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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

Journalism Ethics: A Casebook of Professional Conduct for News Media: 4th 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.

Code Words:
SPJ’s Ethics Committee Blog


Related Articles: Ethics
See archive for more articles

SPJ News: SPJ updates Code of Ethics
Quill: Code of Ethics Revision: What's Up and What Has Changed
Quill: Codifying A New Code of Ethics
Quill: New Code of Ethics Not Ready for Prime Time
Quill: Ten with Kara Swisher
Quill: Ethics Toolbox
SPJ News: SPJ statement about alleged execution of American photojournalist James Foley
SPJ News: Associated Press journalists win SPJ ethics award
Quill: Ethics Toolbox
Quill: Citizen Code


Code Words Blog:

The Road Ahead

Members of the SPJ Ethics Committee are pictured in Nashville after the revised Code of Ethics was approved on September 6, 2014. (Credit: Robyn Davis Sekula) The delegates of the Society of Professional Journalists had not approved a revision to the organization’s Code of Ethics since 1996, when I was preparing for third grade. Recognizing the need for an update, the Society’s delegates at Excellence in Journalism 2014 in Nashville overwhelmingly approved a revision that resulted from countless hours of work, thought and deliberation. >Continue reading The Road Ahead

More from Code Words:
– The Road Ahead
– Ethics Code Revision: Final Draft
– Ethics of covering suicides
– Social Media’s Place in the Society’s Ethics Code
– Unveiling a New Code


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