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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: Ethics Toolbox
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


Code Words Blog:

The Other Side: Rolling Stone’s Note

A screenshot of the editor’s note attached to a Rolling Stone story about a 2012 gang rape at the University of Virginia. (captured 12/5/2014) The managing editor of Rolling Stone added an editor’s note earlier today to the magazine’s bombshell campus rape story that was published online November 19. The story described a 2012 gang rape of a woman called Jackie at a party in the house of a University of Virginia fraternity. “In the face of new information, there now appear to be discrepancies in Jackie’s account, and we have come to the conclusion that our trust in her was misplaced,” writes Will Dana, the magazine’s managing editor, in the note, which does not specify the discrepancies. >Continue reading The Other Side: Rolling Stone’s Note

More from Code Words:
– The Other Side: Rolling Stone’s Note
– #Pointergate Revisited Revisited
– #Pointergate Revisited
– Some Points on #Pointergate
– The Intersection of Communication History

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.


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