The ethical media manifesto – “I commit to being an ethical media maker”

I commit (1)I commit to being an ethical media maker.

I will strive to live up to these values in every piece of content I make. I recognise that being fair and ethical in my content making is a lifelong journey and I may make mistakes, but I will always seek to learn and to do better.

I promise to:

1. Always consider the impact of my content on the audience.

I recognise that the content I make can have a wide range of impacts on the audience. I will always consider those impacts and ensure they are not without purpose. Where my content is likely to have negative impacts or cause distress it will be justified and I will ensure the audience have access to appropriate support.

2. Always consider the impact of what I produce on my subjects.

If I am producing content about people or communities of people I will consider the impacts (whether direct or indirect) my work may have on them. If a person or a community of people are the subject of my work I will seek to include them in the process. Where this is not possible I will weigh the public interest of my content against the potential impacts.

 3. Attribute the work and contributions of others.

When I am using, remixing or adapting the work of others I will ensure they are appropriately attributed. When my content is a work of collaboration I will provide clear and appropriate credit.

4. Be clear about potential conflicts of interest or relationships.

If there is a potential conflict of interest or a relationship which may impact my work I will be upfront about these conflicts or relationships. I will also investigate the potential conflicts and relationships of those I collaborate with. I recognise that the integrity of my work relies on this.

5. Produce content that has a positive impact on our society.

My aim is to produce content that will have a positive impact on our society. I will not produce content with a negative intent. I will choose educating over manipulating.  I will seek to add to collective knowledge and understanding rather than take away from it.

What would you add to your own ethical media manifesto? I consider this a working document and I’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas. Leave a comment here or send me your ideas to @JB_AU on Twitter.

-JB

 

Thank you for supporting community broadcasting

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This week the community broadcasting sector was one of the lucky few community groups that was spared in the 2014 Federal Budget. Community broadcasting is about so much more than just broadcasting – I really believe it changes lives and has a huge impact on people’s participation in our democracy. I’ve seen first hand people from a wide range of under represented backgrounds become more connected, confident, skilled, socially aware and positive members of the community as a result of their involvement in community broadcasting.

Thank you if you supported the Commit to Community Radio campaign. It means a lot to me.

Even if you didn’t I hope you’ll still consider keeping track of it where it goes from here: http://committocommunityradio.org.au/

-JB

The best gift we can give this year

I have one simple request from my fellow Australians this Christmas and I hope it’s something we can all at least try to embrace in 2014.

For Christmas, can we please get our compassion back?

Something nasty crept into the Australian collective consciousness this year and if it’s a sign of things to come we’ve got a tough year ahead.

It was a year in which sexism, homophobia, xenophobia and a wide range of other phobias and “isms” were issues often at the forefront of the public space, but in many cases felt like we’ve backtracked and gone back to “protecting our own”. It’s a gross binary opposition against whatever particular enemy we choose at the time and it’s contributing deeply to this nastiness we’ve seen over the year.

Our politics demonstrated this with one of the most toxic years we’ve seen in a while, where compassion seemed to be the last thing on the agenda. Instead of aiming to be a more cohesive, more connected community we became even more of a blind cheer squad for “our” ideologies and forgot the people in our community who need us the most.

Australians, of all people around the world, have the most to be thankful for. We’re still one of the most privileged, secure and lucky countries in the world, but somehow we’ve bought into the rhetoric that we’ve got it so bad we can forget our most vulnerable and needy both at home and internationally.

So if there’s one thing I can ask of my fellow Australians it’s this – As you (hopefully) enjoy your Christmas Day take a moment to cherish the things you and I are so lucky for in this country, take that good energy and spirit, think of those who don’t have it so lucky heading into 2014 and do something about it. Make a commitment and decide how you plan to make our community a more loving and caring place in 2014.

The greatest gift you can give this Christmas is to bring some compassion back into our community.

Merry Christmas and thank you to all the wonderful people I’ve shared my year with both offline and online. Many of you have given me hope we can bring that compassion and care for each other back. Thank you.

-JB

It’s time for you to do something.

Has the last month of Australian politics worn you out? Are you tired? Are you sick of the same old drama rearing its head on our national stage? Is your apathy rising?

It’s more important than ever that you don’t switch off. It’s time for you to do something.

We can’t expect better from our community unless we demand better from ourselves and from the people around us.

Traditional politics and party structures may have turned stale, but we help no one by sitting on the sidelines and complaining. You can make change in your own community without needing a politician to do it for you. The smallest actions and positive gestures can  have a major impact on improving the lives of all Australians

Frustrated by sexism? Have that tough conversation with a family member about their behaviour.

Sick of homophobia? Challenge your mates when they make homophobic jibes.

Disgusted by racism? Fight the stereotypes.

Stand up and be the change you want to see.

Australia has some of the highest volunteering rates in the world. You’d be surprised how many people also want to see change happen and are willing to stand up and change it for themselves.

So I issue you a challenge:

Next time you’re angry about something in our community pick up the phone and ask a friend “what can we do to change this?”.

Call a community organisation and ask “How can I help?”.

Write to that person you admire for making change and give them the support and the inspiration to keep going.

No matter how big or small your contribution – do something and you never know – your gesture of change could lead to change in our whole community. It has to start from somewhere.

Change only happens when we do something.

What ways do you see people making change in your community? What projects or organisations are you involved in? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter at @JB_AU