, unlike many previous cooperative efforts. Yet there is a recognition that the two should remain distinct or else there is a risk that professional journalists would no longer be actively engaged, but would instead turn defensive with well-known arguments about freedom suppressed by outside forces-including academic forces with their intellectual challenge.
Another impressive indication about the timeliness of the monitoring idea comes from the circles concerned about the representation and portrayal of women in news media. The date January 18, 1995 was chosen as an "ordinary" newsday when activists in 70 countries recorded the main outlets of newspapers, radio, and television news, coding the stories and people in them, using over 20 common variables (see Margaret Gallagher's chapter in IMM). Although this media monitoring was limited to one day only (which moreover happened to coincide with the catastrophic earthquake in Japan), the number of participating countries makes it still perhaps the largest exercise of comparative content analysis ever carried out. Moreover, participation in this exercise was voluntary, which demonstrates how spontaneous interest can be mobilized around a good cause and with the help of an informal network.
The global women's monitoring as well as the European project on race and (in)tolerance show how the idea proposed may materialize thematically instead of as an overall survey embracing various global issues at one time. Both topics have also been promoted through EU-sponsored reviews of relevant research literature (see "Images of women in the media," 1999; "Racism and cultural diversity in the media," 2001). Other currently attractive themes, in addition to gender and race, are environment and disarmament-the latter a topic that MacBride and others started to pursue more than a decade ago.
The implementation may occur spontaneously or with the support of a political niche in some thematic cases, but a true materialization of the monitoring idea needs something more. It needs a worldwide network of collaborating scholarly activists. It needs an annual review summarizing tendencies of media coverage in the world, prepared by scholars and eventually elaborated by an authoritative commission that will issue it as a high-profile annual report.
(1) See report of a seminar on media ethics and criticism held in Tampere in April 1993, including a proposal by Heikki Luostarinen for a European journalism review (available at the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication, University of Tampere). For a survey of media criticism reviews in the United States see St. Louis Journalism Review, no. 14, July-August 1993. Another useful source if the Project Censored Yearbook, which, in addition to exposing "news and information not published nor broadcast by the mainstream media in America," is listing journalism/media analysis publications and organizations (Carl Jensen and Project Censored, 1994). An unconventional kind of media criticism is represented by FAIR (Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting), which, in addition to its monthly Extra! and several special projects, makes annual awards such as the "beauties of bias prize," "lost in smoke award," and "media hypocrite of the year."
(2) See The Ethics of Journalism, 1993. The report contains the texts of Resolution 1003 (1993) and Recommendation 1215 (1993), an explanatory memorandum by Manuel Nunez Encabo, a summary of the debate of the assembly that unanimously adopted the two documents on July 1, 1993, as well as a verbatim record of a parliamentary hearing organized by the Committee on Culture and Education in June 1991 on the basis of the Gulf War experience. Particularly relevant to this chapter is the last paragraph (No. 38) of Resolution 1003: The self-regulatory bodies or mechanisms, the media users' associations and the relevant university departments could publish each year the research done a posteriori on the truthfulness of the information broadcast by the media, comparing the news with the actual facts. This would serve as a barometer of credibility which citizens could use as a guide to the ethical standard achieved by each medium or each section of the media, or even each individual journalist. The relevant corrective mechanisms might simultaneously help improve the manner in which the profession of media journalism is pursued.
(3) The Paris meeting, convened in a banquet hall of a Bois de Bolougne restaurant, was organized by the International Organization of Journalists (IOJ), whose president this author was at the time. MacBride's keynote address was improvised without a written text and hence there is no documentation of it.
(4) The memorandum was also moved into the IOJ machinery in Prague, where the proposed "monitoring project" became a pivotal part of the organization's new research and documentation branch called the International Journalism Institute (IJI). The idea was welcomed in general, but no immediate steps were taken to implement it. However, two planning meetings were later organized by the IOJ/IJI under the chairmanship of this author, attended by, among others, the founder of the Glasgow Media Group John Eldridge and the director of the New York-based Institute for Media Analysis Ellen Ray. Reports of these meetings were prepared by the IJI and are available from this author.
(5) The Hutchins Commission quotes are from its main report, "A Free and Responsible Press" (Chicago University Press, 1947), p. 102. Balk's text, including the Hutchins Commission proposal quoted by him, escaped my attention until recently, and thus it has in no way influenced the current monitoring idea. However, it is interesting to note how similar this concept is with that originally submitted by the Hutchins Commission. It is also worth noting that Balk's proposal has not been acted on by those whom he called on, at least not within a decade.
(6) The IFJ working group was the outcome of a meeting organized on my initiative together with the IAMCR in Antwerp (Belgium) in July 1994 to commemorate the centennial of the first international conference of journalists marking the beginning of an international movement of journalists. Present at this meeting were also Charles Husband and Teun van Dijk, leading to their involvement in the IFJ working group.
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