Ethics of Reporting Terrorism
Interview With Giovanni Tridente
ROME, FEB. 19, 2007 (Zenit) - A recently published essay on journalistic ethics in covering terrorism asserts that journalists are obliged to put events into context when reporting them.
We interviewed Giovanni Tridente, author of the essay "Attacco all'Informazione. Un Approccio Etico alla Copertura Mediatica del Terrorismo" (Attack on Reporting: An Ethical Approach to Media Coverage of Terrorism), published by Apollinare Studi.
Tridente is finishing his doctoral research on institutional communication at Rome's Pontifical University of the Holy Cross.
Q: You ask to what point a journalist must give voice to those who foment hatred. Do you have an answer?
Tridente: A journalist takes the side of those who sow death every time he places himself in a non-critical attitude to terrorist news; when, because of sloth or supposed rules of making news, he fails to put into context the content he offers his readers; or re-transmits exactly, without a careful and documented verification of sources, and without making any cuts in communiqués or terrorists' claims. In summary, every time he puts aside a responsible attitude in his work, without taking into account the negative consequences, including psychological, to which he exposes the recipients of his work.
Q: How should terrorism be covered journalistically?
Tridente: Above all, by putting the event into context. In the case of terrorists' communiqués, they should be rewritten with a new terminology, eliminating possible messages in "combative" keys or language.
Moreover, one must place oneself on the side of the victims, diminish the violent reach of terrorist actions by avoiding sensationalism, relegating such news to inside pages, giving them very little space and favoring news that promotes an anti-terrorist conscience.
In the case of television images, the sensationalist nature of services should be played down, avoiding scenes of blood or tortured bodies.
Q: You say that it is good if the journalist trusts his own conscience, if he has the "concept of person" and "human values" very present. The problem, however, is that not all have the same concept of person and human values.
Tridente: I think we all can converge on the fact that in any realm of life we cannot speak of persons as if they were numbers or things.
History has long taught us the tragic aspect of such a mentality. The concept of person to which I am referring is that which considers the human being as an end and measure, and never as a means or instrument in the hands of the chosen few.
That is why I am in agreement with the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, when it states in a document that "communication should be made by people for the benefit of the integral development of other people."
Q: You call for "correction" and responsibility. What do you understand by this?
Tridente: Above all, it is good to understand that a journalist's work does not end when the newspaper goes to the press or when the television service is broadcast. Rather, at that moment it starts. It begins when it reaches the reader's hands or the television spectator's eyes. Only then can one know if a good job has been done.
And the good job will depend on the honesty with which one has acted, if one's own actions have been considered, and if one has worked exclusively for a shared good.
This requires prudence and a sincere orientation in favor of safeguarding the rights of truth and the duties we all have to society.
http://www.catholic.org CA, US
Catholic Online - Publisher, 661 869-1000
Ethics, Terrorism, War, Islam, Tridente, Hate
More Catholic PRWire
Showing 1 - 50 of 4,718
A Recession Antidote
Monaco & The Vatican: Monaco's Grace Kelly Exhibit to Rome--A Review of Monegasque-Holy See Diplomatic History
Dna. Maria St. Catherine Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.
A Royal Betrayal: Catholic Monaco Liberalizes Abortion
Dna. Maria St.Catherine De Grace Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.
Embrace every moment as sacred time
Mary Regina Morrell
Letting go is simple wisdom with divine potential
Mary Regina Morrell
Father Lombardi's Address on Catholic Media
Pope's Words to Pontifical Latin American College
Prelate: Genetics Needs a Conscience
State Aid for Catholic Schools: Help or Hindrance?
Scorsese Planning Movie on Japanese Martyrs
2 Nuns Kidnapped in Kenya Set Free
Holy See-Israel Negotiation Moves Forward
Franchising to Evangelize
Catholics Decry Anti-Christianity in Israel
Pope and Gordon Brown Meet About Development Aid
Pontiff Backs Latin America's Continental Mission
Cardinal Warns Against Anti-Catholic Education
Three words to a deeper faith
Relections for Lent 2009
Wisdom lies beyond the surface of life
Mary Regina Morrell
World Food Program Director on Lent
Pope's Lenten Message for 2009
Keeping a Lid on Permissiveness
Glimpse of Me
The 3 stages of life
Sex and the Married Woman
A Catholic Woman Returns to the Church
Modernity & Morality
Just a Minute
Catholic identity ... triumphant reemergence!
Edging God Out
Burying a St. Joseph Statue
George Bush Speaks on Papal Visit
Sometimes moving forward means moving the canoe
Mary Regina Morrell
Easter... A Way of Life
Papal initiative...peace and harmony!
Proclaim the mysteries of the Resurrection!
Jerusalem Patriarch's Easter Message
Good Friday Sermon of Father Cantalamessa
Papal Address at the End of the Way of the Cross
Cardinal Zen's Meditations for Via Crucis
Interview With Vatican Aide on Jewish-Catholic Relations
Pope Benedict XVI On the Easter Triduum
by Catholic Online
- Central bankers warn of looming global recession HD Video
- St. Cyril of Alexandria: Saint of the Day for Tuesday, June 27, 2017
- Daily Reading for Wednesday, June 28th, 2017 HD Video
- Is Atheism a religion?
- Vatican asks for the release of bishop forcibly removed from diocese
- Supreme Court sides with church in playground case
- Daily Readings for Tuesday, June 27, 2017
- Daily Reading for Tuesday, June 27th, 2017 HD
- Daily Reading for Monday, June 26th, 2017 HD
- Daily Reading for Sunday, June 25th, 2017 HD
- Pope Francis prepares an incredible gift of love and solidarity for South Sudan HD