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Ethics

SPJ's Ethics Committee's purpose is to encourage the use of the Society's Code of Ethics, which promotes the highest professional standards for journalists of all disciplines. Public concerns are often answered by this committee. It also acts as a spotter for reporting trends in the nation, accumulating case studies of jobs well done under trying circumstances.


SPJ's Code of Ethics

The SPJ Code of Ethics is voluntarily embraced by thousands of writers, editors and other news professionals. See the complete text, available in more than a dozen languages, inside.

The SPJ Code of Ethics is voluntarily embraced by thousands of writers, editors and other news professionals. The present version of the code was adopted by the 1996 SPJ National Convention, after months of study and debate among the Society's members. Read the complete text, presented in several languages, inside.

Read the code in:
English | PDF version
Arabic [PDF]
Chinese [PDF]
Croatian [PDF]
French
German [PDF]
Greek [PDF]
Hungarian [PDF]
Macedonian [PDF]
Persian
Portuguese
Slovene
Spanish

Ethics Committee Position Papers

This collection of position papers is intended to clarify SPJ’s position on specific ethical themes that frequently arise in journalism, and also to provide better guidance for journalists, academics, students and the public when consulting SPJ's Code of Ethics.

This collection of position papers, produced by the Society of Professional Journalists’ Ethics Committee, is intended to clarify SPJ’s position on specific ethical themes that frequently arise in journalism, and also to provide better guidance for journalists, academics, students and the public when consulting the SPJ Code of Ethics.

The following papers are available for immediate reference, with more — on using anonymous sources, undercover reporting, dealing with victims of tragedy, handling diversity coverage, privacy and news media accountability — to release over the coming months:

Newly Added:
Reporting on Grief, Tragedy and Victims
Anonymous Sources
Accountability

Also Available:
Using the SPJ Code
Plagiarism
Checkbook Journalism
Political Involvement

Code Words:
SPJ’s Ethics Committee Blog


Related Articles: Ethics
See archive for more articles

Quill: Citizen Code
Quill: From the President
Quill: Generation J Toolbox
Quill: Guidelines on Anonymous Sources
Quill: Revising the Code of Ethics: What’s going on?
Quill: Says Who?
Quill: Ten with Liz Wahl
Quill: Ethics Toolbox
Quill: Digital Media Toolbox
Quill: Diversity Toolbox


Code Words Blog:

Ethics Code Revisions – Our First Draft [Updated]

When the 2013 Excellence in Journalism National Convention ended in Anaheim, Calif. last August, the work of the SPJ Ethics Committee really began. Tasked with revising the 1996 version of the Society’s code, the 18-member committee wasted little time getting philosophically engaged. How much should we change? Shorter? Longer? Specific? More general? Keep, change or add to the guiding principles? What’s missing as we march into 2014 and beyond? >Continue reading Ethics Code Revisions – Our First Draft [Updated]

More from Code Words:
– Ethics Code Revisions – Our First Draft [Updated]
– Quill Flashback: 21st-Century Journalism Requires 21st-Century Code
– Quill Flashback: The Current Code is Inclusive and Flexible
– The value of an ombudsman
– The price of plagiarism

Journalism Ethics: A Casebook of Professional Conduct for News Media: Fourth Ed.

Closely organized around the Society of Professional Journalists' code of ethics — the news industry's widely accepted "gold standard" of journalism principles — this updated edition uses real-life case studies to demonstrate how journalism students and professionals can identify and reason through ethical dilemmas. Stressing the cross-platform viability of basic ethical principles, this study features a wide selection of case studies penned by professional journalists — including several new additions — that offer examples of thoughtful, powerful, and principled reporting.

For more information about the book, and to order, click here.


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