ONO Newsletter August 2023

ONO up for a name change?

During the ONO London conference in June this year, one topic came up several times: why is ONO still the organization of news ombudsMEN? And it became clear at the annual general meeting (AGM) that there was strong support for ONO’s name going gender-neutral.

Since this is a membership decision, the board now asks permission of the full membership to file a name change with the required authorities, so that the Organization of News Ombudsmen and
Standards Editors (ONO) becomes registered as the Organization of News Ombuds and Standards Editors (ONO).

Sensing the mood during the membership meeting in London, the decision might be labelled overdue, and the board is unanimous in recommending this step to the membership. But, of course, the board invites any of you who want to share remarks, questions or hesitations to write to us at newsombudsmenorg@gmail.com. For ONO – whatever the acronym stood or stands for – has
never been an organization that rushes into decisions if thoughtful deliberation is needed.

In the next newsletter, we will inform you of the response, and whether the name change can be filed or whether ONO should take a formal vote on the issue.

Raising the profile of ONO 

At the AGM during the London conference, members discussed whether (and, if yes, how) to raise  ONO’s profile as a global driver of discussions about journalism standards and ethics. After the  conference, ONO member Steven Springer (News Standards and Best Practices Editor at Radio Free  Asia) sent the board some further food for thought on this matter. He wrote: 

“In the U.S., in advance of their yearly journalism conferences, the Society of Professional Journalists  (SPJ) and the RTDNA (Radio Television Digital News Association) send all-call emails to their members,  asking for ideas for panel discussions, whether a member would be willing to host or participate in  such a panel, or whether a member might be interested in leading an open discussion session — much  like our Shoptalks.

If journalism organizations in our member countries host similar yearly conferences, maybe they have  similar all-calls; if they do, then perhaps ONO members can come forward with ideas for panels or  discussions. Any ONO member interested in doing this would have to get approval from the ONO  board to ensure that we are properly represented at a particular conference. Certainly, there’s no  guarantee that a suggestion would be accepted for a particular conference, but in general I think this  would be a good way to raise our profile globally, and potentially serve as a way for ONO to recruit  new members.” 

The board thinks this interesting idea should be shared with members and would like to hear your  thoughts on this. Perhaps you have already participated in conference panels in your country where  you spoke about ONO and want to share experiences with other members?

Let us know, through  newsombudsmenorg@gmail.com, and we will come back to this topic in future newsletters.

ONO’s LinkedIn Page 

Did you know ONO has a LinkedIn page? As of August 2023, the page had only 42 followers and we think we can  do better. Apart from the yearly conference and the newsletter, it is one of the ways to connect with other ONO members.

Connect with ONO’s LinkedIn page here

ONO shop talk on AI 

Come and join us on September 19 at 1200 UTC for our first shop talk after the summer (winter in  the Southern hemisphere). John Daniszewski from The Associated Press and Elisabeth Ribbans from  The Guardian will initiate a debate on generative AI (Artificial Intelligence) and how it is being  incorporated into news standards at their companies. The session will be moderated by Bjarne  Schilling, Politiken, and Lars Bennike, TV 2 Denmark. Click here for the Zoom link, which will be emailed to  every member again a few days before the talk.

If you have ideas for future shop talks, please send Bjarne and Lars an email at bjarne.schilling@pol.dk and labe@tv2.dk.

AI in Journalism – Links 

To give you a bit of a head start before the September shop talk, here are some interesting links to read on AI in Journalism. 

  • First a look at what AI is and what it does. Produced  by the BBC, “A simple guide to help you understand AI” can be found here
  • The Guardian took a good look at what AI means for our ability to see and tell the truth. It also published an interesting article on how the newspaper will be using generative AI. 
  • How can we use Artificial Intelligence in journalism without losing audience trust? That is the  question the International Center for Journalists seeks to answer in this online article.  
  • The New York Magazine has three theories on how AI will change journalism. 
  • Did you notice? Some pictures in this newsletter were made with the Artificial Intelligence tool Firefly from Adobe. You can experiment with it for yourself here.

Other interesting links

  • Former ONO Executive Director and ABC Ombudsman Alan Sunderland pointed out this interesting appreciation of the life of former ONO member Alicia Shepard, who passed away recently.
  • Alan has a second mention here because he was among a small panel asked to research what went wrong at Radio New Zealand when wire stories were inappropriately edited. You can read his report here.
  • ONO member Kelly McBride wrote this piece on how to interview vulnerable sources.
  • A Norwegian newspaper is experimenting with a new form of transparency. You can read about it on NiemanLab.org.

This is your newsletter!

Looking for an earlier ONO newsletter, click here!

Comments? Ideas for this newsletter, for shop talks or even the next conference already? Email us at newsombudsmenorg@gmail.com.

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