04 December 2014

FIDE's 'Principles of Chess Journalism'

What's your favorite FIDE Commission? In my case it must be the commissions I reported on a year ago: the FIDE Journalists' Commission and the Ethics and Cheating Commissions.

That's why I was disappointed to discover a few months ago that when the FIDE General Assembly Derailed during the Tromso Olympiad, the various commission reports were not released. That's also why I was pleased to learn that the 2014 4th quarter Presidential Board -- Agenda (5 November) and Press Release (9 November, 'agenda included the proposals deferred from Tromso') -- had released the commission documents in the same directory as the Agenda; see, for example Annex_49.pdf for the 'Journalists Commission (CCJ) Minutes, Tromso, Norway, 6 August 2014'. In brief:-

The Chairman Georgios Makropoulos greeted the participants and opened the meeting. He explained that the Commission was created in order to help the professional journalists with coverage of the tournaments, travel and accommodation.
1. The first item of the Agenda - Principles of Chess Journalism was discussed.
2. Website of the Commission
3. and 4. were discussed jointly. Organizers of FIDE events should provide free accommodation for some of CCJ accredited journalists and significant discount for another group of journalists.
5. Problems of Women events media coverage

The web site currently looks like this:-

FIDE Chess Journalists Commission [journalists.fide.com]

As for the 'first item of the Agenda - Principles of Chess Journalism', a 'final version' document was embedded in Annex 49. Here are the main sections:-

1. Respecting Human Rights
2. Truth and accuracy
3. Objectivity and impartiality
4. Fairness / Fair Play
5. Independence
6. Originality and respect for intellectual property
7. Responsibility

How does this compare with broader Principles of Journalism (journalism.org)?:-

1. Journalism’s first obligation is to the truth
2. Its first loyalty is to citizens
3. Its essence is a discipline of verification
4. Its practitioners must maintain an independence from those they cover
5. It must serve as an independent monitor of power
6. It must provide a forum for public criticism and compromise
7. It must strive to make the significant interesting and relevant
8. It must keep the news comprehensive and proportional
9. Its practitioners must be allowed to exercise their personal conscience

I get the distinct impression that FIDE's Principles are designed more to shield chess officials from criticism than they are to aid chess journalists in their reporting on chess events and chess players. (A suivre...)

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