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The International Council for Press and Broadcasting is a subsidiary body of the Next Century Foundation, an organisation which deals primarily with conflict resolution issues and holds an annual International Media Awards in London. It also takes press delegations to the Middle East and South Asia as well as running an annual conferences on subjects such as Xenophobia and Disinformation. Since September 2013, the International Council for Press and Broadcasting has merged with the International Communication Forum with the aim of eventually moving all of its activities under the banner of the ICF.
The International Council for Press and Broadcasting was established by the Next Century Foundation in 2007. It incorporates the International Media Council (founded 2000) of the Next Century Foundation and the International Institute for Media Ethics (founded 2005). It works in cooperation with the International Communications Forum and the St Brides Forum. It was established to eliminate confusion caused following the establishment of a second International Media Council by the Davos World Economic Forum organisation in 2006.
The International Media Council and Peace Through Media is committed to promoting, "peace through media". Though it recognises that the business of publishers is to sell newspapers, it believes that the media has an ethical responsibility for encouraging harmony in today's Middle East. Convinced that the honesty or dishonesty in the media affects the mental health of the world, the Council believes that freedom of expression has a price. This price is continual vigilance - in particular vigilance in identifying and exposing the encouragement of malice or war, and the incitement of hatred in print and image.
The current President is Dalia Salaam Rishani and the Chairman is William Morris. Trustees are Michael Binyon OBE (formerly of the Times), Gamon Mclellen (former head of BBC Arabic), June Jacobs CBE, Ambassador Mark Gregory Hambley, Deborah Pout and Laila Asser.
The Council has sent notable delegations to:
- Run missions into Iraq on behalf of the UK Minister of State for Foreign Affairs prior to the Iraq war, to examine prospects for war avoidance.
- Conducted electoral monitoring in Iraq, most recently in Iraq's 2010 elections, taking a team of Arab journalists into the country for that purpose.
- A fact-finding mission to Benghazi and other eastern territories under NTC control, that led to the US government announcing that it will be deploying predator drones over the war-torn country.
- An International Media Council delegation was the last to meet Yasser Arafat shortly before his death in November 2004.
Media Ethics Code
The Council seeks to promote high standards or responsible journalism, particularly with regard to conflict situations and areas of the world were there has been a history of animosity between populations. Accordingly, the council has published its own code of media ethics which it seeks to promote as a means on encouraging journalistic integrity.
1. Write the facts as you see them
2. A story without a source is a source of trouble
3. A source is not a source when the story is based on rumour
4. When in doubt, cut it out
5. Prejudge no one at all costs
6. Be objective
7. Divorce comment from news and label it as such
8. Commentators are not exempt from the duty to be accurate
9. Never incite racial or religious division
10. Enlighten, lest we fail to understand one another
International Media Awards
The International Media Awards are presented at a ceremony every year to honour editors and journalists with the symbolic prize of an olive tree. The awards are held in recognition of the vital role that the media can play in contributing to understanding, without which no peace process is possible. William Morris, Secretary General of the Next Century Foundation explained: "By publicly recognising the efforts of these editors and journalists, some of whom have put their careers and even their lives at risk through their commitment to reporting truthfully and responsibly, we hope to help raise the standards of journalism in reporting on the Arab Israeli conflict"
Media Credibility Index
The Media Credibility Index is a relatively new publication, produced annually by the Next Century Foundation, together with the International Council for Press and Broadcasting. It was launched at the NCF's 2011 International Media Awards. It is currently being developed to try and cover a wide range of publications, assessing them in terms of press freedom, accuracy, incitement, bias, sensitivity and transparency, awarding plus or minus points as is seen fit. Points awarded are only based on items reported to the International Council for Press and Broadcasting that have been posted on the NCF media blogs. The purpose of the Index is to foster good journalism, responsible editing, balanced broadcasting and more responsible treatment of media professionals. It mostly focuses on Anglo-American media, the Middle East and South Asia.
To view the 2011 and 2012 reports in full, please follow the link: http://internationalmediaawards.org/aboutus/media-credibility-index/
Merger with the International Communication Forum and future
In September 2013, the decision was taken (later announced and formalised in December 2013) to merge the Council with a long-time partner, the International Communication Forum. The ICF is a global organization dedicated to a "committed to media ethics and the freedoms of expression and information". It recognizes that the media is one of the world's most powerful forces for good or ill. For the ICF, the media does not just report and reflect society but often shapes its direction. Through conferences and training programmes, the organization demonstrates its ethos and commitment to ethics and integrity in the Media on the basis of "people-to-people and conscience-to-conscience dialogue".
Following the death of Bill Porter, the Founder and first President of the ICF in 2009, its activity significantly decreased with fears even being raised over its general future in a changing media world. The Chairman for the International Council for Press and Broadcasting, William Morris, took the decision in tandem with Bernard Margueritte, President of the ICF, as well as the rest of the members of the International Council for Press and Broadcasting, to merge the two organisations and its activities with immediate effect.
William Morris will become Chairman of the Executive Council of the International Communication Forum and though the International Council for Press and Broadcasting will continue to function in order to ease the transition process, particularly with regards to the organisation, planning and hosting of the 2014 International Media Awards. However, long-term, it is expected that the International Council for Press and Broadcasting will eventually cease to exist independently, moving all of its activities under the banner and direction of the International Communication Forum.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-07-24. Retrieved 2011-07-08.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
International Media Council Blogsites
- International Media Awards
- Disinformation and Xenophobia in Mid East Media
- Disinformation and Xenophobia in Western Media
- Issues raised by journalists