The International Forum for Responsible Media, (Inforrm for short) was set up to debate issues of media responsibility.
We believe in an independent, strong, free and responsible mass media. The media has important privileges in the public interest to enable it to perform its role as a public watchdog. But with those privileges go responsibilities. The media’s right to freedom of expression must be properly balanced against the rights to privacy and reputation which are an essential part of human dignity.
- The media should take reasonable steps to verify the truth of the stories that it publishes. Anybody who is going to be the subject of media allegations of misconduct should normally be given the opportunity to comment on them first.
- If stories which are published turn out to be false, the media should publish prompt and appropriate corrections and apologies. In appropriate cases, proper compensation should be paid.
- The media should respect people’s dignity and autonomy, it should not invade privacy without having good reasons in the public interest. Anybody whose privacy is going to be invaded by the media should normally be informed in advance and given the opportunity to respond.
Responsible media are an essential part of a healthy social and political system. The striking of the proper balance between expression, privacy and reputation is in the interests of all. We will campaign for practical and legal measures which are designed to ensure that this balance is properly struck.
The Inforrm blog has now been running for two years eight months. We have had nearly 1400 posts from dozens of contributors from around the world. By the end of September 2012 we had had 1.2 million page views – from 4 continents. After the United Kingdom our biggest readership is in the United States, Australia, Canada, India and Ireland – with large number of readers in Europe and across the rest of the world.
We invite suggestions for seminars and events and contributions to the Inforrm Blog. Our purpose is to provide a forum for debate, to be inclusive rather than exclusive. If you want to contribute, please let us know.