Ethical journalism and editorial decision making has never been more demanding in such a high-paced and interconnected, increasingly volatile, complex and uncertain environment we all live in.
While in principle this should boost the demand for trustworthy news, to explain, to clarify and contextualise, the real-life response seems to be the opposite: news avoidance on the side of the audiences, a drain of talent and burn-out within a craft that has always been a risky business, in many ways and for everyone involved.
Reporting exposes risks, ideally before worst comes to worst – from climate change, war or natural disasters, to corporate fraud, malpractice in politics or the occasional traffic accident. But while covering those stories, journalists and editors tend to forget that they are not immune to risk themselves – ranging from internal risks, like individual breaches of professional and ethical rules, to external risks, like SLAPPs, surveillance and censorship, or business failure.
Insulating a newsroom against risk requires an honest assessment, case and context specific, and pre-emptive measures in terms of technology, workflows and ethical compliance overall.
The GMR’s Assurance team supports media outlets of all types and sizes to manage editorial risk efficiently, and thus to operate responsibly towards stakeholders and the communities they serve.