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The Ethics of Disaster Coverage

South America | Conference

[Leer en español.]

WHAT DO WE DO when an editor demands even more bloody stories from the scene of a disaster?  

What do we do when ratings drop because we report on survivors and not deaths?  How do we deal with a source who is suffering the loss of a loved one or whose home was destroyed by a tsunami? 

The Media Project is sponsoring an upcoming conference "Covering Disasters: An ethical and Christian View" to address these and many other questions with an international gathering of journalists in Santiago, Chile, on October 8-9, 2011. 

Speakers and participants will take part from Chile, Mexico, Norway, Peru and the USA and will include noted journalists and communicators, including the director of the Institute of Seismology at the University of Chile, Sergio Barrientos; Soledad Onetto, a key journalist and television news presenter; Arne H. Fjeldstad, CEO of The Media Project, among others.

Chile is a country that has been in the news around the world recently due to disasters.  The third-most-powerful earthquake ever recorded and the subsequent tsunami devastated the city of Concepción on 27 February, 2010.  This was followed by the mine collapse and rescue of 33 miners who spent 69 days underground near the city of Atacama.  And most recently, a military airline disaster claimed the lives of 21 people, including one of the country's most recognized television news personalities. 

The event is being organized by the Christian Journalists Network, known by its Spanish acronym COMUNICAn with support from The Media Project.

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