1. Freedom of Expression

    “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 19, United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights)“1. Everyone shall have the right to hold opinions without interference.

    “2. Everyone shall have the right to freedom of expression; this right shall include freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through any other media of his choice.

    “3. The exercise of the rights provided for in paragraph 2 of this article carries with it special duties and responsibilities. It may therefore be subject to certain restrictions, but these shall only be such as are provided by law and are necessary:

    “(a) For respect of the rights or reputations of others;

    “(b) For the protection of national security or of public order (ordre public), or of public health or morals.” (Article 19, International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights)

  2. Journalism

    Journalism is the practice of gathering, processing, and disseminating information, analysis, and opinion which are transmitted through print, broadcast, Internet, or other media and technologies. It is one of the means human beings have developed in the unending attempt to explain, understand, and change the complex worlds of human existence—e.g., nature, society, or one’s self.

  3. Journalism Ethics

    Journalism ethics is the principles of behaviour appropriate to journalism practice. Edmund Lambeth (Committed Journalism, 1992) identified five principles as basic and fundamental in journalism practice. They constitute the responsibilities that guide ethical journalism. But they apply as well in other areas of human life. They are: truth-telling, freedom or autonomy, justice, humaneness, and stewardship.

    • Truth-telling
    • Freedom or autonomy
    • Justice
    • Humaneness
    • Stewardship

    The CMFR Ethics Manual: A Values Approach to News Media Ethics, 2007

  4. Media Literacy

    “The ability to access, analyse, evaluate, and communicate information in a variety of forms-is interdisciplinary by nature. Media literacy represents a necessary, inevitable, and realistic response to the complex, ever-changing electronic environment and communication cornucopia that surround us.” (National Association for Media Literacy Education,

  5. News

    “News is first of all an account of something recent (timelines). It is also a report that is of interest to readers, and third, significant to them not only because it can affect their lives, but also because it happened in their immediate community (proximity and relevance).“Even more critically, news must be accurate, and not only in the sense that it gets the names, dates and places right, but also in terms of presenting ‘the larger truths’ in a given issue and in society in general.”([Re]defining News, Luis V. Teodoro, Philippine Journalism Review, August 2002)

  6. News Values

    News values are the characteristics of an event that make it newsworthy. News values are thus the criteria a journalist applies to an event in evaluating its worthiness for dissemination to the public. They are standards that guide reporters and editors in deciding whether a story should be written about something that has happened or is happening. These values are conventional in that they have been around for some time, having been found useful as guides in determining newsworthiness. The conventional news values are:

    • Timeliness: the quality of being new, fresh or recent.
    • Significance: the event’s impact on and relevance to the lives of large numbers of people.
    • Proximity: the physical and/or psychological “nearness” of the event to the audiences the medium serves.
    • Prominence: the involvement of famous, notorious, well-known people such as politicians and decision-makers, businessmen and Church leaders, as well as such other individuals as actors, rock stars and other celebrities.
    • Human Interest: the capacity of the event to arouse an emotional response. Under this category are such values capable of provoking an emotional response (pity, fear, awe, curiosity, etc.) as conflict, drama, suspense, sex and love, animals and children, extremes, etc. These are sometimes presented as separate news values in themselves, but are actually human interest values.

    (The CMFR Ethics Manual: A Values Approach to News Media Ethics, 2007)

Produced by the Center for Media Freedom & Responsibility
Supported by a grant from the Open Society Foundations.

This module is free and open for anyone to access. Materials from this module can be used as long as proper credit is given.


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Case Studies