It’s official, I’m hosting this Focus Group at 5th International Marine Conservation Congress to be held from 24 to 29 June 2018 in Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia. With a few of my colleagues, we are now looking for more contributions to this Focus Group. Join us at IMCC5!
5th International Marine Conservation Congress
Focus Group: Overcoming ethical challenges in marine conservation communication
Communications and Public Relations are getting rapidly increasing attention and allocation of resources within marine conservation organizations. But Mainstream Media (MSM) is struggling with either a huge lack of institutional capacity or editorial priority to cover related affairs as part of regular news agenda. In many cases, high resource needs to operate in remote marine areas and the novelty of the subjects to the newsroom are related to this scenario.
This dynamic is making way for ‘embedded’ journalism covering conservation efforts without clearly laid-out ethical safeguards on both sides. I’ve observed many such cases in Bangladesh, Thailand, Singapore, and the USA, where MSM is being engaged to disseminate contents while being directly or indirectly guided and sponsored by the subjects, that is nature conservation and conservation groups, but this kind of communication and PR contents are not the replacement for objective journalism. This practice consequently deprives the nature conservation of objective reporting and critical coverage which are cornerstones of transparency, accountability, and public trust. A strong, responsive and dynamic ethical regime is imperative to address this challenge.
The Focus Group is designed to gather information about ethical challenges faced in marine conservation communication, identify key values and ethics, and prepare a draft for an ethical guideline. Before the conference, the host and other contributors will prepare a working-paper and distribute among the registered participants for their feedback and inputs.
So, whether you work with communications, marine conservation, media ethics or not, if you have experience and expertise to contribute to this Focus Group, please register, and do reach out to us.
Featured Photo: Perhentian Islands, Terengganu, Malaysia. by Anwar Hossain Chowdhury
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