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Coded Controversy [Quill, April 2010]
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Ethics
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Ethics Committee

Code Words: SPJ’s Ethics Committee Blog
– Ethics Code Revision: Final Draft
– Ethics of covering suicides
– Social Media’s Place in the Society’s Ethics Code

Ethics Committee
This 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.

Ethics Committee chair

Kevin Z. Smith
Deputy Director
Kiplinger Program in Public Affairs Journalism
E-mail
Bio (click to expand) Kevin Z. Smith has been a member of the SPJ ethics committee for 20 years. He is a contributing author to two of SPJ's Doing Ethics in Journalism case study books. He is the co-author of SPJ's 1993 Ethics Manual, a guide for developing better ethical discussions and practices in newsrooms. He served as chairman of the ethics committee from 1995-97 when the Code was revised by the committee. He is serving his fifth year as committee chairman. He is a former president of SPJ (09-10) and a former member of the national and executive boards (06-11). He has been a member of the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation since 2007. He has been a regular speaker, panelist and lecturer on journalism ethics and delivered talks around the United States and abroad since 1990.

Smith currently serves as a journalism lecturer at the University of Dayton (Ohio). He worked in community newspapers in West Virginia for 15 years before becoming a college professor. He has taught at West Virginia University, Miami Univeristy (Ohio), Fairmont State University (W.Va.) and James Madison University (Va.). In 2009 he was named a Distinguished Mountaineer by the governor of West Virginia, the highest honor bestow upon a citizen of the state. The award came largely from his work with SPJ and journalism ethics.


Fred Brown, vice chair
2862 S. Oakland Ct.
Aurora, Colo., 80014
303/829-4647
E-mail
Bio (click to expand) picture Fred Brown is a former national president of SPJ (1997-98) and is very active on its ethics committee. He writes a column on ethics for Quill magazine and served on the committee that wrote the Society’s 1996 code of ethics.

Brown officially retired from The Denver Post in early 2002, but continues to write a Sunday editorial page column for the newspaper. He also does analysis for Denver’s NBC television station, teaches communication ethics at the University of Denver, and is a principal in Hartman & Brown, LLP, a media training and consulting firm. He has won several awards for writing and community service, including a Sigma Delta Chi Award for editorial writing in 1988. He is an Honor Alumnus of Colorado State University, a member of the Denver Press Club Hall of Fame, and serves on the boards of directors of Colorado Public Radio, the Colorado Freedom of Information Council and the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation.



SPJ Ethics
Committee Members


Lauren Bartlett
E-mail
Bio (click to expand) picture Lauren Bartlett is currently a Director at Large for the Society of Professional Journalists, chairs the national Communications Committee and is a member of the Ethics Committee and the Finance Committee.
Lauren was a three-time president of SPJ’s Greater Los Angeles chapter. Lauren works in media relations at Southern California Edison and previously worked in media relations at UCLA, her alma mater.

Before joining UCLA in 2000, Lauren was a reporter in Los Angeles for 12 years, the last 10 of which were at the Los Angeles Daily Journal, the country’s largest daily legal affairs newspaper.

Lauren’s professional career began when she was a junior in high school and wrote a weekly column for the Contra Costa Sun. In her senior year of high school she reported for the Contra Costa Times. While attending UCLA she interned at the Los Angeles Times, the Los Angeles Herald-Examiner and Copley News Service.

Upon graduation Lauren worked at the Los Angeles bureau of The Associated Press and City News Service, a regional wire service, before joining the Daily Journal.

Lauren was honored in 2011 with a President’s Award for distinguished service to the Society. In 2001, she was honored with the Howard S. Dubin Outstanding Pro Member Award for her contributions to the SPJ Greater Los Angeles chapter and Region 11. She has been a member of the SPJ/LA Board of Directors since 1996.


Elizabeth Donald
E-mail
Bio (click to expand) picture Elizabeth Donald has been a reporter with the News-Democrat for over a decade. She is a mobile reporter covering Madison County, with an emphasis on city government, education and the environment. She is the News-Democrat's liaison to the Latino Roundtable of Southwestern Illinois, author of several fiction novels and writes CultureGeek, the News-Democrat's pop-culture blog.

A graduate of the University of Tennessee, Donald is a frequent guest lecturer at local universities on the practical applications of journalism ethics and the changing nature of newspapers in the 21st century. She has won multiple awards and currently serves as vice president of the St. Louis Society of Professional Journalists.


Mike Farrell
E-mail
Bio (click to expand) picture Mike Farrell serves as director of the Scripps Howard First Amendment Center at the University of Kentucky and as an associate professor in the School of Journalism and Telecommunications. He began teaching as an adjunct in 1980 at Northern Kentucky University, continued as a graduate teaching assistant at UK in 1996, and has been a full-time faculty member there since 2000. He won the college teaching award in 2006.

He teaches reporting, media ethics, media law, journalism history, editing, media law, covering religion news and column writing.

He was a reporter, city editor and managing editor during a 20-year career at The Kentucky Post.

A native of Northern Kentucky, he earned his undergraduate degree at Moody Bible Institute, Chicago. He earned his master's and doctoral degrees at UK, where he focused on media law. He is a member of the Bluegrass Chapter and co-adviser of the UK student chapter of SPJ.


Paul Fletcher
Publisher & Editor-in-Chief
Virginia Lawyers Media
E-mail
Bio (click to expand) Paul Fletcher has been publisher and editor-in-chief at Virginia Lawyers Weekly in Richmond, Va., since 1989.

He joined the newspaper the previous year as news editor, after practicing law in Southwest Virginia for three years.

A graduate of the Washington & Lee University law school, he earned his undergraduate degree at the College of William & Mary and an M.A. in English from Emory University.

Paul has been a member of SPJ for 20 years and currently serves as president of the Virginia Pro chapter, having won reelection to a second term in June 2012.

He has won a number of journalism awards, including honors for editorial and feature writing.

He has been serving as interim publisher of Michigan Lawyers Weekly, based in suburban Detroit, since August 2012.


Irwin Gratz
207/874-6570
E-mail
Bio (click to expand) picture Irwin Gratz has been in radio news for nearly 30 years. He worked as a reporter, anchor and News Director for the number-one rated commercial station in Portland, Maine before going to work for public radio in 1992 as local anchor of “Morning Edition.”

A native of New York City, Irwin holds a Masters Degree in journalism from New York University. He has taught a college course on media ethics and has been a guest lecturer on journalism ethics and broadcast news writing.

Irwin has been a member of the Society of Professional Journalists since 1983 and has held positions as a state chapter president, a member of its national board and was the Society’s national President in 2004 and 2005.

Irwin lives outside of Portland, Maine with his wife and young son.


Hagit Limor
Investigative Reporter
WCPO-TV
E-mail
Bio (click to expand) picture Hagit Limor’s other experience with SPJ includes stints as National President; National President-Elect; National Secretary-Treasurer; National Membership Committee; National Finance Committee Chair; current National Legal Defense Fund Committee chair; National Chair of Executive Director Search Committee; Board Member of the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation; and Greater Cincinnati Pro Chapter President, membership chairman and current chapter treasurer. Hagit also chaired the Online Voting Committee, which led to the vote to go from delegate to One Member, One Vote.

Outside of SPJ, she serves in dual roles as a professor at the University of Cincinnati's Electronic Media Department and as WXIX-TV's Emmy and national award-winning investigative reporter. Her abilities as a writer and reporter have garnered Hagit more than 100 national, state and local awards, including ten Emmy awards, a National Headliner Award, three national Sigma Delta Chi Awards and as a national finalist with the Investigative Reporters and Editors Association.

Hagit received bachelor's and master's degrees in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism, Northwestern University.


Jim Pumarlo
Director of communications, Minnesota Chamber of Commerce
E-mail
Bio (click to expand) picture Jim Pumarlo spent 27 years working at small daily newspapers in International Falls and Red Wing, Minn. He served as editor of the Red Wing Republican Eagle for 21 years. He resigned in December 2003 and currently is director of communications at the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce, the state’s largest business advocacy organization. He can be contacted at www.pumarlo.com.

He released a book in January 2005, “Bad News and Good Judgment: A Guide to Reporting on Sensitive Issues in a Small-Town Newspaper,” which was published by Marion Street Press in Chicago. His second book, Votes and Quotes: A Guide to Outstanding Election Campaign Coverage,” was released in May 2007.

He remains active in the newspaper industry through his consulting and speaking. He is involved in the Minnesota Newspaper Association as a member of its Journalism Education and Legislative committees. He is past president of the Minnesota Newspaper Foundation Board of Directors. He also is past chairman of the Premack Board which oversees the Frank Premack Public Affairs Journalism Award competition, one of Minnesota’s most coveted and celebrated journalism honors in public affairs reporting. He serves on the hearing panel for the Minnesota News Council, which promotes fair, vigorous and trusted journalism by engaging the news media and the public in examining standards of fairness.


Andrew Seaman
Bio (click to expand) Andrew is a medical journalist for Reuters Health in New York. Before coming to Reuters Health, he was a Kaiser Media Fellow at Reuters’s Washington, D.C. bureau, where he covered the implementation of the Affordable Care Act.

In 2011, Andrew graduated from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, where he studied investigative journalism as a Stabile Fellow and was named “Student of the Year.” Andrew also graduated with his B.A. from Wilkes University in 2011.

He’s won numerous awards throughout his short career, including being named a 2010 Tom Bigler Scholar for ethical standards in journalism, the 2009 Robert D.G. Lewis First Amendment Award, the 2009 and the Arthur H. Barlow National Student Journalist of the Year Award.


Home > Ethics > SPJ Code of Ethics > Code déontologique de la Société des journalistes professionels

Code déontologique de la Société des journalistes professionels

Préambule
Les membres de la Société des journalistes professionnels estiment qu'un public informé est précurseur de justice et la fondation même d'une démocratie. Le rôle du journaliste est de faire avancer ces fins en recherchant la vérité et en fournissant des comptes rendus équitables et simples des événements et sujets importants qu’il est amené à relater. Quel que soit son média, le journaliste s'efforce de servir le public avec minutie et honnêteté. L'intégrité professionnelle est la pierre angulaire de la crédibilité d'un journaliste.

Les membres de la Société des journalistes professionnels partagent un souci déontologique et adoptent ce code pour professer les principes et normes des pratiques journalistiques de la Société.


Rechercher la vérité et l'exposer
Un journaliste doit être honnête, équitable et courageux dans ses efforts pour rassembler, rapporter et interpréter l'information.

Un journaliste doit:

— Tester l'exactitude de l'information et de ses sources et être prudent afin d'éviter toute erreur d'inattention. Il n'est jamais permis de délibérément déformer les faits.
— Tenter assidûment de trouver les acteurs de ses reportages afin de leur donner l'opportunité de répondre à toutes allégations de méfait.
— Identifier ses sources, lorsque c'est possible. Le public à droit à toute l'information possible afin de juger de la crédibilité des sources.
— Toujours questionner les motifs de ses sources avant de promettre l'anonymat. Clarifier les conditions attachées à toute promesse faite en échange de l'anonymat. Tenir ses promesses.
— S'assurer que les titres, les flashs et les promotions, les photos, les images, le son, les graphiques et les extraits d'entrevue ne sont pas présentés sous un faux jour. Les journalistes ne devraient pas simplifier outre mesure ou souligner certains événements hors de leur contexte.
— Ne jamais fausser le contenu des photos ou des images. Améliorer la qualité technique des images est toujours permis. Identifier les montages et les illustrations.
— Éviter les reconstitutions d'événements et les nouvelles fabriquées. Si une reconstitution est nécessaire pour raconter l'histoire, identifiez-la comme telle.
— Éviter de travailler sous l'anonymat ou de recourir à d'autres méthodes clandestines pour recueillir des informations, sauf quand les méthodes traditionnelles ne permettent pas de transmettre des données essentielles au public. L'utilisation de méthodes clandestines doit être expliquée dans le reportage.
— Ne jamais plagier.
— Raconter l'histoire de la diversité et l'importance de l'expérience humaine hardiment, même lorsque le sujet est impopulaire.
— Examiner ses propres valeurs culturelles et éviter de les imposer au public.
— Éviter de stéréotyper par race, genre, âge, religion, ethnie, géographie, orientation sexuelle, infirmité, apparence physique ou rang social.
— Supporter ouvertement les échanges d'idées, même lorsque le sujet rebute le/la journaliste.
— Donner la parole à ceux qui n’ont pas la parole; les sources officielles et non-officielles peuvent être également valides.
— Faire la distinction entre plaidoirie et nouvelles. Les analyses et les commentaires doivent être identifiés et ne doivent pas déformer les faits ni leur contexte.
— Faire la distinction entre nouvelle et publicité et éviter les informations qui mêlent les deux.
— Reconnaître l'obligation spéciale que le/la journaliste a de s'assurer que l’administration conduit ses affaires ouvertement et que les documents gouvernementaux soient accessibles pour vérification.


Minimiser les torts
Les journalistes soucieux de déontologie traitent leurs sources, sujets et collègues comme des êtres humains méritant respect.

Un journaliste doit:

— Montrer de la compassion pour ceux qui pourraient être affecter négativement par le reportage. Faire preuve d'une sensibilité particulière avec les enfants et les sources ou personnes inexpérimentées.
— Montrer de la sensibilité en demandant ou en utilisant des entrevues ou des photos de gens frappés par un événement tragique ou par du chagrin.
— Reconnaître que rechercher et présenter des informations pour un reportage peut occasionner du tort ou de l'inconfort.
— Admettre que les personnes privées ont un droit de contrôle supérieur sur leurs données personnelles que n’ont les personnages publics et ceux qui cherchent pouvoir, influence ou attention. Seule une nécessité publique prépondérante peut justifier une intrusion dans la vie privée de quelqu’un.
— Faire preuve de bon goût. Éviter de se laisser attirer par une curiosité malsaine.
— Être prudent en identifiant des suspects mineurs ou des victimes de crimes sexuels.
— Être judicieux en révélant les noms des suspects d’un crime avant que des charges formelles aient été déposées.
— Équilibrer les droits d’un suspect à un procès équitable avec le droit du public à être informé.


Agir indépendamment
Un/Une journaliste ne doit avoir d’autre intérêt que le droit à l'information du public.

Un journaliste doit:

— Éviter les conflits d’intérêt, réels ou perçus.
— Refuser de s’engager dans des associations et des activités qui pourraient compromettre son intégrité ou nuire à sa crédibilité.
— Refuser les cadeaux, faveurs, voyages gratuits et traitements spéciaux, et éviter les deuxièmes emplois, les engagements politiques, les fonctions publiques, même dans des organisations locales, s’ils compromettent son intégrité journalistique.
— Révéler les conflits inévitables.
— Être vigilant et courageux quand il s’agit de rappeler aux gens au pouvoir leurs responsabilités).
— Refuser d’accorder des traitements spéciaux aux annonceurs et aux gens qui présentent un intérêt particulier, et résister à leurs pressions d’influencer les reportages.
— Être prudent avec les personnes qui offrent des informations en échange de faveurs ou d’argent; éviter de faire une surenchère pour de l'information.


Être responsable
Un journaliste doit assumer ses responsabilités envers ses lecteurs, auditeurs, spectateurs et collègues.

Un journaliste doit:

—Clarifier et expliquer les reportages et inviter le public à à s’exprimer sur la conduite des média.
— Encourager le public à exprimer ses reproches envers les média.
— Admettre ses erreurs et les corriger rapidement.
— Dénoncer publiquement les pratiques des journalistes et des média qui ne sont pas déontologiques.
— Respecter les mêmes règles de comportement qu’il/elle demande aux autres de respecter.


Le premier Code déontologique de Sigma Delta Chi, rédigé en 1926, était emprunté à la Société américaine des rédacteurs de journaux. En 1973, Sigma Delta Chi rédigea son propre code, qui fut révisé en 1984 et en 1987. La version actuelle du Code déontologique de la Société des journalistes professionnels fut adoptée en septembre 1996.

Traduction par Anne E. McBride et Chantal K. Saucier, © 2000.

Copyright © 1996-2014 Society of Professional Journalists. All Rights Reserved. Legal

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