Monday, May 30, 2005

Paris, 30 May, 2005

William Porter. the ICF's Founder President took part in a conference in Paris today with the theme of The Social Responsibility Of The Media. It was sponsored by UTOPlES, an NGO promoting sustainable development, which is concerned about the lack of space and comment given to this important subject.

The event was chaired by Elisabeth Laville. who founded UTOPIES, and speakers included Jean-Pierre Chapelle. Secretary General of the daily, Ouest France; Margaret Hill, Editorial Policy Councillor for the BBC; Jo Confino, Executive Director of The Guardian; Vincent Giolito, Vice President of the French Economic and Financial Journalists Association; Thomas Crampton of the International Herald Tribune; and Guillaume Cheneviere, President of the Fondation Medias et Societe of Geneva.

Margaret Hill spoke of the editorial values of balance. accuracy and transparence which are fundamental to BBC news reporting, and of their acceptance that they have a social contract with the British people based on trust.

Jo Confino's emphasis that newspapers and journalists should demonstrate in their own practices the values which they promoted in their editorial columns was well received by the audience of Paris journalists. media executives and business students.

Ouest France is France's most successful daily and Jean-Pierre Chapelle illustrated the ethical principles that guide the quality and coherence of their editorial and business policies. Guillaume Cheneviere described his foundation's promotion of Quality Management Systems. known as the ISAS BC 9001 Standard, which provides values and performance guidance to radio, TV broadcasters and Internet Content providers throughout the world.

This occasion was one of an increasing number of initiatives being taken by civic and concerned activities to challenge media individuals and organisations to accept higher standards of social responsibility in their impact on their audiences.