Code of Ethics
Seek Truth and Report It
- Remember that neither speed nor format excuses inaccuracy.
- Provide context. Take special care not to misrepresent or oversimplify in promoting, previewing, or summarizing a story.
- Identify sources clearly. Students and the public are entitled to as much information as possible to judge the reliability and motivations of sources.
- Be vigilant and courageous about holding those accountable. Give voice to the voiceless
- Recognize a special obligation to serve as watchdogs over those in power and decision making positions. Seek to ensure that the public’s business is conducted in the open, and that public records are open to all.
- Provide access to source material when it’s relevant and appropriate.
- Boldly tell the story of the diversity and magnitude of the human experience. Seek sources whose voices we don’t often get to hear.
- Avoid stereotyping. Journalists should examine the ways their values and experiences may shape their reporting.
- Never deliberately distort facts or context, including visual information.
- Never plagiarize. Always attribute/credit.
- Balance the public’s need for information against potential harm and discomfort. Pursuit of the news is not a license for arrogance or undue intrusiveness.
- Show compassion for those who may be affected by the news coverage. Consider cultural differences in approach and treatment.
- Recognize that legal access to information differs from an ethical justification to publish or broadcast.
- Realize that private people have a greater right to control information about themselves than public figures and others who seek power, influence or attention. Weigh the consequences of publishing or broadcasting personal information.
- Consider the long-term implications of the extended reach and permanence of publication. Provide updated and more complete information as appropriate.
- Avoid conflicts of interest, real or perceived. Disclose unavoidable conflicts .
- Refuse gifts, favors, fees, free travel and special treatment, and avoid political and other outside activities that may compromise integrity or impartiality, or may damage credibility.
- Be wary of sources offering information for favors or money, do not pay for access to news. Identify content provided by outside sources, whether paid or not.
Be Accountable And Transparent
- Explain ethical choices and processes to audiences. Encourage a civil dialogue with the public about journalistic practices, coverage and news content.
- Respond quickly to questions about accuracy, clarity and fairness.
- Acknowledge mistakes and correct them promptly and prominently. Explain corrections and clarifications carefully and clearly.