Journalism and Human Rights
Themes will be developed by collaborative research projects, studentships, CPD and Knowledge Transfer activities.
Project 1: Journalists, war and international justice
The aim of this project is to examine issues surrounding the decisions by journalists whether to appear as witnesses in international war crimes trials, tribunals and truth commissions. The project explores core questions relating to: journalistic objectivity and impartiality; the verification of journalists' stories; the safety repercussions for journalists participating in international trials and tribunals; and the implications for the erosion of confidentiality of journalists' sources.
Project 2: Privacy and Human Dignity
The last decade and a half has seen the increasing use of private individuals (rather than celebrities), in their capacity as such, on television; rather than taking part in quiz shows they have become the show. This trend can be seen in reality TV and in 'ride along' shows, showing the work of the emergency services. The question is, to what extent does the existing framework protect their rights, especially those of unwilling subjects. The decision making bodies of both OFCOM and the BBC are public bodies and as such should respect human rights. This project proposes an examination of their practice to assess its compliance with English law, and that of the European Court of Human Rights
Project 3: Immunisation: Science, Law, Politics and the Media
With recent concern about reports of child immunisation rates falling in the wake of the Wakefield/MMR and other episodes on matters of public health, should journalists wait until other studies confirm findings before reporting research. In an attempt at 'balanced' reporting the views of individuals and groups who oppose immunisation have been given plenty of coverage. The project will investigate issues of human rights in relation to media coverage of public health issues.