- JiG signed an open letter condemning Médecins Sans Frontières for publishing exploitative and endangering images of children. The letter, organized by human rights and media ethics activists, followed the publication of photos identifying a child rape victim in the Democratic Republic of Congo taken by an MSF-contracted photographer. Following the action, the president of the charity issued an apology and vowed to strengthen reporting guidelines:
"Among the issues highlighted was our decision to publish identifiable photographs of a 16-year-old girl who was the victim of rape in Ituri, Democratic Republic of Congo. We acknowledge that the publication of these images was a mistake, and we are sorry. We have removed these images and other sensitive photographs from the online article and are taking a series of actions to put better safeguards in place.
This incident has revealed inadequacies in our guidelines on the gathering and use of images, and inconsistencies in how those are implemented across MSF. We are working to remedy this problem and are grateful to those who have raised it.
As an immediate action, we have added clearer language to our production guidelines to protect minors, defined as anyone under 18. The revised section requires that we change the name and obscure the visual identity of minors who are victims of abuse, exploitation, or who are suffering from a highly stigmatised condition. The rules impose additional restrictions on any content featuring minors. They also clarify that minors cannot provide informed consent on their own."
- On May 5, JiG participated in a training workshop for journalists and press officers in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. We introduced key concepts from our handbook 'Silence and Omissions: A Media Guide for Covering Gender-Based Violence' alongside trainer and manager Oyuntsetseg from Mongolia's Press Institute, in partnership with the National Gender Equality Secretariat.
Photograph of the participating journalists reproduced with permission from the Press Institute:
- JiG published two promotional videos, and two flyers to mark the publication of our reporting guide. All are available to download and use below:
Silence and Omissions Twitter advert:
Silence and Omissions Instagram advert:
- To mark the National Week of Action to end the crisis of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls [MMIWG], JiG is publishing a new short guide for journalists reporting on MMIWG:
The guide was written in collaboration with the National Indigenous Women's Resource Center, and journalists Alice Driver, Suzette Brewer, Brandi Morin, Chantal Flores, Jane Gerster, Diana Washington Valdez, and Rana Husseini.
- On International Women's Day this year, we launched our new guide book 'Silence and Omissions: A Media Guide for Covering Gender-Based Violence' in Kenya. We heard from ten journalists and advocates, primarily from Kenya, about the work that still needs to be done to eliminate bias from reports on gender-based violence and sexual harassment. Kenyan journalist and guidebook contributor Eunice Kilonzo moderated the event with insight and style.
- The Journalism Initiative on Gender-Based Violence (JiG) hosted an online panel discussion ‘Reporting on Gender-Based Violence in a Heating World’ on March 16 during the Commission on the Status of Women session in New York. Leading journalists and experts from India, Bangladesh, Fiji, Samoa, and Malawi described how climate change is exacerbating gender-based violence in their regions, and how as journalists we can better educate the public about the ongoing crisis.
- The Journalism Initiative on Gender-Based Violence’s Senior Program Lead, Cathy Otten, addressed this year’s class of global journalism fellows from thirty different countries at Oxford University’s Reuters Institute on February 3rd. Cathy introduced key ideas from CWGL’s new standard-setting guide ‘Silence and Omissions: A Media Guide for Covering Gender-Based Violence’, and led a lively debate on ethics when reporting on gender-based violence, and the need for gender sensitivity in newsrooms.
- On February 22nd, Cathy delivered a lecture on feminist media advocacy to a class of graduate students from the Department of Women's and Gender Studies and Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, followed by a discussion on writing techniques and how to structure an article.
- CWGL published its new, standard-setting reporting manual ‘Silence and Omissions: A Media Guide for Covering Gender-Based Violence,’ in December, following consultations with more than 100 journalists and photographers from 38 countries. The book outlines a survivor-centered, human rights-based approach to reporting, and directs journalists toward producing more insightful, impactful coverage of gender-based violence. Book contributors give helpful tips on writing about some of the most pressing topics of the day, such as femicide, intimate partner violence, reproductive rights, and sexual harassment.
- On December 6, the Journalism Initiative on Gender-Based Violence and the National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center hosted a webinar: ‘Crimes of Power: Reporting on Femicide’. Expert journalists and advocates from Canada, the U.S., U.K., Mexico, and Jordan described their experiences reporting on femicide and missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls. The webinar is now available to watch online here. We were joined by journalists Alice Driver, Suzette Brewer, Brandi Morin, Chantal Flores, Jane Gerster, Diana Washington Valdez, Rana Husseini, and Mallory Adamski from the NIWRC.
For more information on the crisis of missing murdered Indigenous women and girls in the U.S. and Canada, visit the National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center’s website.
- JiG's Senior Program Lead Cathy Otten addressed an online panel hosted by Equality Bahamas, along with the head of the Digital Department at Eyewitness news Ava Turnquest; Emmy-winning director, producer, and correspondent for PBS Newshour Daffodil Altan; and feminist, research consultant and writer Alicia Wallace. Cathy described the new guidebook, the survivor-centered approach to reporting on gender-based violence, and the difficulty of keeping ethical standards high while working in sometimes hostile newsrooms.
- This month JiG published a new tip sheet for reporters covering online violence. The tip sheet 'Reporting on Digital Violence: A practical reference guide for journalists and media' was developed by JiG in partnership with UNFPA, the United Nations sexual and reproductive health agency.