Phil Chamberlain: 08971128 University of the West of England MA Journalism: Dissertation

Eyes on the prize: an analysis of ten years of Amnesty International media awards for human rights reporting

Wordle made up of text from some of the winning print entries in the Amnesty International media awards

Phil Chamberlain MA Journalism Dissertation Faculty of Creative Arts University of the West of England Supervisor: Dr Lee Salter
Word Count: 14, 202
1

Phil Chamberlain: 08971128 University of the West of England MA Journalism: Dissertation

Contents 1. Acknowledgments 2. Abstract 3. Introduction 4. Literature review
a. Human rights and the news media b. The function of prize giving

c. Journalism and awards 5. Methodology a. Overview
b. Analysing the Amnesty International Media Awards

c. Who were the journalists on the awards list? d. What media organisations feature? e. What countries were featured? f. What kind of human rights abuses were reported?
6. Findings and discussion

7. Conclusions 8. Bibliography 9. Appendices a. List of human rights awards b. Breakdown of amnesty International award winners and runners-up c. UN Declaration of Human Rights d. European Convention on Human Rights

2

Phil Chamberlain: 08971128 University of the West of England MA Journalism: Dissertation

Acknowledgements I would like to acknowledge the support and advice of Dr Lee Salter, Bernhard Gross, Myra Lee and Kathryn Houldcroft.

3

Phil Chamberlain: 08971128 University of the West of England MA Journalism: Dissertation

Abstract
For 20 years the Amnesty International media awards have recognised the “best in human rights journalism”. There is an extensive and mature debate on the nature of human rights but academic studies into human rights and journalism are much less prevalent. Rarer still are studies into journalism and prize giving .This dissertation analyses the winners and runners-up in the Amnesty International media awards for the last ten years. It looks at how human rights are framed in the stories, which countries are covered and which journalists and organisations are honoured. It uses key critical theories on the nature of human rights reporting to understand the results. It argues that the stated desire by the media and human rights organisation for the awards to show the breadth of reporting and highlight issues little covered elsewhere is not borne out. The actual content of winners and runners-up shows a narrow range of organisations taking part, a narrow range of countries covered and limited range of topics reported. Instead the awards support the strategy of “information politics” aimed at targeted reporting to leverage human rights gains. Finally that they demonstrate a battle over the colonizatrion of the human rights sphere by the media.

4

Phil Chamberlain: 08971128 University of the West of England MA Journalism: Dissertation

CHAPTER ONE Introduction
The story about one woman’s quest for peace grabs your attention. “Sharmila Irom, a young woman from the Indian state of Manipur, has not eaten for almost 10 years. She is too angry to eat, too upset, too disgusted by the violence that surrounds her, too disturbed by her helplessness to do anything about it. She is hungry for justice, not for food."1 It also grabbed the attention of Amnesty International which gave its author, Andrew Buncombe, an award for human rights reporting.

The same day that it was published violence exploded in Athens as a general strike took hold.2 Riots left at least three people dead in the Greek capital. The strike had been called because of planned austerity measures forced on to the Greek government in return for billions of euros in loans to bail out its moribund economy. These measures would have frozen wages, cut pensions and raised taxes.

Articles 23, 24 and 253 of the UN Declaration of Human Rights say that everyone has the right to favourable employment conditions, an adequate
1

Andrew Buncombe, The Independent, One Woman’s Quest for Peace, May 5, 2010, http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/one-womans-silent-quest-for-peace-onindias-wild-frontier-1962571.html accessed October 2011.
2

See: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/8661385.stm See: http://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/index.shtml#a23

3

5

Phil Chamberlain: 08971128 University of the West of England MA Journalism: Dissertation

standard of living and security in the event of unemployment or sickness. In light of those Articles there is a legitimate debate to be had about the Greek government’s proposal in the context of human rights. However, in the many mainstream news reports on this event that I looked at, none framed it as a human rights story.

I would suggest that Buncombe’s article about a woman confronting institutional violence conforms to a traditional perception by the media of what constitutes human rights reporting. The story has been framed in a familiar David versus Goliath narrative that allows the cultural and geographic distances to be collapsed and thus make the event understandable to the reader. The abuse takes place elsewhere, in some exotic other, and we are spectators; we’re not complicit in the event. It fits Mutura’s description of the dominant Western metaphor of human rights which forces actors into roles of savage, victim or saviour. According to Mutura: “The victim figure is a powerless, helpless innocent whose naturalist attributes have been negated by the primitive and offensive actions of the state or the cultural foundation of the state.” (Mutura 2001: 203) Meanwhile the saviour is any human rights story is “ultimately a set of culturally-based norms and practices that inhere in liberal thought and philosophy”. (Mutura 2001: 204)

6

Phil Chamberlain: 08971128 University of the West of England MA Journalism: Dissertation

Although it is possible to make a critical reading of Buncombe’s article, it won the 2011 Amnesty International Media Award in the national newspaper section4 and therefore is considered an example of excellence in its field. Now in its 20th year the Amnesty awards have grown to be one of the premier celebrations of human rights reporting in the western media. According to Amnesty they “recognise and celebrate the best in human rights
journalism”.5

Rodgers has shown that there has been a huge increase in the amount of news stories covering human rights (Rodgers 2009: 1098) but not everyone who suffers human rights abuse gets the same coverage : “Poverty and ignorance prevent many needy groups from taking actions that would raise their international profile.” (Bob 2002: 144) Bob compares the Chinese abuse of Tibetans with similar abuses against Xinjiang’s Uighurs arguing that the former’s high profile is due in large part to the media friendliness of the Dalai Lama. That suggests that at least part of the problem is the organisation of human rights advocates on the ground doesn’t meet the structural needs of the Western media. If only the Uighurs had a Dalai Lama they too might get a story in the BBC.6

4

For list of all the winners see: http://www.amnesty.org.uk/content.asp?CategoryID=10058

5

Amnesty International website, http://www.amnesty.org.uk/content.asp? CategoryID=10058 accessed December 2011
6

BBC website, Dalai Lama warns of backlash against immolations, 18 November 2011, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-15799762

7

Phil Chamberlain: 08971128 University of the West of England MA Journalism: Dissertation

Another way of considering what human rights abuses make it into the media (and thus become eligible for an Amnesty International award) is offered by Chomsky and Herman. Their propaganda model suggests that, no matter how good a particular oppressed group or individual’s public relations strategy, coverage depends on their relationship to the United States. Enemy states will find Amnesty International reports on ill-treatment discussed thoroughly in the mainstream news media while abuses in carried out by friendly nations receive different treatment. In their analysis of the media coverage of Latin American dictators supported by the US they write: “Since the installation and support of military juntas, with their sadistic tortures and bloodbaths, are hardly compatible with human rights, democracy and other alleged Western values, the media and intellectuals in the United States and Western Europe have been hard-pressed to rationalize state policy. The primary solution has been massive suppression, averting the eyes form the unpleasant facts … When the Latin American system of torture and exile is mentioned at all, it is done with brevity and ‘balance’.” (Chomsky and Herman 1979: 12-13)

We can see, then, that there is a debate about how human rights stories find their way into the news media and why certain stories are constructed as human rights ones. The very best human rights stories, according to Amnesty International, are those which it has awarded prizes. If there were issues being ignored, countries overlooked or groups which had slipped under the radar than Amnesty has an opportunity to put that right through
8

Phil Chamberlain: 08971128 University of the West of England MA Journalism: Dissertation

its awards. Indeed in presenting the awards in 2003, Amnesty International UK campaigns director Stephen Bowen said exactly that: "At a time when the world's attention has been focused on Iraq, there is a grave danger that human rights abuses elsewhere will get overlooked. "The range and quality of the shortlist reminds us of the critical role journalists can play in drawing attention to events in Israel, Zimbabwe, Guinea and the former Yugoslavia republic for example."7

From the other side, the list of award winners can also demonstrate what kind of human rights stories the media considers are signs of excellence since these are the ones they have selected for entry into the awards. By looking at the organisations submitting stories, the issues covered and the countries involved we can get an idea of the selection criteria employed by journalists. Therefore this dissertation will look at the winners and runnersup in the Amnesty awards for the last ten years. That offers a strictly defined data set which can be analysed in light of the critical approaches outlined above and which will be added to through this dissertation.

Human rights are fundamentally important issues for the news media to cover because it is one of the key avenues through which citizens can arm themselves with information necessary to protect themselves from abuse.
7

Press Gazette, Amnesty reveals shortlist for human rights awards, 2 May 2003, http://www.pressgazette.co.uk/story.asp?storyCode=22795&sectioncode=1 accessed November 2011

9

Phil Chamberlain: 08971128 University of the West of England MA Journalism: Dissertation

Therefore getting coverage right is vitally important. My analysis will show how effective what is considered the best in human rights reporting is at performing that function. I also argue that extra attention is likely to be paid to award winning stories not just by consumers, but also by other news outlets because they garner prestige which helps increase profitability. Therefore I will consider the current thinking on awards systems themselves, and in journalism in particular.

My hypothesis is that the idealised narrative constructed by both the media and the human rights organisation around human rights awards is not borne out by the content of the award winner and runners-up. The chosen stories will reflect a narrow view about what constitutes human rights and they will be guided by well-established and internalised news values. Therefore, the idea that issues previously unexplored, countries often ignored, people frequently marginalised can find a voice through the championing of articles by the awards system is a myth.

10

Phil Chamberlain: 08971128 University of the West of England MA Journalism: Dissertation

Chapter Two Literature review
I will outline three key areas in my literature review which are pertinent to my study. The first is literature around the reporting of human rights; the second the literature on awards and prize giving and finally the literature on prize giving in journalism specifically.

Human rights and the news media I do not intend to present a summary of the vast canon of work which has developed around human rights but instead look specifically at the relationship between human rights organisations, and Amnesty International in particular, and the media.8

From the beginning Amnesty International has worked closely with the media. It was founded in 1961 following an article in The Observer. British lawyer Peter Benenson wrote about people imprisoned and abused because of their political or religious beliefs. He felt a spotlight should be shone not just upon what he called the ‘forgotten prisoners’ but upon their jailers. That relationship continues. BBC journalist Rupert Wingfield-Hayes, who has been nominated, for several awards said:

8

By media I mean the print, radio, television and online providers of news and analysis of current events.

11

Phil Chamberlain: 08971128 University of the West of England MA Journalism: Dissertation

“Amnesty as an organisation I think is extremely important. Not just in its awards, but also in the work Amnesty does. We rely hugely on Amnesty International’s work in the field, for information and for all sorts of background information to the stories that we do.”9

This is the relationship as seen by traditional liberal commentators. The news media as a key guarantor of human rights and making use of the best sources (McIntyre 2003: 1). However there are divergent opinions on how and why journalists report human rights stories. Herman and Chomsky’s propaganda model suggests that news passes through five filters before the “cleansed residue” makes it on to screen or page. The look at the different ways in which the US media report similar human rights abuses in different countries. They argue that consistently the U.S. and its client states are held to different standards (Herman 2000). The reason for this is that the mainstream media are fundamentally businesses selling consumers to advertisers and as such they support the current economic hegemony. A more recent analysis by Edwards and Cromwell (2009) using the same model looked at the coverage of Iran and Venezuela by The Guardian and BBC. It highlighted what the authors saw as different treatments in human rights issues for the countries conceived as enemies of the U.S. compared to abuses perpetrated by Allied forces in Iraq. In applying this model to the prize winners we might expect to find a greater representation of those states politically antagonistic to the U.S.

9

Amnesty International website, http://www.amnesty.org.uk/videos.asp?id=113 accessed January 2012

12

Phil Chamberlain: 08971128 University of the West of England MA Journalism: Dissertation

One critique offered by Naomi Klein is that human rights organisations, in striving to be impartial, have separated abuses from their cause. She uses Amnesty International reports about human rights abuses in Chile under Pinochet as an example of an organisation, wary of being painted as biased, offering a neutered discourse (Klein 2007: 119). She also highlights a differing attitude towards corporations and governments with the latter receiving the greater weight of attention as perceived guarantors of human rights even if the former can be just as complicit in abuses.

An alternative set of filters is offered by Kaplan of what he says causes the media to misrepresent or marginalise human rights issues (Kaplan 2002). Anyone familiar with Galtung and Ruge’s taxonomy of news values (summarised in Harcup 2004: 30-31), would find Kaplan’s list unsurprising. His filters are bias (political, cultural etc); instrumentalisation (the use of human rights for political purposes such as leveraging aid); use of biased language (loaded terms such as terrorism); selectivity of news stories; pollution during the news gathering process which distorts the facts; reductionism that renders human rights in simplistic terms; sensationalism and negativity (only the worst or most unusual get reported) and finally an absence of context so that key historical, social or economic background is omitted. (Kaplan 2002: 8)

13

Phil Chamberlain: 08971128 University of the West of England MA Journalism: Dissertation

It is more than just, as Kaplan suggests, a question of focussing on sensationalism or negativity. A particular issue or incident often originates from a report from an authoritative source such as a government or human rights NGO as the media have fewer resources to cover foreign news. The fact that such stories tend to take place abroad means they have to fight extra hard to justify news space. The media is not structurally geared to cover long-term processes such as, say, the gradual displacement of an ethnic group. There is also the othering of human rights stories by positioning them as taking place somewhere else and not at home.

The sourcing of a story from an NGO, or in the case of awards their endorsement of particular stories, does not mean that some filtering hasn’t taken place. Ron, J et al give four factors which influence how prominently a human rights story is judged by an NGO press operation before it is communicated to the media. These are; the previous reporting efforts with those that have succeeded in gaining press before privileged in the future, how much power the state in question wields internationally, whether it receives U.S. military assistance and a country’s general media profile. (Ron, J, et al 2005). Their analysis of Amnesty International’s activities shows that, while rights are universal, the organisation targets its efforts in what is called “information politics”. Contrary to the propaganda model, there is a deliberate attempt by Amnesty to focus on the activities of powerful states as a tool to leverage better conditions worldwide. The authors write:
14

Phil Chamberlain: 08971128 University of the West of England MA Journalism: Dissertation

“There is little doubt that information politics is enormously useful. Intense NGO reporting on U.S. violations of international law in Guantanomo Bay, for example, may strengthen global laws against illegal incarceration, while a focus on the U.S. war in Iraq, the trial of former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet, or the Israeli/Palestinian conflict promote public awareness of the laws of war, accountability for past abuses, and the treatment of occupied populations.” (Ron, J. et al 2005: 576) In outlining this strategy the authors warn that its very success can lead to some abuses being marginalised. As one Amnesty International worker tells them: “You can work all you like on Mauritania, but the press couldn’t give a rat’s ass about Mauritania. You don’t put a press release out on that.” (Ron, J. et al2005: 576)

These critiques argue that the very way news media outlets are structured politically and economic affects, often negatively, the way they report human rights. My methodological approach to analysing the Amnesty prize winners (outlined in the next chapter) also takes a structural approach and so the data produced is well suited for testing against these approaches.

The function of prize giving The fact that prize giving can be found in many different organisations and societies shows that it fulfils some fundamental purpose. Anthropologists class awards as part of the rites of enhancement along with rituals such as
15

Phil Chamberlain: 08971128 University of the West of England MA Journalism: Dissertation

the medals given to soldiers and the prizes for top performing sales people. Trice and Beyer describe the role of such a rite as to: “provide public recognition of individual accomplishments from which all derive benefit and seem to enable the organization to take some share of the credit for these accomplishments. Another obvious, notso-latent consequence is to motivate other members to greater efforts.” (Trice and Beyer 1984:660) While they might share this common heritage and serve the same broad social needs, prize giving and awards vary immensely among different organisations.

There is a lot of research on prize giving as an inducement for scientific innovation. This has a long history with some of the most famous examples being solving of the longitude navigational problem, the invention of canned food as way of better feeding Napoleonic troops and, more recently, various aeronautical endurance tasks (Kay 2010).

Meanwhile Shavell and Ypersele (1988) and Maurer and Scotchmer (2004) have looked at other aspects relating to prizes driving technological innovation. That includes the importance of publicity and how prizes help scientists gain peer respect and generate further funding. These are all applicable background to the focus of this dissertation.

16

Phil Chamberlain: 08971128 University of the West of England MA Journalism: Dissertation

There also prizes for excellence in the arts. Street (2005) and English (2002) are two key authors who have looked at the cultural capital that accrues to artists from winning awards and how the pursuit of prizes might affect the kind of art produced. In other words, designing the entry to fit the criteria rather than any intrinsic value. This concern is a common complaint raised with the Pulitzers where it is feared the success of the prize skews the entries.

There has also been research into prize giving as an inducement for good behaviour. One example is a report from management consultants McKinsey (2009) into philanthropic prize giving. It analysed 219 major awards worth at least $100,000 and then carried out an in-depth analysis of six of these followed up with interviews with award organisers. The report argues that prizes are well-suited to achieving philanthropic goals and goes on to say: “For many philanthropists, the ability of prizes to grab attention and influence public perception of a topic or discipline is deeply attractive. There are many examples of well-crafted prizes, backed by a relatively small amount of capital, establishing the importance of a field, catalyzing market demand, shaping public debate, and even changing the image of sponsors.” (McKinsey 2009: p21) Amnesty International says that its criteria for judging its media awards includes exposing human right abuses to new audiences and “carrying forward the debate on human rights or highlighting new or emerging
17

Phil Chamberlain: 08971128 University of the West of England MA Journalism: Dissertation

issues”.10 There is an obvious parallel between the philanthropic approach outlined in McKinsey, which aims to encourage good behaviour, and Amnesty’s aim of encouraging good practice in the media.

Journalism and awards The literature on journalism and prize giving can be split into two categories; academic analysis of the criteria used to judge awards and observational pieces by journalists on whether awards are good for their industry or not. As Beam et al note in their study: “The bulk of what has been written about journalistic prizes appears in the mass media themselves.” (1986: 693).

Beam et al were inspired by studies on how scientists achieved greater peer recognition through winning awards. They also wanted to consider how awards might be a firm of social control by conferring prestige on the winners.

They carried out a postal survey of American journalists and found that, while winning awards did translate into personal prestige it did not necessarily lead to greater job satisfaction. It also found that journalists rated more highly those awards given by their peers rather than those from
10

Amnesty International website, awards, http://www.amnesty.org.uk/content.asp? CategoryID=10058 , accessed January 2012.

18

Phil Chamberlain: 08971128 University of the West of England MA Journalism: Dissertation

non-professional organisations. They concluded that: “Prizes become part of the array of mechanism for assuring that employees meet expected standards of performing.” (Beam et al 1986: 698)

Coulson drew upon a similar methodology a few years later for his study looking at American editors’ attitudes towards journalism awards (Coulson 1989). His interest stemmed from the Janet Cooke scandal where a Washington Post Pulitzer Prize winner had to hand her award back because she had falsified large parts of her story.

It did not appear that the Cooke affair, blamed on too much emphasis on awards, was putting editors off. Coulson’s study showed not only that 90% of those responding considered awards valuable, but nearly 90% had received one themselves.11 However, only half of respondents felt the awards were “proof of excellence” and the assumption by Coulson was that that their ‘value’ was external in terms of promoting a corporate image and internal as a reward system for staff. “This might suggest that the awards have become ends in themselves and raises a question for future study: does prize journalism heighten performance or focus more attention on the importance of the rewards rather than on the activity being rewarded?” (Coulson 1989: 147)

11

The sample was made up of senior journalists so the high incidence of award wins suggests a correlation between advancement and trophy wins.

19

Phil Chamberlain: 08971128 University of the West of England MA Journalism: Dissertation

A narrow study by Gladney (1995) noted how award entries needed to be visually exciting if they were to claim top spot even if the criteria was just on written content. It hinted at the vague rules often set down by judges.

This issue of criteria was then looked at by Shapiro et al who studied how judges defined rules on excellence in two Canadian journalism competitions. Their postal interviews revealed that judges, given latitude by vague or non-existent criteria, applied inconsistent standards.

These studies attempt to pull back the curtain to see what is the process which leads to the award being given and what the effect is upon journalists. Apart from Gladney, no-one has looked at the entries themselves. The methodology has also been similar; a mass mail out to members of a professional guild and then a representative sample frame drawn from the resulting returns.

Gauging the effect upon journalists is difficult because, as Beam et al, showed, not all prizes are viewed the same. This dissertation will look at a specific, high profile award and analyse the entries that actually made it onto the podium. This offers a complimentary methodological approach and one more suited to my line of questioning.
20

Phil Chamberlain: 08971128 University of the West of England MA Journalism: Dissertation

As for high profile awards, while academics only started looking at prize giving in journalism from the 1980s, trade journals such as Colombia Journalism Review () had been carrying opinion pieces by reporters on the topic since the beginning of the 1970s (Zinman 1970, McCormally 1971), and the Pulitzers were a focus of interest.

America’s premier journalism award, the Pulitzers were established in 1917 to help restore the reputation of yellow journalism. A review by Shepard (2000) makes clear how serious the media industry in the United States takes the Pulitzers. The process is very ritualised and one in which all parties invest a lot of energy and from which the winners draw enormous prestige. However, some journalists believe the prizes are mean little outside of the industry. Columnist Jack Shafer wrote: “Put it this way: If another trade association gave itself awards—and despite the presence of a few academics on its board, the Pulitzer Prize Committee is a glorified newspaper trade association—would its winners get Page One play?12 Never.”13

12

ie, should it go on the front page

13

Jack Shafer, Slate, So You Won A Pulitzer, Slate, April 6, 2004, http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/press_box/2004/04/so_you_won_a _pulitzer.html, accessed December 2011 21

Phil Chamberlain: 08971128 University of the West of England MA Journalism: Dissertation

Journalist Alexander Cockburn’s critique of the Pulitzers was along the same lines. “The truth is that the Pulitzer business – and, given the promotional uses to which the prizes are put, it definitely is a business – is a self validating ritual whereby journalists give each other prizes and then boast to the public about them.” (Cockburn 1988) In an excoriating attack a few years later on the Pulitzers awards Cockburn described them as specifically failing in terms of human rights reporting. “To my mind, much of 1983 was a record of journalistic failure, failure to set forth accurately the issues of arms control and negotiations with the Soviet Union, failure to discuss objectively and accurately the situation in the Middle East, failure to report the political change in the black community that has stimulated the Jackson candidacy. The list could go on for quite a while” (Cockburn 1988, p225) The list which Cockburn does supply could be viewed as a list of unreported human rights stories. Certainly the conflict between Israel and Palestine, highlighted by Cockburn, generated, as we shall see, more than a dozen stories nominated by Amnesty. It is this conflict in particular to which Cockburn then goes on to reference with regard to a Pulitzer-winning photography portfolio. “I hope the Palestinians in Lebanon feel a little better today. Largely misreported and racially denigrated though they may have been in the US news media over the past 40 years, at least their sufferings have contributed to the Pulitzer process.” (Cockburn 1998: p225)
22

Phil Chamberlain: 08971128 University of the West of England MA Journalism: Dissertation

It is not just journalists who gain from the prestige accompanying a Pulitzer. Savage (2009) recalls a university professor of journalism who entered the competition each year simply to say he was a Pulitzer nominee and bask in the reflected glory.

It might be argued that some professional jealousy is at play in these critiques and that these articles are partial and polemical. However they have picked up on an aspect which the academic analyses have not, and that is the political economy behind prizes. The professor can enter the Pulitzers each year because, as with most awards, the only criteria to do so is to pay the entrance fee submit an article which meets the broad requirement of being published within a certain period and in an appropriate format. The judging process is likely to rule it out on whatever quality criteria are employed. However, no business turns away customers. So, much like a fairground shooting game, as many can have a go as pay the owner – it’s just that only a few will go away with a teddy from the shelf.

The awards as business can be seen in a report by Sweet (2001). It raises concerns about the commercial sponsorship of prizes influencing the judging process and helping push issues corporations were interested in. For instance, Kellogg’s sponsoring an award for nutrition journalism. They very language journalists use to assessing their professional prizes
23

Phil Chamberlain: 08971128 University of the West of England MA Journalism: Dissertation

demonstrates how the commercial aspect has been internalised. Shepard says that “if prizes are journalism's currency, then Pulitzers are newspapers' Gold Standard” and quotes Thomas Kunkel, dean of the University of Maryland’s College of Journalism and a former editor, saying: "Prizes are the only way we have to keep score. Stock prices and stock options are the only way to keep score on Wall Street. In journalism, we can only talk about who does good work and who has a great staff. But that's pretty subjective. Yet there's nothing more subjective than prizes. Every journalist you ever talk with will say our obsession with prizes is criminal. It might even be venal how much value we put on prizes. But it's the only quantifiable way of the industry recognizing you as a player." (Shepard 2010) Given this influence it is not surprising that she finds the winner of an Edward R Murrow award (a prestigious television news prize in America) giving a talk called “How to win a Murrow”. For those not in journalism but looking to monetize the awards process they could also learn from former Emmy14 judge Leverne (1997) whose book “And the winner is…” provides a step-by-step guide for business to create their own awards process.

We can see from this review on the literature of prize giving that the very limited academic research has used interviews to gauge what those taking part in the process feel is the purpose and outcome. Apart from Gladney it is has not actually looked at what wins prizes.

14

American television award

24

Phil Chamberlain: 08971128 University of the West of England MA Journalism: Dissertation

The much more numerous comment pieces from journalists are concerned with prizes as threats to their professional standing. That might be because of the desire to win a prize becomes the most important reason for writing a story rather than any intrinsic newsworthiness (however that may be defined) or that the commercialisation can comprise a journalist’s perceived independence. At the root is a desire to gain prestige that can be seen by their peers to have been fairly earned.

This dissertation will complement these three areas of study outlined above (human rights, awards systems and journalism prizes). One way to consider a prize system is look at what it actually honours rather than what its participants say it should honour. The academic papers which have looked at journalism awards have not differentiated between award types but aimed to uncover general rules applicable across all competitions. They have been exclusively North American based. Similarly, the comment pieces have all been North American focussed (indeed Pulitzer focussed) and generally concerned with the how participants view the process.

I will look at the output from a UK-based awards process, and one which carries significant professional prestige. My focus will be narrower than previous studies in that it will look at a single award process but much deeper because it involves a close reading of the output over a ten year period. I do not claim my findings are applicable across all UK journalism
25

Phil Chamberlain: 08971128 University of the West of England MA Journalism: Dissertation

awards. However, it does add an ingredient missing from the current literature which is a comprehensive look at what actually wins. In focussing on a human rights award it will add to the on-going discussion on the relationship between human rights NGOs and the media and how that moderates the public discourse on rights. Finally, it can provide material for the wider study of organisations and how employees take part in reward systems.

26

Phil Chamberlain: 08971128 University of the West of England MA Journalism: Dissertation

Chapter Three
Methodological overview The primary tool I employed was content analysis which has a wellestablished pedigree as rigorous statistical analysis attempting to uncover values in text. “This content gives communication scholars a window through which to explore a vast array of theoretical possibilities.” (Hoffman and Slater 2007: 59) According to Bertrand and Hughes: “The search for scientific reliability and validity has led to the refinement and standardisation of techniques, but all content analysis still consists in taking a sample of media, establishing categories of content, measuring the presence of each category within the sample, and interpreting the results, usually against some external criteria.” (Bertrand and Hughes 2005: 198)

Beyond this broad definition are a number of different approaches which researchers may employ depending on their hypothesis, the data set and their preferred methodological approach.

Previous studies on journalism awards such as Coulson (1989) used questionnaires to ascertain the motivations of key actors in the awards process. As Bertrand and Hughes point out, though, this approach “provides
27

Phil Chamberlain: 08971128 University of the West of England MA Journalism: Dissertation

simple answers to simple questions, so they cannot help to establish thick description or to understand process or social context”. (Bertrand and Hughes 2005: 69)

The key difference between interviews by questionnaire and content analysis are people – or rather the lack of them. The former is concerned with teasing out insights from people involved in some way in the area being studied. While the results can be extensive they are also limited to the areas the subjects know about. The accuracy is also reliant on who agrees to complete the form and how they choose to answer the questions. The latter method, provided the sampling is done correctly, is better suited for large-scale surveys. In looking at the hundreds of entries in my chosen media award a content analysis approach seems a better ‘fit’ with the area being studied – the right tool for the job. I am interested in what was produced as a result of the awards system, and from that what it suggests about the nature of human rights reporting, rather than the justifications of those involved in the process.

Aside from getting the right sample, one that is weighted properly so that it can represent the totality of data, a key issue is establishing the right categories. The content analysis approach is rather rigid and means that the conclusions are only as good as the categories chosen to measure the data. If, subsequently, it is found that there is a better way to measure the
28

Phil Chamberlain: 08971128 University of the West of England MA Journalism: Dissertation

text the whole process has to be redone. This empirical approach can be inflexible and only shine a light on the surface of the question rather than being able to probe fully its depths.

“In practice, the researcher is forced to compromise, making the best possible category definitions in the circumstances, acknowledging that they are always imperfect.” (Bertrand and Hughes 2005: 200)

That imperfection extends to measuring the categories once complete. Texts are not like geometric shapes which can be weighed, counted or measured in absolutes. The empirical heritage behind content analysis tends to falls away at this stage as researchers employ more intuitive methods to judge the data before them. Despite these drawbacks, this approach appears the most appropriate method testing my sample.

I need to bring some order to the sample frame so that I can situate it within wider socio-economic context. The motivations of those submitting and judging the awards, while of interest, are secondary to understanding the entries in of themselves. I wish to look at them as a discrete sample and take them on face value. Therefore, careful coding should be able to perform that function better than interviews or surveys. Having decided to adopt a content analysis approach I set about constructing a series of codes or markers which I would check against each entry.
29

Phil Chamberlain: 08971128 University of the West of England MA Journalism: Dissertation

Firstly, therefore, I needed to find my sample frame. My aim was to look at all the awards open to journalists working in the UK which had a human right category or were all about human rights reporting. There were several reasons for limiting my search in this way. One was practical in that awards for non-English speaking journalists would have been too time consuming for me to research and translate. I was also guided by the few other studies in this area. One asked American journalists for their views on awards (Coulson 1986) and the other compared two Canadian awards (Kosicki et al 1985). They both restricted themselves to awards within one country.

Although there is much in common between American and UK reporting in terms of fundamental approaches to news construction, there are only a few prizes open to journalists from both countries. For instance, the prestigious Pulitzers dominate the mainstream American journalism but are not open to UK publications. Therefore trying to compare entrants would have been difficult because it would not have been possible to compare them equally. It was more coherent then that I restrict my first sample to those open to UK journalists. My definition of journalist would be guided by the eligibility criteria employed by the awards themselves.

30

Phil Chamberlain: 08971128 University of the West of England MA Journalism: Dissertation

In establishing what awards were open to my target audience I was unable to find a directory such as that used in the American studies.15 I therefore carried out a comprehensive survey of UK and European professional journalist organisations as well as human rights organisations.16

My research identified the following award schemes: One World Media Awards; Index on Censorship - freedom of expression awards; Golden Pen of Freedom; International Press Freedom awards from the CPJ; Liberty; Knight International Journalism Award for Human Rights; Lorenzo Natali Journalism Prize: EU HR Journalism Award; Minority Rights Group International – media award; Sakharov Prize and the Amnesty International UK media awards. Some of these prizes were more directly applicable than others. For instance, Liberty is a human rights NGO and has honoured journalism award in the past but does not have a specific journalism award. The Golden Pen of Freedom has been won by a Northern Irish paper in the past and, while it favours reporters in developing countries or those facing severe repression, it does not explicitly exclude UK newspapers or reporters. The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) award is open to UK reporters, though the only
15

Editor and Publisher is commonly used as resource for such awards listing. See: http://www.editorandpublisher.com/
16

The organisations, NGOs and publications searched were: National Union of Journalists, British Association of Journalists, the Chartered Institute of Journalists, Press Gazette, MediaWeek, journalism.co.uk, English PEN, The Journalism Foundation, The Joseph Rowntree Trust, Fritt Ord, the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers, The Committee to Protect Journalists, the Rory Peck Trust, the International Centre for Journalists, Article 19, the International Federation of Journalists.

31

Phil Chamberlain: 08971128 University of the West of England MA Journalism: Dissertation

reporters from first world countries to have been honoured have been American. The majority are from developing nations or those with severe censorship issues. The Knight International Award is on the borderline of being accepted in that it is open to UK journalists (it is open to all) but is aimed at those from developing countries or who have faced violent censorship. Its criteria is loosely worded by generally encompasses human rights themes. Meanwhile the Sakharov Prize is borderline but has been awarded to journalists in the past. It was clear from looking at the range of awards and profile that the Amnesty International and One Word prizes dominated this sector. A search for mentions on the Nexis database for mentions in the English language press of the awards in previous decade showed that Amnesty had the higher media profile. Therefore I selected the Amnesty Awards as the most methodologically sound to investigate.

Analysing the Amnesty International Media Awards Amnesty International’s UK section has been making awards to the media since 1992 and has grown to be a significant prize for human rights reporting.

I decided to look at the last ten years of entries as this would give me a necessary sample frame to consider the nature of human rights reporting and reveal any longitudinal developments. This was also motivated by the fact that only since 2002 has Amnesty made readily available its winners
32

Phil Chamberlain: 08971128 University of the West of England MA Journalism: Dissertation

and runners-ups. The awards are split into categories covering print, radio, television and, latterly, online. In each category there was a winner and between one and three runners-ups. I excluded categories which journalists could not apply for but were instead just chosen by Amnesty. That meant all the entries in the sample were those which the journalists themselves considered worthy of consideration and met the criteria demanded by Amnesty. Therefore analysing them would shed light on both Amnesty and the media outlet’s assumptions and practices. I also excluded those categories which were not open to UK journalists so as not to contaminate the data with material produced to different standards or using different processes. There is a debate about the globalization of news culture and the export of UK and US news practices to other countries which I don’t intend to go into. Suffice to say that I saw this exclusion as helping create a more coherent sample frame.

It was possible to gain a brief understanding of the content of each of these from published material. However for in-depth analysis I would restrict myself to the print entries only as I could not be sure of accessing the television footage and it would be difficult to draw valid assumptions soley from a script.

Who were the journalists on the awards list?

33

Phil Chamberlain: 08971128 University of the West of England MA Journalism: Dissertation

I started by listing the names of the journalists responsible for each winning or runner-up entry. This would show how wide was the spread of journalists honoured and provide an indication of whether human rights was a story type which many different reporters covered.

An initial analysis highlighted an uneven, and unexpected, gender split. There were two years when the numbers of men and women nominated were equal (2006 and 2008) and in 2004 it was 18 men to 14 women. Otherwise the balance was firmly in favour of men. It cannot even be said that the situation is improving as the worst out of the ten years was the penultimate one (46 male journalists and 13 female). In total 273 male reporters were listed to 178 female reporters.17 I discuss the implications of this further in my Findings chapter.

The number of journalists acknowledged increased in 2007 when Amnesty expanded the number of categories. It also appeared that the television submissions began to be made up of larger teams. While the first five years had a mean of 23 journalists acknowledged, the next five years saw a mean of 57.6.

17

The gender of each reporter was checked via web search rather than relying on names which suggested a particular gender. The TV journalist Alex Crawford being a case in point.

34

Phil Chamberlain: 08971128 University of the West of England MA Journalism: Dissertation

In total, over the ten years (and excluding the international section introduced later which is not open to UK journalists) 441 journalists are mentioned. However, that is not 441 different journalists because what is quite clear is that several people are consistently honoured. In fact there are 361 separate journalists with 15 managing at least three separate nominations. Indeed Hilary Andersson managed five and Robin Hammond six (and winning four of those). It helped that Hammond could submit in the newspaper, periodical and photojournalism categories.

What media organisations featured? While several journalists crop up regularly in the awards list the number of media organisations is even more repetitive. Over the ten years there are 252 organisations which either won or were shortlisted in the categories I looked at.

Of those, the lion’s share was taken by various arms of the BBC. In total they had 78 nominations through their radio, regional and national programmes. Particularly strong was BBC Radio 4 which had 20 nominations. Perhaps that should not be surprising as it is the corporation’s main radio news outlet.

35

Phil Chamberlain: 08971128 University of the West of England MA Journalism: Dissertation

Aside from the awards juggernaut that is the BBC, a few other organisations dominate the list. There are a number of independent television companies but these provide films for established networks (including the BBC). Otherwise it is Channel 4 which comes closest in the television category with 28 nominations. ITV has just six and Sky two (one of which is for an online report).

The way that news media companies can now offer material across a range of platforms is demonstrated in these awards. For instance The Guardian (and its sister paper The Observer) is named not just in the national newspaper section but also contributing to several television documentaries as well as entering the magazine section and producing digital content. Its performance in the awards is an impressive 38 wins and runner-up spots – second to the BBC. That compares with News International where Sky earns two and The Times and Sunday Times 25. The only other national newspapers to make an impression are the Telegraph (five) and the Independent (eight) – which is an impressive showing for the latter considering the comparative resources available to the former. Finally, in the list of those making the biggest impression, it is worth highlighting The Herald in Scotland with seven nominations. These were earned in the regional section of the awards and the entries from Scotland are almost exclusively from this newspaper and the BBC’s Scottish section.

36

Phil Chamberlain: 08971128 University of the West of England MA Journalism: Dissertation

One thing apparent from the list of newspapers is that, almost without exception, they are all broadsheets. That is, out of all UK national daily newspapers they are the more expensive ones, catering for a more elite audience and are more likely to cover politics, economics and other serious national and international news. Interestingly, the first winner in the national newspaper category in 2002 was the Daily Mirror – the only time a tabloid newspaper has made an impression. The broadsheet Financial Times has one entry (in the digital media section) while mid-market Mail on Sunday won one and was a runner-up in the ‘periodicals – newspaper supplements’ section in 2008 and 2009. These were both by the same reporter.18

To summarise, a breakdown of the 252 times an organisation either won or was a runner-up over the ten years shows the BBC dominating with 31%.Three other media companies get in to double figures (Channel 4, News International and the Guardian Media Group) totalling 90 entries or 36%. That equals four organisations with two-thirds of the award spots. The remainder are shared out unevenly with six outlets getting between three and seven nominations each. Just 22 outlets (or 8.8%) make only one appearance.

18

Jonathan Green website, hat trick of awards for LIVE reporter, http://www.jonathangreenonline.com/articles/award_04/, accessed December 2012

37

Phil Chamberlain: 08971128 University of the West of England MA Journalism: Dissertation

Without the data on all the entries submitted to Amnesty for entry into the awards any conclusions drawn from these figures must made with caution. It might be that very few media outlets are writing human rights stories. It is not within the scope of this study to measure that. However human rights organisations over this period have much improved their ability to gain media coverage (Rodgers 2009). Perhaps one statistic might serve to suggest that these type of stories are being covered. A LexisNexis database search by the author for use of the term “human rights abuse” in the Daily Mirror and Sunday Mirror over the last ten years found 304 articles.19 Of course that is only a very tight snapshot, but I would argue that, with that number of returns for a tabloid newspaper least likely to cover such issues, human rights stories are being written.

It could well be that a plethora of organisations are writing human rights stories but do not feel the need to enter the awards, are unable to spare the time or simply do not know about them. For the latter I have demonstrated that these awards are well-known and the Amnesty ‘brand’ garners a lot of publicity.20 For the former, studies outlined in my literature review chapter have shown the importance of awards for personal and
19

The newspapers were chosen because it was the Daily Mirror which won the first national newspaper entry and also because, as a tabloid, it is seen as increasingly concentrating on celebrity news and away from ‘serious’ journalism. Therefore, if it was least likely to covering human rights stories.
20

In 2004 Amnesty said it received “a record more than 200 entries” but has not made any comment on the submission numbers since then, Amnesty website, Media awards shortlist revealed, http://www.amnesty.org.uk/news_details.asp?NewsID=15314, accessed November 2011

38

Phil Chamberlain: 08971128 University of the West of England MA Journalism: Dissertation

corporate prestige in both journalism and other professions. This leaves the question of resources. Coulson has identified the bureaucracy of prize submissions as a barrier to small news outlets (2009). Indeed, the evidence from Shepard is that the major American journalism awards have grown into an industry which requires of participants specialist knowledge and targeted resources (2010). A questionnaire to UK news outlets could ascertain if there are barriers to entry. However those reasons (if any) are outside the scope of this study as I am only concerned with looking at the output of the awards and whether my sample frame is rigorous enough to allow me to draw viable conclusions. An examination of the Amnesty awards entry criteria (discussed in more detail in my findings chapter) shows that the organisation does not have a complex and expensive submission process. Also, considering that in the regional section some quite small operations such as The Big Issue have entered, it suggests the resources hurdle is surmountable.

What countries were featured? The next part of my analysis considers which countries which were covered by the awards and shows that the stories had a narrow geographical focus.

Quite often a story covered more than one country. For instance, those involving rendition may cover the country where the person was illegally

39

Phil Chamberlain: 08971128 University of the West of England MA Journalism: Dissertation

taken into custody, where they ended up being held without charge and that the Americans directed the operation.

Where possible I analysed the stories to see which countries were identified as having human rights issues. In 13 cases it was not possible to identify the country. In nine cases it was a region or even global issues being covered. The result was that out of the 252 stories, a country was identified in terms of human rights abuses taking place 287 times and 69 different countries21 were mentioned.22 As with both journalists and organisations; these mentions were not spread evenly. Thirty-four countries were featured just once. The country to receive the most mentions as a perpetrator was the UK with 46, followed by the US with 22. Meanwhile Iraq had 15 mentions and Afghanistan nine. In many cases the same theme linked these countries – the invasion of those countries by forces led by the UK and America and the conduct of the war on terror. This will be discussed more in the section on coding of content.

After the UK and the US the country most often featured was the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) with 18 stories. Unlike other countries
21

The differing figures are because one story might mention Algeria, Afghanistan and America and the next story might mention America and Armenia. That would make four countries, five mentions overall with America having two of them.
22

There are 192 members of the UN. United Nation’s website, Member states, http://www.un.org/en/members/, accessed November2011

40

Phil Chamberlain: 08971128 University of the West of England MA Journalism: Dissertation

the DRC was generally reported in isolation and not in terms of its relationship with neighbours. The next two locations mentioned most frequently were also linked – Palestine23 (13) and Israel (12). Only one story looked at Palestine in isolation; the rest framed any story about either location in terms of their antagonism to each other. Also with 12 mentions was India, followed by Zimbabwe with eight stories, China also with eight and Sudan with seven. The Sudan stories all concerned the conflict in Darfur.

So those seven countries which made it into double figures accounted for 138 out of the 287 mentions or 48%. Roughly breaking the results down by region, the number of African countries written about was 22 (out of 55 countries on the continent) but with the vast number only mentioned once. The Far East and Asia feature in 12 stories, Eastern European (10), Middle East (9), Central and South America (9) and Western Europe (4). Looking at the figures this way does not account for the predominance of some countries such as the UK for Western Europe. The most over-looked region was Central and South America with Mexico taking most of the interest around the problems suffered because of drugs wars and migration into North America. Only one story covered America’s role in the geopolitics of the region and that was in 2002 when Christine Toomey looked at campaign to shut down an American military training school whose

23

Not strictly defined as a country but the abuses would have taken place in territory under the control of the Palestinian Authority or in the so-called occupied territories.

41

Phil Chamberlain: 08971128 University of the West of England MA Journalism: Dissertation

graduates had been held responsible for numerous massacres in Latin American dictatorships.

What kind of human rights abuses were reported? In attempting to analyse what kind of human rights abuses were covered in the stories I employed a coding system. This gave a short written summary of the key concerns being expressed in the article. Some stories were general reportage from an area giving an overview of a situation. In that case I classified them as covering general human rights abuses. In many cases several different types of abuses were identified. For instance rendition sometimes included torture. There were 15 instances where none could be identified because no submission could be analysed.

By its nature this coding was a subjective but it attempted to bring some uniform analysis to provide an overall snapshot. I was guided by the UN Declaration on Human Rights (see appendix) for definitions on what constituted a human rights violation. The coding was led by the content of the story and the framing that was applied by the reporter. Therefore, although the plight of migrant workers could be considered an issue of racism as well as economic exploitation, it was only coded as such if the article framed it in such a way. Similarly the use of the term migrant, asylum seeker and refugee followed that deployed by the journalist. It was important to take the article on its own terms to see who issues were
42

Phil Chamberlain: 08971128 University of the West of England MA Journalism: Dissertation

labelled and defined. Finally, an issue such as rendition is covered in the UN document under detention without trial but I wanted to make sure my categories reflected the richness of the reporting. Therefore I ended up with many more categories than there are articles in the UN Declaration of Human Rights so that I could better survey the nuances of reporting.

There is an obvious danger of simplifying some complex pieces. As Bertrand and Hughes write: “The major problem with this kind of content analysis is a tendency to make unwarranted inferences, to take the discussion further than the data legitimately allows.” (Bertrand and Hughes 2005: 179) However, journalists are trained (and media outlets work best) when they have a single driving narrative. What they would call a hook or a lead. Indeed complexity creates problems for the news production process (Galtung and Ruge 1981). So, while articles might well touch on a range of issues, they often highlight a only a few key features. Therefore the coding approach represented an accurate measure of the human rights issues the journalist and media outlet had foregrounded.

The analysis generated 274 categories and it was clear that many were linked (eg abuses directed at women because of their gender) so I then grouped the categories into similar themes. These can then be broadly broken down in the following way:
43

Phil Chamberlain: 08971128 University of the West of England MA Journalism: Dissertation

The biggest coding was for general human rights abuses where a report looked at a situation in a country in general and often covered a multitude of issues focussed around a democratic defict.

Issues involving women such as rape, honour killings and the sex trade as gender-specific crimes accounted for 23 mentions.

Issues involving children such as the sale of babies to, child slavery or children jailed accounted for 32 mentions.

• • • •

Economic exploitation accounted for 21 mentions. Migrant, asylum and refugee stories accounted for 23 mentions. Rendition and Guantanamo Bay accounted for 17 mentions. State misbehaviour outside of a war accounted for 28 mentions while corporate misbehaviour accounted for four mentions (such as a report on the Bhopal disaster and the illegal sale of landmines).

• •

War crimes in various guises accounted for 26 mentions. Health issues accounted for five mentions of which four were to do with people with HIV/AIDS and one was the forced sterilisation of women.

Environmental concerns accounted for six mentions. Torture was specifically looked at on five occasions.

Other general points that came out of the coding were that only two stories looked at gay rights. One of those was about a school for gay pupils in New York and the other gay rights in Jamaica. However education specifically did not figure at all.

44

Phil Chamberlain: 08971128 University of the West of England MA Journalism: Dissertation

There were several articles which did not fit easily into these broad definitions. They looked at issues such as abuse of the elderly, foster care, the Hmong tribe in Laos which sided with the Americans during the Vietnam war and Israelis who refused to serve in the military.

45

Phil Chamberlain: 08971128 University of the West of England MA Journalism: Dissertation

Chapter Four
Findings and discussion In his history of Amnesty International Jonathan Power wrote: “Major wars, involving the most powerful industrialised states, those capable of massive destruction far and wide, are much less likely than it has ever been. Unlike in previous ages, neither economic, religious nor ideological forces point us or push us in the direction of war.” (Power 2001: 295) The events of September 11 the same year he published that book comprehensively blew that optimism away. Power’s triumphalist paragraph, an example of what Upendra Baxi called the “epistemic epidemic of endomnania” (quoted in Lund 1999: 3) demonstrate that political, economic and social forces change and that leads to a change in in focus for human rights reporting. Comparing the award nominees outlined in the previous chapter with the kind of cases Amnesty began its life highlighting show that, while rights are positioned as fundamental and universal, certain aspects have always been privileged over others.

When Peter Benenson wrote his article for The Observer which launched Amnesty International in 1961 he highlighted the case of eight prisoners imprisoned for their beliefs. Two were from Africa, one from the US and the other six from Europe. None came from the Middle East or Asia.24 The make24

The countries were Angola, Romania, Spain, US, South Africa, Greece, Hungary and Czechoslovakia.

46

Phil Chamberlain: 08971128 University of the West of England MA Journalism: Dissertation

up is in stark contrast with the current focus of human rights reporting outlined in the previous chapter where Africa, the Middle East and Asia were more often the settings for stories. The large numbers of US mentions were almost exclusively to do with their military operations abroad, not for abuses taking place at home.

It is also worth considering the background of Benenson’s original ‘forgotten’ eight. The US prisoner of conscience he highlighted was a pastor jailed repeatedly for his activities promoting black civil rights. Does the fact that none of the articles Amnesty nominated for an award in the last decade involve a similar case mean that black civil rights in the US is not a cause for concern? The pastor was one of three of religious figures involved in political activities highlighted by Benenson. The others included a doctor, an academic and a lawyer. They were all men. The awards analysed in the previous chapter predominantly use case studies involving people who do not hold such socially privileged positions and women and children were featured most frequently. Does that mean that academics and lawyers are no longer subject to human right abuses? I would argue that it is an example of how the discourse on human rights in these awards has been colonised by the media perception of what makes a ‘good’ story.

Before looking in more detail at the results of the content analysis in the previous chapter I want to consider the awards criteria outlined by Amnesty
47

Phil Chamberlain: 08971128 University of the West of England MA Journalism: Dissertation

International and how they reflect this idea of colonisation. Amnesty says that in selecting the winners the judges will consider: “Quality of writing, filming or photography; currency or news value; accessibility or appropriateness for the target audience; exposure of human rights abuses or bringing them to a new audience; carrying forward the debate on human rights or highlighting new or emerging issues.”25 Subjective terms such as “quality”, “currency” and “news value” are not defined. The assumption is that they are shared values between the organisers, the judges and those entering so obvious they do not need to be spelt out. Then there are phrases such as “carrying forward the debate on human rights”. It is unclear what debate that might be. There are no examples in those stories honoured which feature a debate about human rights. There is an assumption from the author that the rights transgressed do not have to be justified to the reader. What is required is evidence the abuse is taking place.

For those applying to the awards there is an online form to fill in which asks the nominees what problems were overcome in covering the story and “How does the entry help to further the understanding of the issues covered and what impact did the piece have?”26 Under this is a section for
25

Amnesty International website, awrds, http://www.amnesty.org.uk/content.asp? CategoryID=10058 , accessed January 2012.
26

Amnesty International website, awards form, http://www.amnesty.org.uk/content.asp?CategoryID=12194, accessed January 2012 48

Phil Chamberlain: 08971128 University of the West of England MA Journalism: Dissertation

filling in the details of the submitting organisation’s press office contacts. The implication appears to be that value is added to those stories which were researched and written in difficult circumstances. Further, that those which have an impact beyond the intended audience will score more highly with the judges. This vague criteria matches the findings of Shaprio et al (2006) whose research into journalism awards showed similarly loose definitions of what was required of a winning entry. This, then, is not specific to these awards but suggests they have been constructed along similar lines.

I would argue that the fact that terms such as “news value” are used in the criteria without explanation, along with the foregrounding of the publicity potential for such stories, is evidence of the colonization of the human rights discourse by the media. There is no criteria, for instance, which asks for stories which consider the cultural relativism of human rights; a key issue for the last decade (Lund 1999). The logic of the awards is defined on the media’s terms, while the logic of human rights is subjugated.

Meyer says that once the sphere of politics falls under the influence of the media system, it changes considerably. “It becomes dependent on the latter’s rules, but without completely losing its separate identity. In colonizing politics the logic of the

49

Phil Chamberlain: 08971128 University of the West of England MA Journalism: Dissertation

media system does not simply restructure the way the political is portrayed or its relation to other systems; it affects the political process at the “production level; ie where the political sphere emerges as a unique form of life.” (Meyer 2000: 57) We see evidence of this transformation at the production level in the makeup of the judging panel for the awards. When Andrew Gilligan won the radio category in 2003 for Radio 4 Today programme report on landmine sales he could thank several colleagues. The judges for that category were Channel 4 news presenter Krishnan Guru-Murthy, BBC DJ Andy Kershaw, Radio 4 journalist and presenter Nick Clarke, Radio 5Live presenter Fi Glover, BBC DJ John Peel and Amnesty’s head of press, Lesley Warner (Amnesty has a representative on each judging panel). Indeed if Gilligan hadn’t won, then Radio 4 would still have. The two runners-up that year were from the same network.

Previous studies have already shown that journalists attach greater importance to receiving awards judged by peers rather than those from non-professionals (Coulson 1989). An analysis of the professions of those sitting on Amnesty’s judging panels shows they are dominated by senior working journalists operating in the same strata of the media as the winners and runners-up. The BBC in particular was well-represented. Former winners also often featured on awards panels. This would have encouraged participants to take the awards seriously as it would have resulted in peer acclaim.
50

Phil Chamberlain: 08971128 University of the West of England MA Journalism: Dissertation

Again, one can see this as an example of the colonization of the human rights discourse by the media. The sole Amnesty representative on each panel and the single criteria that an award further the debate on human rights accords with Meyer’s description that the colonized sphere doesn’t completely lose its identity. When Meyer writes: “From the very outset and in every phase of their deliberations they consider how potential themes might play in the media or how great their potential is to be effectively presented.” (Meyer 2000: 57) he could be describing the judging process. From the initial entry that asks for a press officer’s contact, to the domination of the selection panel by journalists through to the staging of a ceremony that provides a reliable news event the production cycle is geared towards the media’s interests. Rodgers reports that there was “strong resistance” in Amnesty in the mid-1990s to the idea that the organisation should “follow the news agenda”. (Rodgers 2009: 1108) However, the structuring of the awards system can be contrasted with the construction of each of Amnesty’s prisoner of conscience dossiers which follows a lengthy and scrupulous procedure more akin to an academic paper (Power 2001).

Looking at the impact of the award nominees stories shows how the articles often had a ripple effect which amplified the issues. For instance, again using the Gilligan report on landmines in 2003, it was aired on the Today
51

Phil Chamberlain: 08971128 University of the West of England MA Journalism: Dissertation

programme which has a powerful agenda-setting ability and consequently the story was reported across BBC outlets. Subsequently it led to an investigation by the police, Customs and Excise and MPs which themselves generated their own news stories.27 The ability of the BBC to get its stories to set the agenda and spur government agencies into action was not a oneoff. Four years later a BBC story shortlisted in the TV news category followed an undercover reporter from Lithuania to the UK posing as a migrant worker to expose the economic abuses of such workers. This too led to debates in the House of Commons.28

By encouraging such programmes with an award it looks like Amnesty is engaged in the strategy of “information politics” theorised by Ron et al (2005) and outlined in the literature review. This strategy targets powerful countries on issues which might lead to action on a much wider scale. In this case the sale of landmines which is something that affects many countries but is primarily an issue of corporations in rich countries selling to poor countries. Arms control is currently one of eight campaigns Amnesty is engaged in and Gilligan’s report led to exactly the kind of discussion at a governmental level over how the law might be changed which the strategy is designed to encourage.

27

BBC website, Police to probe landmines ‘sales’, 10 May 2002, http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/1978986.stm, accessed November 2011
28

BBC website, Migrant ‘underclass’ to be probed, 26 April 2007, http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/6594577.stm accessed November 2011

52

Phil Chamberlain: 08971128 University of the West of England MA Journalism: Dissertation

The BBC coverage leads me on to my next point which is why the content analysis revealed so few organisations were nominated. Despite the 252 awards, the BBC, Channel 4 and The Guardian Media Group have dominated for the last decade. The effect is to create an ‘echo chamber’ where a few journalists and even fewer organisations are honoured for their reporting. The narrative about human rights inevitably gets shaped by these few voices.

The research also showed that those voices are generally male voices. In total 273 male reporters were listed to 178 female reporters. It is not as if that balance is getting better because the worst year out of the ten looked at was 2010. This imbalance does, though, match the national picture. Research commissioned by Women in Journalism in 2011 found that 75% of national newspaper reporters were men.29 The papers which had the best representation for women at senior levels were The Times, Sunday Times and The Guardian which, coincidentally, are also well-represented in the Amnesty awards list. Therefore the picture could be even worse or the awards. While some rights can be gender specific most are supposed to be inalienable whatever a person’s background. Yet the discourse in these awards is dominated by male voices which reinforces the idea that what constitutes a human right and how they are presented is decided by men. It fits with Allan’s comment:
29

Journalism.co.uk, Nearly 75% of national news journalists are male, March 4 2011, http://www.journalism.co.uk/news/nearly-75-of-national-news-journalists-are-mensuggests-new-research/s2/a543083/

53

Phil Chamberlain: 08971128 University of the West of England MA Journalism: Dissertation

“My reading of British newspaper and broadcast news suggests that invocations of reality asserted by men may be shown consistently, but not exclusively, to command the available discursive terrain over those advanced by women.” (Allan 2001: 147)

Although my methodological approach is a primarily a structural one the information on who writes the articles suggests a fruitful area for further research. If gender is to be looked at then it should also consider sexuality, race and class and how those might relate to the content of the articles. A suitable tool to elicit such information would have been to use interviews with the journalists involved. That would have allowed me to ask each about their profile. It was one which I considered but rejected for several reasons. I could not guarantee that everyone would respond to my request and therefore that my sampling frame would be sufficient. That would mean time and resources wasted. It was also outside of my research question. I was not so much interested in who the reporters were as what had been produced for the awards process and how that material might be analysed. There was also a question of ascribing too much power to individuals. My analysis of the winners and runners-ups showed that the vast majority were part of a corporate entry and often part of a team. The individual, therefore, was often secondary to the production unit which submitted the work.

My methodological approach to concentrate on looking at the output from the awards process was partly motivated by a desire to compliment the
54

Phil Chamberlain: 08971128 University of the West of England MA Journalism: Dissertation

approach taken by other studies (Coulson 1989) which had used questionnaires to ascertain the stated motives of journalists as to why they took part. Given the paucity of evidence from the UK about how journalists in this country view awards such a survey would be a useful future exercise. One possible answer, at odds with the evidence from America, is given by this advice from journalism.co.uk, an online forum for news about media industry, on information about awards: “We loathe awards ceremonies. All of them. Even the Oscars. We'd like to smash each and every tacky glass statuette against a brick wall and rip all those golden envelopes into tiny little pieces. Ahem, we've calmed down a bit now. Sorry, where were we? Oh yes, awards.”30 It might also be useful to consider an ethnographic study of the Amnesty International awards process using, I would suggest, an observer-asparticipant approach. This could provide a rich vein of qualitative data that would help reveal in full the mechanism of their production.

I turn now to the findings on which countries figures most highly in the nominated stories. As the previous chapter explain it was the UK and the U.S. which took the top spots. If we were to apply Chomsky and Herman’s propaganda model we would instead expect to see those states which threaten the hegemonic power of the UK and U.S. As it is Iran only had one story and China five. Meanwhile Israel, a country which is a close ally of the U.S., which receives an enormous amount of aid from the U.S. and which
30

Journalism.co.uk, FAQ, http://www.journalismuk.co.uk/faq.htm, accessed November 2011

55

Phil Chamberlain: 08971128 University of the West of England MA Journalism: Dissertation

has vocal supporters able to provide ‘flak’ where news reports threaten its interests, figures highly in the award stories. This again fits with the idea of “information politics” where Amnesty encourages scrutiny of major powers because the ripple from any changes that might take place are felt across a wider scale. For Israel to change the way it, for instance, deals with displaced people, has greater benefit than a country with a much lower international profile and less influence to wield.

What is, perhaps, more unexpected is that India and the Democratic Republic of Congo should feature so highly. One reason might be that linked to my next section and that is the types of human rights abuse covered.

Matching my categories to countries showed some common themes. For instance; human rights stories from India essentially cover two topics: the exploitation of women in marriage and the caste system (three stories on the latter). Meanwhile Eastern European stories covered three general topics; abuse of vulnerable people in orphanages or psychiatric institutions; the trade in children for adoption and, by far the biggest, migrant labour. The Democratic Republic of Congo provided a full range of human rights abuses for reporters to cover from blood diamonds to people with AIDS, women being raped to environmental destruction. On the other hand the US was framed in terms of human rights issues abroad and its actions in
56

Phil Chamberlain: 08971128 University of the West of England MA Journalism: Dissertation

different countries. Only three stories looked at human rights within the US; migrant labour from Mexico, a school for gay children and a military training complex for Latin American dictators.

India and the Democratic of Congo therefore supplied a reliable source of stories for reporters which is an important consideration considering the expense of needed to carry out such assignments. Once the particular issue had been situated, such as the trade in blood diamonds in the Congo, reporters could go back and update readers and viewers on the situation. There was a familiarity which made reporting easier because it redcued the complexity of the story. There was no need to establish the background every time so less chance of confusing readers.

According to Galtung and Ruge (1981) a story needs to satisfy a series of informal rules or codes for it to be considered significant. If you ask a journalist what makes a good reporter they will often reply that they “have a nose for news”, suggesting some ability wired in to their DNA that allows them spot a story. What it actually means is that they have a much more finely honed ability to assess information presented to them in terms of their publication’s news values. The study conducted by Galtung and Ruge (which interestingly in terms of this dissertation was based on foreign news stories) came up with 12 factors which, to some extent, stories needed to satisfy. The more of the following elements they had, the ‘better’ the story.
57

Phil Chamberlain: 08971128 University of the West of England MA Journalism: Dissertation

The factors were conflict, timeliness, simplification, personalisation, unexpectedness, continuity, composition, reference to elite nations or persons, cultural specificity and negativity. Going through the categories of human rights stories in the awards list we can see that many of these factors are satisfied.

One particular factor is the idea of personalisation – what Galtung and Ruge saw as an emphasis on “human actors coping with life on the ground” and that this was preferred over abstract forces or institutions. In contrast, the need for cultural specificity, mapping shared cultural experiences, is unlikely to be satisfied by such stories. Therefore it becomes more important to relate to the subject and for the journalist to establish a link between the consumer and the subject. Women and children provided the greatest source of stories and one way of considering why this might be also suggests reasons for the way the other stories have been selected. It could be argued that the prevalence of stories involving women and children in submissive situations evokes sympathy and concern which can narrow the cultural gap.

The categories also show that human rights are often presented in terms of a power imbalance between individuals and the state whereas specific misbehaviour by companies was a topic which was looked at infrequently. The after effects of the Bhopal chemical disaster in India was one of the few
58

Phil Chamberlain: 08971128 University of the West of England MA Journalism: Dissertation

examples. It is not that economic exploitation is considered. Indeed it featured in many different ways; particularly in the plight of migrant workers. However, specific companies are rarely mentioned. Instead, while the migrants are named, photographed and given a full identity the economic actors are indistinct and blurred. The factors driving the people are ascribed to general faceless companies or broad economic conditions which, much like the weather, seem to blow out of nowhere and are similarly uncontrollable. States on the other hand were identified and linked carefully to specific abuses.

What were also lacking in the categories were positive stories of groups attempting to take back their rights. Where such positive examples are covered they generally involved individuals, such as the Buscombe article which I opened this dissertation with. Of the three articles which focussed on positive differences being made by individuals, one looked at two doctors on either side of the Palestinian/Israeli conflict who acted as peacemakers. The other two focussed on an American who was trying to provide humanitarian relief in the Darfur region31 while another looked at children accused of being witches in Nigeria by following a British man trying to stop the practice.32 So in half the cases it was an outsider, positioned as bringing reform from the developed West. Generally the victims of the particular human rights violation taking place where, as far as
31

http://www.thedevilcameonhorseback.com/

32

http://www.channel4.com/programmes/dispatches/episode-guide/series8/episode-1 59

Phil Chamberlain: 08971128 University of the West of England MA Journalism: Dissertation

possible, allowed to speak for themselves. Their experiences were not mediated through NGOs, rights groups or other representative bodies. Nonetheless, often the victims were framed as individuals impotent before the state, an army or some other disconnected but powerful force.

Where groups were mentioned it often was through protest and it was the violence which became the theme of the reporting rather than an understanding of the issues which have driven the conflict. A rare example of positive action by a group was a Guardian report on how communities were defending asylum seekers.

As well testing the stories in light of theoretical approaches it is also worth judging their relationship to the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The Declaration was the first human rights document adopted by the UN and is the “textual foundation of the human rights movement and has been referred to as the ‘spiritual parent’ of most other human rights documents” (Matura 2001: 201). Since the Declaration was unveiled in 1948, there have been some 23 other conventions and covenants that, according to McIntyre (2003: 28), have deepened what counts as a human right. Therefore testing the stories against the standard will show whether this “deepened” idea of what constitutes a human right is reflected in those items given prizes.

60

Phil Chamberlain: 08971128 University of the West of England MA Journalism: Dissertation

Of the 30 articles in the Declaration the stories frequently those covering areas such as the right not to be tortured, have a fair trial and exercise their democratic rights. However articles on issues such as the right to social security (Article 22), protection against unemployment (Article 23), to social protection in the event of poverty (Article 23), the right to form and to join trade unions (Article 23), the right to rest and leisure, including reasonable limitation of working hours and periodic holidays with pay (Article 24), the right to education (Article 26) are barely covered.

The UN Declaration has been added to with two supporting covenants. These are the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). The ICESCR was adopted in 1966, commits the 160 countries which have signed up to it to work toward the granting of economic, social and cultural rights to individuals. That includes labour right and the right to health. The ICCPR came into force in 1976 its parties, which number 167, agree to respect the civil and political rights of individuals, including the right to life, freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, electoral rights and rights to due process and a fair trial. These are much more detailed documents than the UN Declaration outlining not just rights but also obligations for individuals and states to see that the aims are carried out.

61

Phil Chamberlain: 08971128 University of the West of England MA Journalism: Dissertation

However many of the protocols in these covenants barely figure in the human rights reporting which Amnesty International honoured. The “deepened” idea of what constitutes rights and how they might be expanded, not just protected, has yet to penetrate mainstream media discourse. The one area which has achieved greater prominence and is shown in the award entries is the idea of gender-specific rights. The abuse of women through forced marriage or honour killings, for instance, figure quite frequently. Overall, though, human rights stories continue to be framed in simplistic terms even if the discourse within the human rights movement has moved much further along.

62

Phil Chamberlain: 08971128 University of the West of England MA Journalism: Dissertation

CHAPTER FIVE
Conclusion This dissertation should be the beginning of a debate about the kind of human rights reporting people wish to see in the UK. The country’s premier human rights organisation and its leading mainstream news outlets have, since 1992, been engaged in a mutually supportive process to congratulate each other on their respective efforts. They have done this with little public debate about how this process might reinforce bad practice or where it has encouraged good practice.

There is a large body of legal opinion about what constitutes human rights which is tested and debated in numerous political and legal arenas. However, the consumers of news are presented with an annual list of what the media and Amnesty International have decided privately constitutes the best in reporting. The results of this dissertation show that the content of these news stories has, in many cases, not kept pace with that legal and political dialogue.

This matters because if people are to be properly armed with the information they need to ensure they can assert their rights then the news media is a vital tool in promulgating that information. Instead these awardwinning stories have been shown to be drawn from a narrow range of
63

Phil Chamberlain: 08971128 University of the West of England MA Journalism: Dissertation

organisations, cover a narrow range of issues and confront a narrow range of powerful interests.

That is not to say that what does make it on to the winner’s podium is only the benign and the toothless. The research has shown a more complex set of stories than the “cleansed residue” predicted by Herman and Chomsky. There is a tendency for stories to privilege the experiences of the individual over the group and to privilege political rights over economic ones. The fact that the right to join a trade union or enjoy financial support from the state are absent from these stories can only be helpful to corporate interests keen to minimise such powers. However, there is also a strong thread of stories which look at migrant labour issues, for instance. At a political level the number of stories involving the U.S. and the UK also contradicts what the propaganda model predicts we should see. Not only that, but there is a relative paucity of stories about countries in opposition to the U.S.

I believe that is because what is being played out is tussle between the news media and Amnesty International over the role of these awards and the agenda-setting potential for the award-winning stories. News corporations gain prestige, reporters earn peer respect and both can parlay that into financial reward. The awards process has been structured to serve, first, the production needs of the news media. In this sense the human rights sphere is being colonised by the media.
64

Phil Chamberlain: 08971128 University of the West of England MA Journalism: Dissertation

However, the idea of “information politics” put forward by Ron, J. et al and the deliberate media policy outlined by Rodgers shows that Amnesty International is not a passive partner in this process. The type of issues highlighted and the countries spotlighted often match closely the campaigns the organisation has decided are of particular importance. This underlying agenda has served to blunt the effects of Herman and Chomsky’s five filters.

The content analysis approach would be improved with the addition of interviewing key actors in the award process. This would have helped provide a richer picture of how it is constructed. It has not been within the scope of this study to carry out a critical discourse analysis of the entries but preliminary readings suggest that could also supply a huge amount of information. Since academic analysis, particularly in the UK, into human rights reporting is sparse this would be particularly useful. There is also a wide open area to explore on how journalists in the UK interact with awards ceremonies. The beginnings of map explaining that topic have been made in the U.S. but it remains a foreign country in the UK.

65

Phil Chamberlain: 08971128 University of the West of England MA Journalism: Dissertation

The breadth of material in this study provides a strong data set. The fact that similar story tropes have occurred regularly over a decade shows that they cannot be random occurrences but do point to deeper structural causes. However, the data would benefit from further investigation. The content analysis approach has been useful though it was difficult to come up with suitable categories. It would be useful to have another academic repeat the process using the same data but constructing their own categories. The approach benefits from being repeatable and could also be done for other human rights awards both here and in other countries. The end result would be powerful comparative transnational analysis. It would be of use to the news media but most likely to be acted upon by human rights NGOs as they have all felt the need to develop sensitive and flexible media policies in this age of global communication.

In the end, the gold standard for human rights remains the UN Declaration and its supporting covenants and in the long term the best judge of excellence in reporting this field remains how well journalists explore, interpret and investigate all its provisions. ENDS

66

Phil Chamberlain: 08971128 University of the West of England MA Journalism: Dissertation

Bibliography Allan, S. (2001) News Culture Buckingham: Open University Press Beam, R., Dunwoody, S., and Kosicki, G. (1986) ‘Relationship of prizewinning to prestige and job status’, Journalism Quarterly 693-699 Bertrand, I. and Hughes, P. (2005) Media Research Methods: Audiences, Institutions, Texts Basingstoke and New York: Palgrave Bob, C. (2002) Globalization and the Social Construction of Human Rights Campaigns in Brysk, E. (ed) Globalization and Human Rights Berkeley: University of California Press Chomsky, N. and Herman, E. (1979) The Political Economy of Human Rights – Vol1: The Washington Connection and Third World Fascism Nottingham: Spokesman Cockburn, A. (1988) Corruption of Empire: Life studies and the Reagan era London: Verso Coulson, D (1989) ‘Editors attitudes and behaviour towards journalism awards’ Journalism Quarterly spring pp143-147 English, J. (2002) ‘Winning the Culture Game: prizes, awards and the rules of the art’ New Literary History, Vol 33, No 1, Winter 2002 pp109-135 Edwards, D. and Cromwell, D (2009) Newspeak in the 21st Century London: Pluto

67

Phil Chamberlain: 08971128 University of the West of England MA Journalism: Dissertation

Galtung, J. and Ruge, M. (1981) Structuring and selecting news in Cohen, S. and Young, J. (eds) The Manufacture of News, London: Constable Gladney, G. (1995) The Bias of Visual Appeal in the Selection of General Excellence Winners in Newspaper Contest Paper presented to The Newspaper Division, Association for Education in Journalism & Mass Communication Annual Convention, Washington, DC, August 9-12, 1995 Gitlin, T. (1980) The Whole World is Watching: mass media in the making and unmaking of the new left Berkeley: University of California Press Harcup, T (2004) Journalism: Principles and Practice London: Sage Herman, E. (2000) ‘The Propaganda Model: a retrospective’ Journalism Studies 1(1) Hoffman, L. and Slater, M. (2007) ‘Evaluating public discourse in newspaper opinion articles: value-framing and integrative complexity in substance and health policy issues’ Journalism and Mass Communications Quarterly 84(1): pp58-74 Kaplan, R. (2002) Journalism, Media and the Challenge of Human Rights Reporting Versoix: International Council on Human Rights Policy Kay, L. (2010) ‘Modeling incentives, R&D activities, and outcomes in innovation inducement prizes’, Workshop on Original Policy Research Klein, N. (2007) The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism London: Allen Lane
68

Phil Chamberlain: 08971128 University of the West of England MA Journalism: Dissertation

Leverence, J (1997) And the winner is…: using awards programmes to promote your company and encourage employees Santa Monica: Merrit Lund, C. (1999) Development and Rights: tempering universalism and relativism in Lund, C. (ed) Development and rights: negotiating justice in changing societies London: Frank Cass Maurer, S. and Scotchmer, S. (2004) Procuring Knowledge in Libecap, G. (ed), Intellectual Property and Entrepreneurship: Advances in the Study of Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Growth, The Netherlands: JAI Press (Elsevier) Meyer, T. (2002) Media Democracy: how the media colonize politics Cambridge: Polity Press McCormally, J. (1971) ‘Who cares about the Pulitzers?’ Colombia Journalism Review, May McIntyre, P. (2003) Human Rights Reporting: A Handbook for Journalists in South-eastern Europe Brussels: International Federation of Journalists McKinsey & Company (2009) And the winner is: capturing the promise of philanthropic prizes retrieved from http://mckinseyonsociety.com/capturingthe-promise-of-philanthropic-prizes/ Mutura, M. (2001) ‘Savages, victims and Saviors: The metaphor of human rights’ Harvard International Law Journal Vol 41, No 1, Winter 2001 pp201245

69

Phil Chamberlain: 08971128 University of the West of England MA Journalism: Dissertation

Power, J. (2001) Like Water on Stone: The Story of Amnesty International London: Penguin Rodgers, K. (2009) ‘When do opportunities become trade-offs for social movement organisations? Assessing media impact in the global human rights movement’ Canadian Journal of Sociology 34(4) Ron, J, Ramos, H and Rodgers, K (2005) Transnational Information Politics: NGO Human Rights Reporting , 1986-2000 International Studies Quarterly 49 Savage, W. (2009) ‘Eyes on the Prizes’ Journal of Scholarly Publishing, Vol 41, Number 1, October 2009 Shavell, S. and van Ypersele, T. (1988) ‘Rewards versus Intellectual Property Rights’, Harvard Law School, John M. Olin, Center for Law, Economics and Business Discussion Paper Series, retrieved from http://lsr.nellco.org/harvard_olin/246 Shapiro, I., Albanese, P. and Doyle L. (2006) ‘What Makes Journalism "Excellent"? Criteria Identified by Judges in Two Leading Awards Programs’ Canadian Journal of Communication, Vol 31, No 2 Shepard, A. (2000) ‘Journalism’s Prize Culture American’ Journalism Review April 2000 Snyder, A. and Kelly, W. (1977) ‘Conflict intensity, Media Sensitivity and the Validity of Newspaper Data’ American Sociological Review Vol 42, No 1, pp105-123
70

Phil Chamberlain: 08971128 University of the West of England MA Journalism: Dissertation

Street, J. (2005) ‘Showbusiness of a serious kind: a cultural politics of the arts prize’ Media Culture Society 27: 819 Sweet, M. (2001) ‘Sponsored journalism award shocks Australian media’ British Medical Journal November 24; 323(7323): 1258. Trice, H. and Beyer, J. (1984) ‘Studying Organizational Cultures Through Rites and Ceremonials’ The Academy of Management Review Vol 9, No 4 (October 1984), pp653-669 Zinman, D. (1970) ‘Should newsmen accept PR prizes?’ Colombia Journalism Review, vol 9(1)

71

Phil Chamberlain: 08971128 University of the West of England MA Journalism: Dissertation

Appendix A List of human rights awards open to UK journalists

72

Phil Chamberlain: 08971128 University of the West of England MA Journalism: Dissertation

Appendix B Results of content analysis of Amnesty International media award winners and runners-up from 2002 to 2011

73

Phil Chamberlain: 08971128 University of the West of England MA Journalism: Dissertation

Appendix C UN Declaration of Human Rights33 Article 1. All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood. Article 2. Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty. Article 3. Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person. Article 4. No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms. Article 5.
33

United Nations, The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, http://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/ accessed January 2012

74

Phil Chamberlain: 08971128 University of the West of England MA Journalism: Dissertation

No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. Article 6. Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law. Article 7. All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination. Article 8. Everyone has the right to an effective remedy by the competent national tribunals for acts violating the fundamental rights granted him by the constitution or by law. Article 9. No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile. Article 10. Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, in the determination of his rights and obligations and of any criminal charge against him.

75

Phil Chamberlain: 08971128 University of the West of England MA Journalism: Dissertation

Article 11. (1) Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law in a public trial at which he has had all the guarantees necessary for his defence. (2) No one shall be held guilty of any penal offence on account of any act or omission which did not constitute a penal offence, under national or international law, at the time when it was committed. Nor shall a heavier penalty be imposed than the one that was applicable at the time the penal offence was committed. Article 12. No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks. Article 13. (1) Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state. (2) Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country. Article 14.

76

Phil Chamberlain: 08971128 University of the West of England MA Journalism: Dissertation

(1) Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution. (2) This right may not be invoked in the case of prosecutions genuinely arising from non-political crimes or from acts contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations. Article 15. (1) Everyone has the right to a nationality. (2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality nor denied the right to change his nationality. Article 16. (1) Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family. They are entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution. (2) Marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of the intending spouses. (3) The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State. Article 17. (1) Everyone has the right to own property alone as well as in association with others.
77

Phil Chamberlain: 08971128 University of the West of England MA Journalism: Dissertation

(2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property. Article 18. Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance. Article 19. Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers. Article 20. (1) Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association. (2) No one may be compelled to belong to an association. Article 21. (1) Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country, directly or through freely chosen representatives. (2) Everyone has the right of equal access to public service in his country.

78

Phil Chamberlain: 08971128 University of the West of England MA Journalism: Dissertation

(3) The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures. Article 22. Everyone, as a member of society, has the right to social security and is entitled to realization, through national effort and international co-operation and in accordance with the organization and resources of each State, of the economic, social and cultural rights indispensable for his dignity and the free development of his personality. Article 23. (1) Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment. (2) Everyone, without any discrimination, has the right to equal pay for equal work. (3) Everyone who works has the right to just and favourable remuneration ensuring for himself and his family an existence worthy of human dignity, and supplemented, if necessary, by other means of social protection. (4) Everyone has the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests. Article 24.
79

Phil Chamberlain: 08971128 University of the West of England MA Journalism: Dissertation

Everyone has the right to rest and leisure, including reasonable limitation of working hours and periodic holidays with pay. Article 25. (1) Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control. (2) Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance. All children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protection. Article 26. (1) Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory. Technical and professional education shall be made generally available and higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit. (2) Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace.
80

Phil Chamberlain: 08971128 University of the West of England MA Journalism: Dissertation

(3) Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children. Article 27. (1) Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits. (2) Everyone has the right to the protection of the moral and material interests resulting from any scientific, literary or artistic production of which he is the author. Article 28. Everyone is entitled to a social and international order in which the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration can be fully realized. Article 29. (1) Everyone has duties to the community in which alone the free and full development of his personality is possible. (2) In the exercise of his rights and freedoms, everyone shall be subject only to such limitations as are determined by law solely for the purpose of securing due recognition and respect for the rights and freedoms of others and of meeting the just requirements of morality, public order and the general welfare in a democratic society.

81

Phil Chamberlain: 08971128 University of the West of England MA Journalism: Dissertation

(3) These rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations. Article 30. Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as implying for any State, group or person any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms set forth herein.

82

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful

Master Your Semester with Scribd & The New York Times

Special offer for students: Only $4.99/month.

Master Your Semester with a Special Offer from Scribd & The New York Times

Cancel anytime.