– SPEAKING TO RTÉ, CHANNEL 4’S JON SNOW WARNS THAT TRUTH IS UNDER SIEGE ONLINE –
RTÉ has underlined its commitment to trusted journalism with the announcement that it will be the first Irish media organisation to sign up to the global Journalism Trust Initiative (JTI). RTÉ News & Current Affairs are signing up to the JTI pledge and will begin using their online transparency tool, designed to promote trustworthy journalism.
The move comes as the new Reuters Digital News Report (Ireland) 2021 reveals RTÉ is the most trusted news source for Irish consumers, with 78% of respondents saying they trusted the service.
Speaking at an online event as part of the RTÉ News Truth Matters campaign today, Jon Williams, Managing Director of RTÉ News & Current Affairs said: “The pandemic has driven demand for rigorous, fact-based journalism, from trusted news sources. But on its own, simply asserting the truth is no longer enough. Amid a din of misinformation, it’s vital audiences can trust what they’re being told. That means we need to be more explicit about the efforts we make to ensure what we report is accurate. It is about explaining why we report what we report. RTÉ is Ireland’s most trusted news organisation. But transparency is key to trust and truth. So, today, RTÉ will become the first Irish news organisation to apply to be part of the ‘Journalism Trust Initiative’.
It aims to make it easier for audiences to identify trustworthy journalism by creating a common set of standards for news organisations around trust and transparency. A benchmark of quality and independence, awarded by independent auditors. In the same way that when you see the Q Mark Irish flag on a product, you know it’s been produced in Ireland, the JTI standard means you know you can trust a news organisation’s journalism.”
The JTI online tool enables media organisations to check, disclose and promote their transparency, the reliability of their editorial processes and identify trustworthy outlets. It aims to promote trustworthy journalism and news sources and radically transform steps in tackling disinformation.
The JTI was developed by Reporters Without Borders, supported by the European Broadcasting Union, and in collaboration with over 130 organisations and individuals representing the media industry, academia, regulatory and self-regulatory bodies, tech companies and the media development sector. The JTI has from the 1st June this year, been formally adopted by the National Standards Authority of Ireland.
The RTÉ News The Truth Matters event also saw Channel 4 News presenter Jon Snow highlight his concerns around misinformation during the pandemic saying that “We are under ferocious competition… we know every day we have to work hard to maintain standards and maintain trust and it gets harder because trust is under siege online and truth is under siege online… It’s a daily battle”.
Jon Snow told Miriam O’Callaghan that “it’s good that we are challenged and it’s perfectly justifiable that governments should challenge us, but there are wolves at the door. There is no question that there is a problem when it comes to balance between commercial interest, truth and the need to keep our populations informed”.
Speaking of the greatest dangers facing journalism he said: “the real difficulty is the eternal tension between the need to make money and the need to tell the truth and the two don’t always elide, the interests of ownership are not always about truth.”
As he looks ahead to stepping down from nightly news broadcasting, Jon Snow said he feels privileged to have been with Channel 4 News and has no regrets having become a journalist, 32 years doing the same job saying: “we have to speak for the voiceless, they tell us truths, we’ve got to garner the truths as we work and they may not be truths that we knew to be true until we got hold of it”.
The Truth Matters is a major campaign by RTÉ News aimed at highlighting the issue of misinformation and the importance of accurately sourced news. The onset of the global pandemic has driven all audiences to trusted news sources in search of the truth. RTÉ today hosted an online event for stakeholders entitled A Matter of Life and Death: Journalism in a Pandemic.
About The JTI
The JTI offer consists of three-stages; first the media outlet is invited to complete a self-assessment, which involves an internal check of conformity with JTI Standard. Next, the results of this self-assessment may be voluntarily disclosed to the public and published by the media outlet as a Trust Report. The final stage of the process is an external audit involving an independent evaluation by a licensed Certification Body. The media outlet will be certified and awarded a JTI Mark following the successful completion of all three stages.
For more information on the Journalism Trust Initiative, click here.
RTÉ News The Truth Matters
Phase one of RTÉ News’ The Truth Matters campaign launched in September 2020 and was voted by the European Broadcasting Union as the single best creative promo broadcast in the past year. It was also the Gold Winer in the factual category beating off competition from over 200 other campaigns from across Europe – including those from major organisations like the BBC and Germany’s ARD.
In phase 2 of the campaign launched in May 2021, RTÉ aim to demonstrate their commitment to trust, integrity, and truth. Each execution of this phase of the campaign features an RTÉ News journalist examining how one of these core values has impacted their reporting of a major news story or subject matter.The campaign is running across television, radio, audio, digital, and social media platforms (including Instagram, tiktok and snapchat).
RTÉ News has also launched a four-part podcast series, The Truth Matters, exploring how misinformation spread in an era of mass communication, and how to protect yourself against it. The series examines the differences between misinformation, disinformation and investigates how and why conspiracy theories spread so rapidly online.
For more see: www.rte.ie/truthmatters