There are no clear-cut or definitive rules
about reporting in this area. As Robert Pullan highlights in his article
on Reporting Race Issues most news editors and senior journalists say they make relevance and sensitivity
judgements on a case by case, story by story basis.
However, you may find the following checklist useful in coming to
your own decisions:
- Is race, ethnicity or religion relevant to the story?
- Is the piece accurate and factual?
- Is the opinion/editorial comment clearly delineated from fact?
- Is there another side to the story and where possible have comments
been sought from alternative sources?
- What is the impact of highlighting conflict, violence or crime within
a particular racial, ethnic or religious group?
- Are the visuals or headlines relevant to and congruent with the story?
- Have sensitivities and protocols been checked in the use of language
generally and particularly in the naming of individuals, organisations
or cultural practices?
- Is the piece free of inflammatory language?