Journalism and Ethics

Topics: Journalism, Journalism ethics and standards, Ethics Pages: 5 (1576 words) Published: July 27, 2010
Journalism ethics and standards comprise principles of ethics and of good practice as applicable to the specific challenges faced by professional journalists. Historically and currently, this subset of media ethics is widely known to journalists as their professional "code of ethics" or the "canons of journalism".[1] The basic codes and canons commonly appear in statements drafted by both professional journalism associations and individual print, broadcast, and online news organizations. “Every news organization has only its credibility and reputation to rely on.” -Tony Burman, ex-editor-in-chief of CBC News[2]

While various existing codes have some differences, most share common elements including the principles of — truthfulness, accuracy, objectivity, impartiality, fairness and public accountability — as these apply to the acquisition of newsworthy information and its subsequent dissemination to the public.[3][4][5][6] Like many broader ethical systems, journalism ethics include the principle of "limitation of harm." This often involves the withholding of certain details from reports such as the names of minor children, crime victims' names or information not materially related to particular news reports release of which might, for example, harm someone's reputation.[7][8] Some journalistic Codes of Ethics, notably the European ones,[9] also include a concern with discriminatory references in news based on race, religion, sexual orientation, and physical or mental disabilities.[10][11][12][13] The European Council approved in 1993 Resolution 1003 on the Ethics of Journalism which recommends journalists to respect yet the presumption of innocence, in particular in cases that are still sub judice[14]. Contents

1 Evolution and purpose of codes of journalism
2 Codes of practice
3 Common elements
o3.1 Accuracy and standards for factual reporting
o3.2 Slander and libel considerations
o3.3 Harm limitation principle
o3.4 Presentation
4 Self-regulation
5 Ethics and standards in practice
o5.1 Standards and reputation
o5.2 Genres and ethics
o5.3 Relationship with freedom of the press
o5.4 Variations, violations, and controversies
o5.5 Taste, decency and acceptability
o5.6 Campaigning in the media
o5.7 Investigative methods
o5.8 Science issues
o5.9 Examples of ethical dilemmas
6 See also
7 References
8 Further reading
9 External links

[edit] Evolution and purpose of codes of journalism
The principles of Journalistic codes of ethics are designed as guides through numerous difficulties, such as conflicts of interest, to assist journalists in dealing with ethical dilemmas. The codes and canons provide journalists a framework for self-monitoring and self-correction as [edit] Codes of practice

While journalists in the United States and European countries have led in formulation and adoption of these standards, such codes can be found in news reporting organizations in most countries with freedom of the press. The written codes and practical standards vary somewhat from country to country and organization to organization, but there is a substantial overlap among mainstream publications and societies. The International Federation of Journalists launched a global Ethical Journalism Initiative [6] in 2008 aimed at strengthening awareness of these issues within professional bodies. One of the leading voices in the U.S. on the subject of Journalistic Standards and Ethics is the Society of Professional Journalists. The Preamble to its Code of Ethics states: ...public enlightenment is the forerunner of justice and the foundation of democracy. The duty of the journalist is to further those ends by seeking truth and providing a fair and comprehensive account of events and issues. Conscientious journalists from all media and specialties strive to serve the public with thoroughness and honesty. Professional integrity is the cornerstone of a journalist's credibility. The...
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