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For more than 100 years the Society of Professional Journalists has been dedicated to encouraging a climate in which journalism can be practiced more freely and fully, stimulating high standards and ethical behavior in the practice of journalism and perpetuating a free press.
We invite you to join us today!
Since its founding in 1961, the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation has promoted excellence and ethics in journalism. The SDX Foundation is a tax-exempt, 501(c)(3) organization that supports the educational programs of the Society of Professional Journalists and serves the professional needs of journalists and students pursuing careers in journalism.
Excellence in Journalism is the national journalism conference of the Society of Professional Journalists and the Radio Television Digital News Association. Join us in September in Nashville for training, networking, workshops and more!
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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?
SPJ Code of Ethics
Committee Position Papers
Code Words: SPJs Ethics Committee Blog
– 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
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
Kiplinger Program in Public Affairs Journalism
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
Bio (click to expand) 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 Societys 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 Denvers 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 Code revision project
In addition to the ethics committee, the following are taking part in the SPJ Ethics Code revision project:
Join us to discuss the revision project on SPJ Ethics Committee's blog, Code Words.
Freedom of Information
Public & the Press
SPJ Reading Room
The call before the call
What journalists should know before recording phone interviews
By Kelly Yamanouchi
In 2005, a Miami Herald columnist was fired for recording a phone interview without first gaining proper consent. The incident prompted Kelly Yamanouchi, a business reporter for The Denver Post to ask, “What should journalists consider before recording phone interviews — particularly if those interviews involve sources in states with laws that require the consent of all parties?”
Yamanouchi did some homework, and here’s what she found.
Most states require only one-party consent to recording. However, 12 states and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico require the consent of two or more parties. Those states are: California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania and Washington.
For a more thorough explanation of recording law in every state, see the online guides compiled by the Radio-Television News Directors Association and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press.
|Kelly Yamanouchi is an SPJ member and a business reporter at the Denver Post. She has also worked as a business reporter in Honolulu, Chicago, San Francisco and Los Angeles.|