OPC Members Play Major Roles in Foreign Editors Circle Meeting

by Patricia Kranz

OPC President Pancho Bernasconi participated in a panel titled “The Power of the Image in Foreign Coverage” at the 7th Foreign Editors Circle at the New York headquarters of The Associated Press on Nov. 15. The day-long gathering was hosted by AP and the International Press Institute’s North American Committee.

Participants included high-level editors for foreign coverage at major news organizations and representatives of journalism non-profits like the OPC, the Committee to Protect Journalists and the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. OPC member David Rohde of The New Yorker represented the ACOS Alliance, which works to imbed a culture of safety across newsrooms and among freelancers. ACOS was born at the Foreign Editors Circle event in 2014.

Bernasconi, vice president for global news at Getty Images, highlighted a photo by OPC member John Moore of an asylum-seeking young girl from Honduras dressed in a red shirt crying as Border Patrol agents questioned her mother on June 12. The photo went viral, and later won the World Press Photo of the Year Award. More importantly, the photo was one factor that spurred changes in Trump Administration immigration policies.

On June 20, Trump signed an executive order ending his administration’s practice of separating migrant families, and later that month, a federal judge ordered the Trump administration to reunite migrant children who were separated from their parents.

“The need for strong international photojournalism continues to play a vital role in helping to give context in the increasingly rapid space with which news is being consumed,” Bernasconi said. “There is no substitute for being able to share impactful and thoughtfully produced visual reporting from myriad global events that have and will continue to impact our understanding of the world around us.”

OPC member Ted Anthony, director of digital innovation at AP, moderated the panel. John Daniszewski, an OPC member and vice president and editor at large for standards at AP, co-hosted the program with Marty Steffens, North American chair of the International Press Institute.

Steffens noted that IPI will hold its 2020 World Congress next September at Columbia University, where IPI was founded by a group of American and international editors. Information on the congress can be found at: ipiwoco2020.sched.com.

Doug Jehl, foreign editor of The Washington Post and an OPC Governor, noted the perils faced by local reporters who work for American news organizations in their home country. “Governments know they can get us by going after local reporters,” he said.

Charlie Sennott of The GroundTruth Project and an OPC member, was on a panel discussing cyber-meddling, the media and democracy. He shared a link to GroundTruth’s Authoritarians Playbook on on steps populists are taking to undermine the democracies that elected them.

Other useful links on issues discussed at the meeting can be found below, or on the OPC website via the Member Dashboard under “Resources,” or go directly to the page here: opcofamerica.org/members-dashboard/best-practices.

IPI’s On The Line Reporter Digital Safety project.

NPR’s tips on how to spot disinformation.

Abine’s DeleteMe paid service that removes information from data aggregation services and people search engines.

Poynter report on disinformation around the world.

British journalism organization tips on fighting disinformation.

Firstdraftnews.org on disinformation training for journalists.

Guidelines on social media policy from Poynter and NPR.

DigIntel’s Digital Propaganda and the News Series: • DigIntel’s studies on how misinformation affects journalists, including recommendations for newsrooms on how to protect/help journalists who are targeted with disinfo/harassment.

CPJ border crossing tips.

News Organizations Safety Self-Assessment A tool for news organizations to review and improve current safety protocols.

CPJ digital safety kit.

CPJ election safety kit.

Pulitzer Center ethics and standards for journalists.

HEFAT training (Hostile Environment) from CPJ and IWMF.

Foley Foundation Journalist Safety Curriculum.