The International Media Awards are held under the auspices of the International Communications Forum.
The International Communications Forum (“ICF”) is a global organization dedicated to a “committed to media ethics and the freedoms of expression and information”. It recognizes that the media is one of the world’s most powerful forces for good or ill. For the ICF, the media does not just report and reflect society but often shapes its direction. Through conferences and training programmes, the organization demonstrates its ethos and commitment to ethics and integrity in the Media on the basis of “people-to-people and conscience-to-conscience dialogue“.
The ICF is in partnership with the Next Century Foundation, an organisation which deals primarily with conflict resolution issues and holds an annual International Media Awards in London. It also takes press delegations to the Middle East and South Asia as well as running annual conferences on subjects such as Xenophobia and Disinformation.
The ICF has taken over the running of the International Media Awards after a merger in September 2013 with the former trustees of the Awards, the International Council for Press and Broadcasting. The ICPB was established by the Next Century Foundation in 2007. It incorporated the International Media Council (founded 2000) of the Next Century Foundation and the International Institute for Media Ethics (founded 2005). It was established to eliminate confusion caused following the establishment of a second International Media Council by the Davos World Economic Forum organisation in 2006. The merger with the International Communication Forum has seen all ICPB activities, including the Media Awards, move under the auspices of the ICF.
The International Media Council is committed to promoting, “peace through media”. Though it recognises that the business of publishers is to sell newspapers, it believes that the media has an ethical responsibility for encouraging harmony in today’s Middle East. Convinced that the honesty or dishonesty in the media affects the mental health of the world, the Council believes that freedom of expression has a price. This price is continual vigilance – in particular vigilance in identifying and exposing the encouragement of malice or war, and the incitement of hatred in print and image.
The current Chairman is William Morris. Trustees are Michael Binyon OBE (of the Times), Gamon Mclellen (former head of BBC Arabic), June Jacobs CBE, Ambassador Mark Gregory Hambley, Deborah Pout and Laila Asser.
The Council has sent notable delegations to:
- Run missions into Iraq on behalf of the UK Minister of State for Foreign Affairs prior to the Iraq war, to examine prospects for war avoidance.
- A fact-finding mission to Benghazi and other eastern territories under NTC control, that led to the US government announcing that it will be deploying predator drones over the war-torn country.
- An International Media Council delegation was the last to meet Yasser Arafat shortly before his death in November 2004.
2004 International Media Council Delegation to Palestine and Israel.
The Media Ethics Code
The Council seeks to promote high standards of responsible journalism, particularly with regard to conflict situations and areas of the world were there has been a history of animosity between populations. Accordingly, the council has published its own code of media ethics which it seeks to promote as a means on encouraging journalistic integrity.
1. Write the facts as you see them
2. A story without a source is a source of trouble
3. A source is not a source when the story is based on rumour
4. When in doubt, cut it out
5. Prejudge no one
6. Be objective
7. Divorce comment from news and label it as such
8. Commentators are not exempt from the duty to be accurate
9. Never incite racial or religious division
10. Enlighten, lest we fail to understand one another
International Media Awards
The Media Credibility Index
The Media Credibility Index is a relatively new publication, aimed to be produced annually by the Next Century Foundation, together with the International Communications Forum. It was launched at the 2011 International Media Awards. It is currently being developed to try and cover a wide range of publications, assessing them in terms of press freedom, accuracy, incitement, bias, sensitivity and transparency, awarding plus or minus points as is seen fit. Points awarded are only based on items reported to the International Communications Forum that have been posted on our media blogs. The purpose of the Index is to foster good journalism, responsible editing, balanced broadcasting and more responsible treatment of media professionals. It mostly focuses on Anglo-American media, the Middle East and South Asia.