Together with the Israeli Democracy Institute and the Women Journalist's Cell, ARCCI created a code of ethics outlining the rules of presenting sexual offenses in the media. Sexual abuse and sexual violence are portrayed in the media as a mirror image of reality. We believe that the publication of any material is part of our right to freedom of speech, and creates a rich and varied public discourse. However, this right needs to be balanced with the obligation to protect victims of sexual offenses, and must take into consideration their age and maturity, as well as physical and emotional development. Additionally, it is important to understand that media coverage of incidents of sexual violence may cause victims to relive the traumatic event and revive their feelings of a loss of control over their lives.
Media coverage of sexual offenses influences social perceptions of sexual abuse and rape and the social construction of the "victim" and "perpetrator". The right to freedom of speech needs to balance the broader social interests of combating sexual violence, as well as realizing that press coverage of sexual offenses may further encourage them.
We are currently working on the implementation of an ethical code: we met with the directors of several news stations and agencies, and conducted workshops for various media organizations, including Yediot Ahronot, Walla and the Israel Broadcasting Authority, with the goal of creating discourse and critical discussion on non-offensive press coverage of sexual offenses. The Israel Broadcasting Authority and NRG news website were the first news sites to adopt the code in 2015.