Every day there are ethical decisions that impact the hundreds or thousands of people who watch, read, listen, and/or click on a media source. The foundation for making the right decision starts with ethics classes in college. Students in the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism will use this blog to reflect on ethical questions in the media today.
Thursday, September 3, 2015
The Code of Ethics
Kate Fickell firstname.lastname@example.org
1. Radio Television Digital News Association
-The job of a journalist is
to inform the public and allow them to create their own opinions. Journalists
need to spend the time gathering information to create the ethical and true
story. There are two sides to a story so being accurate and truthful are
important. The readers have the right to decide who is credible.
-Avoid conflict of interest because others could
see it as bribing or manipulation of the story being covered if gifts are
accepted. Plagiarism is always wrong in the field of journalism and should be
-Here is a study done on women that increases their
likeability, competence, and trustworthiness. But look closely at who conducted
the study. Is this theory credible? Makeup Makes Women Appear More Competent
2. Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ)
-Understanding your own bias will help limit
stereotyping in your writing. Always own up to what you write.
-Reporting the news doesn't give you the excuse to
harm an individual by the words you write or say. Just because you get access
doesn't mean it is ethical to publish it.
-The SPJ code of ethics isn't enforced. It is more
of a voluntary guideline to a framework of ethical behavior. Enforcing it would
go against freedom of speech.
-Journalists face pressure from a variety of
sources to make them act a certain way that might conflict with their personal
ethics as shown in the picture below.
The News Manual Chapter 58: Pressures on Journalists
3. The National Press Photographers Association
-This is visual communication and is responsible
for documenting the news through photographs. It is the photojournalists’ job
to share the news through the universal language of visual communication. As a
photojournalist, you can't be manipulated by staged photos, can’t create bias
in captions, can't edit or change any photos, and can’t accept gifts.
-Here is an example of a photojournalist who manipulated
their photos on a story they did.
-Journalists have the responsibility to serve the
public by providing information on products that they are interested in.
-If the consumers are being misled by
entertainment/ads versus actual news, that could be considered unethical. For
example, creating ads toward children can be tricky since they can’t evaluate
-Consumers may be threatened by behavioral
advertising, which means ads match their online searches. Some companies are
trying to build the trust of consumers by having a Do Not Track program.
5. Public Relations Society of America (PRSA)
-Free flow of communication could be unethical if
the reporter accepts a gift from the subject they are reporting on.
-Competition could be unethical if someone spreads
rumors about a competing company in order to recruit more for their company.
-Disclosure of information could be unethical if
someone sees incorrect information via the Internet and does not correct it.
-Safeguarding confidences could be unethical if
someone works at a company and then switches to another to use that information
-Conflicts of interest could be unethical if a
worker has a deeper relationship with a client that could influence them to
tell the story differently.
-Enhancing the precession could be unethical if a
member of the company says a product is safe without fully knowing or educating
themselves if it is or not.
6. Online News Association (ONA)
-This is comprised of digital journalists who must
adjust to a changing world and be able to spread the news in all platforms. One
of the ethical ways to publish the news is to show readers the difference
between promotional information and actual facts.
7. American Society of Magazine Editors (ASME)
-The value of any print or news organization relies on the relationship
with the readers. Be aware of advertisers that post their content to look like
the article but the information isn't actual news.
-This short video will leave you with an ending thought about the code