Ethical Guidelines of Journalism

A list
by Chris hibbard

Ethical Guidelines of Journalism

The following are some ethical guidelines common to most newspapers. It’s difficult to be a journalist today without bending some of these to accommodate some others, but we should strive to never break any of them.

Avoid conflicts of interest, real or perceived.

Remain free of associations and activities that may compromise integrity or damage credibility.

Refuse gifts, favours, fees, free travel, and special treatment and shun secondary employment, political involvement, public office and service in community organizations if they compromise journalistic integrity.

Be vigilant and courageous about holding those with power accountable.

Deny favoured treatment to advertisers and special interests and resist their pressure to influence news coverage.

Be wary of sources offering information for favours or money, avoid bidding for news.

Journalists should clarify and explain news coverage and invite dialogue with the public over journalistic conduct.

Encourage the public to be skeptical and express their grievances against the news provider.

Welcome fair and honest media competition without allowing it to affect adversely our standards of performance so that getting a “scoop” will not become an end in itself.

Avoid mistakes, factual or otherwise, and address or correct them promptly, then ensure it does not happen again.

Abide by the same high standards by which they hold others.

Distinguish between news material, opinion and analysis to avoid the pitfalls of speculation and propaganda.

Unequivocal separation between advertisements and news. All advertisements must be clearly identifiable as such.

Avoidance of anonymous sources if possible. However, if used, these sources’ confidentiality must be kept.

Accurate attribution of statements made by individuals or other news media.

Plagiarism is illegal and all included copy must be printed with permission.

Show compassion for those who may be affected adversely by news coverage.

Use special sensitivity when dealing with children and inexperienced sources or subjects. Be sensitive when seeking or using interviews or photographs of those affected by tragedy or grief.

Show good taste. Avoid pandering to lurid curiosity.

The information is truthful, not distorted to justify a conclusion.


~ by Chris Hibbard on October 31, 2008.

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