Etik og troværdighed i dansk journalistik

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Ethics and Credibility in
Danish Journalism
Mark Blach-Ørsten
Roskilde University
Ethics and Credibility in
Danish Journalism
Why study ethics and credibility?
• Because in the network society “only the
media,(…), are plausible rivals to the state”.
(Couldry: 2003,672).
• In order to act in the role of ‘fourth estate’ the
media need to maintain a high level of
credibility amongst users, politicians and
others.
Ethics and Credibility in
Danish Journalism
Credibility in many shapes and forms, but often
linked to questions of accuracy, fairness, ethics,
and balance.
“The sources survey method (…) remain the
most accepted and trusted of all accuracy
studies” (Silverman, 2007: 69).
Ethics and Credibility in
Danish Journalism
A brief history of accuracy studies using the
source survey method (Silverman, 2007):
1936 – 46 % of local newspaper stories
contained an error
2005 – 61 % of all of all stories in the selected
newspapers contained an error.
1999 – 30 % error rate in television news
2004 – 35 % error rate in television news
Ethics and Credibility in Danish Journalism
• Quality in journalism as a matter of
ethics and credibility.
• Two analysis:
- Journalistic credibility evaluated by
journalistic sources
- Journalistic ethics evaluated by
journalists themselves.
Analysis of sources: Background information
•
Questionnaire-based survey of sources that have participated in news articles
and news reports in week 46, 2011 in national broadsheet newspaper + online
newspapers (Berlingske, Jyllands-Posten and Politiken), local newspaper
(Folketidende and Nordvestnyt) and national television (DR and TV 2).
•
The questionnaire was distributed to 906 sources in the period 13th-21st
February 2012.
•
When the collection of responses was completed 13th March 2012 had 596
sources responded, of whom 95 per cent had answered all the questions in the
questionnaire. Altogether it makes a response rate of 66 per cent.
•
547 sources confirmed that they had been interviewed by a journalist from the
media, in which the article or feature was published in. It is the responses of
these 547 sources, the analysis is based on.
•
The 547 sources break down as follows: 57% from national newspapers, 19%
from regional newspapers, 17% from national TV and 7% from the national
newspaper’s online papers.
Sources about ethics and credibility in Danish journalism
Objective errors:
• Only 13% of the sources experiencing
concrete and factual errors in articles and
features (15.3% in 2006)
Subjective errors:
• 79% do NOT feel that the journalist has
left out important information or quotes
Sources about ethics and credibility in Danish journalism
• 45% found errors in the article / feature
when they had quotes for review
• 67% believe that news is often influenced
by the media’s own opinion on the subject
Objective errors:
Are there concrete factual errors in the article /
feature?
No
84.3%
Yes, my name is misspelled
2.8%
Yes, the information about my title,
my work or my age is wrong
3.7%
Yes, other personal information
about me is wrong
Yes, there are other types of factual
errors
Do not know
0.9%
6.7%
2.8%
0.0% 10.0% 20.0% 30.0% 40.0% 50.0% 60.0% 70.0% 80.0% 90.0%
N=
Objective errors:
Yes, there are concrete, factual errors in the
article / feature
23.1%
11.3%
10.4%
7.7%
Broadsheet
newspapers
Local newspapers
Public Service
television
Online
newspapers
Subjective errors:
Has the reporter left out information or quotes in
the article / feature, that in your opinion would
have been important to get in?
No
Yes
Do not know
78.6%
11.6%
9.8%
Subjective errors:
Yes, the reporter has left out important
information or quotes
18.7%
14.4%
9.5%
2.6%
Broadsheet
newspapers
Local
newspapers
Public Service
television
Online
newspaper
Check of the quotes:
Were there errors or mistakes in the quotes when
you got them for review?
43.0%
36.3%
6.7%
12.6%
1.5%
Yes, and they Yes, but they Yes, but they
were rectified
were not
were not
when I pointed rectified even rectified since I
it out to the
though I
did not point it
journalist
pointed it out
out to the
to the
journalist
journalist
No
Do not
remember
Check of the quotes:
Yes, there were errors or misunderstandings in
the quotes when I got them for review
48.2%
44.4%
25.0%
20.0%
Broadsheet
newspapers
Local
newspapers
Public Service
television
Online
newspaper
Statements about the article / feature in its entirety:
Fully or partially agree that the article / feature is
influenced by the media’s own opinions and views
25.6%
19.4%
18.4%
16.5%
Broadsheet
newspapers
Local
newspapers
Public Service
television
Online
newspaper
Statements about the article / feature in its entirety:
Fully or partially agree that the article / feature is
good journalism
69.1%
66.0%
63.2%
62.2%
Broadsheet
newspapers
Local
newspapers
Public Service
television
Online
newspaper
General statements about Danish journalists and Danish media:
The news that the news media bring, are generally
very reliable
50.2%
18.7%
17.9%
7.6%
3.1%
2.5%
Fully
disagree
Partially
disagree
Neither
agree nor
disagree
Partially
agree
Fully agree
Do not
know
General statements about Danish journalists and Danish media:
News is often influenced by a particular political
philosophy
40.5%
23.3%
15.6%
10.9%
5.5%
4.2%
Fully
disagree
Partially
disagree
neither
agree nor
disagree
Partially
agree
Fully agree
Do not
know
Background information on the analysis about journalists and ethics:
Which media are the respondent working for?
Berlingske
17,0%
Jyllands-Posten
18,7%
Politiken
15,7%
Folketidende
3,0%
Nordvestnyt
7,2%
DR
17,0%
TV 2
21,3%
In total
305
Journalists about ethics and credibility in Danish journalism
• 83% do on a daily or weekly basis
reflect on the ethics of their own work
(82% in 2006)
• 61% discuss on a daily or weekly basis
ethics with their colleagues (50% in
2006)
Journalists about ethics and credibility in Danish journalism
• 76% find on a daily or weekly basis
examples of bad ethics in the Danish
press (69% in 2006)
• 58% believe that the most common
reason to compromise on ethics is a
lack of time or competition with other
media
Knowledge of media ethics:
Are you familiar with the guiding rules for the
ethics of journalism?
Broadsheet
newspapers
Local
newspapers
Online Public service
newspapers
television
Yes
94,2 %
81,8 %
91,3 %
90,9 %
90,5 %
No
2,9 %
13,6 %
4,3 %
3,0 %
3,6 %
Do not know
2,9 %
4,5 %
4,3 %
6,1 %
5,9 %
In total
Knowledge of media ethics:
Are you familiar with your own media’s
independent guidelines for journalistic ethics?
Broadsheet
newspapers
87,5 %
Local
newspapers
36,4 %
Online
newspapers
82,6 %
Public
service
television
87,9 %
● No
8,7 %
22,7 %
8,7 %
3,0 %
8,3 %
● The media
does not have
independent
guidelines
0,0 %
27,3 %
0,0 %
1,5 %
3,3 %
● Do not know
3,8 %
13,6 %
8,7 %
7,6 %
7,0 %
● Yes
In total
81,4 %
The extent of the problems with journalistic ethics:
I find examples of bad journalistic ethics
in the Danish press
51%
46%
24% 25%
24%
18%
2%
Dagligt
Ugentligt
Månedligt
4%
Halvårligt
2012
0%
1%
Årligt
2006
4%
0%
0%
Aldrig
0%
Ved ikke
The extent of the problems with journalistic ethics:
At my work, I find examples of bad journalistic
ethics
Daily
Weekly
Monthly
Semiannually
Annually
Never
Do not know
Broadsheet
Local
Online
newspapers newspapers newspapers
1,0%
0,0%
0,0%
15,4%
13,6%
8,7%
27,9%
31,8%
26,1%
31,7%
22,7%
26,1%
8,7%
13,6%
26,1%
5,8%
4,5%
4,3%
9,6%
13,6%
8,7%
Public
service
television
1,5%
12,1%
37,9%
28,8%
16,7%
0,0%
3,0%
In total
0,7%
12,5%
31,1%
28,6%
14,3%
3,9%
8,9%
Reflection and debate about journalistic ethics:
We discuss journalistic ethics at
editorial meetings at my workplace
45%
30%
9%
8%
2%
Dagligt
Ugentligt
Månedligt
Halvårligt
Årligt
3%
4%
Aldrig
Ved ikke
Reflection and debate about journalistic ethics:
I discuss journalistic ethics with the
management at my workplace
29% 29%
24%
22%
20%
16%
13%
13%
11%
10%
8%
3% 3%
0%
Dagligt
Ugentligt
Månedligt
Halvårligt
2012
Årligt
2006
Aldrig
Ved ikke
The reason for poor ethics:
According to your opinion, what is the most
common reason that a journalist may have to
compromise on journalistic ethics?
Lack of time to complete the work
32.9%
Competition with other media
25.1%
Other
16.5%
Pressure from editorial director or
other management
14.3%
Do not know
6.9%
Competition among journalists inside
the workplace
4.3%
0.0%
5.0%
10.0%
15.0%
20.0%
25.0%
30.0%
35.0%
Ethics and Credibility in Danish Journalism
• Few errors in articles / features and clear ethical
awareness among journalists
• No 'decay' from 2006 to 2011
• BUT…
• Many sources find errors in the article / feature - some
errors get corrected
• Much debate about ethics - but not with the management
• Pressure of time and competition are challenges for
ethics (and credibility)
• News is (often) marked by the media’s own opinion
about the subject / the media political standpoint.
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