ICE blogs

October 26, 2007

Death of leading media ethicist

Filed under: News, Headlines — news_editor @ 7:43 pm

Claude-Jean Bertrand, the eminent media ethicist and member of the Ethical Space editorial board, has died in Paris. In all, he published 20 books on media ethics, American civilization, Methodism and a range of other topics. His articles were published in 20 languages. He co-authored a book on pornography and even compiled a book of his favourite jokes. Throughout much of his work, he promoted the concept of M*A*S (Media Accountability Systems). He believed passionately in the capacity of individuals, groups and journalists themselves within democracies to improve standards by putting pressure on the media to change. He defined the M*A*S as a non-governmental means of inducing media and journalists to respect the ethical rules set by the profession. They are extremely diverse but all aim at improving news media, using evaluation, monitoring, education, feedback and communication.
Thus he identified 120 M*A*S systems, such as readers letters, codes of conduct, in-house ombudsmen, blogs, journalism reviews and media columns in newspapers and magazines. He first ran a programme on American civilization at the universities of Strasbourg and Paris-X and then taught communication studies at the Institut francais de presse at the Universite de Paris-2 (where in 1995 he became an Emeritus Professor). Claude supported the work of ICE from its beginnings. He attended the inaugural conference at City University, London, in 2003 and contributed a number of articles to Ethical Space.
He is survived by his wife, Michele, four children and five grandchildren. Deepest condolences go to his family.

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