“What decisions are made before photographs of refugees and war victims appear in our newspapers, or as video and stills on our computers, mobiles and television screens? Should journalists be more critical when publishing and interpreting such pictures?” These were among the questions the Ethical Journalism Network explores in its latest report Refugee Images – Ethics in the Picture.
The report is is co-authored by Maud van de reijt, a Dutch investigative journalist and historian, and Misja Pekel, a documentary filmmaker at the Dutch public broadcaster Human. Maud and Misja both work on Medialogica, a TV series about public opinion and the influence of media. Earlier this year they produced Sea of Pictures, a documentary examining the editorial process around publishing the tragic images of Aylan Kurdi.
This and other pictures used in telling the refugee and migration story have triggered debates in editorial offices across the world, but what, the report asks, have been the dilemmas faced by photo-editors and other journalists and what lessons have we learnt?
The report, published to coincide with International Migrants Day on 18 December, is one of the chapters of the EJN’s upcoming report Ethics in the News which will be published on January 6, 2017.