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Ethics Code Revision Project
Code Revision timeline

August 2013

– Aug. 2: SPJ's Ethics Committee began collecting public feedback on state of current code.
– Aug. 25: Town Hall discussion on possible revision at EIJ13.


September 2013

– SPJ President David Cuillier directed the SPJ Ethics Committee to solicit feedback and craft an update that SPJ delegates could consider at EIJ14 in Nashville.
– A digital subcommittee was formed to provide input on the code revision.


January 2014

– After recruiting the code revision working group (made up of committee members and other experts) and accepting feedback for four months, Ethics Committee chairman Kevin Smith divided the group into four groups, each responsible for taking first crack at a corresponding section in the code: Seek Truth and Report It, Minimize Harm, Act Independently and Be Accountable.


March 2014

– Group work was compiled into a first revision.


March-May 2014

– The revision was discussed (and comments were encouraged) at various SPJ Spring Conferences around the country.


May-June 2014

– Ongoing outreach for members and non-members to comment on the first revision. Methods of outreach include (but are not limited to) Twitter chats, social media messages, internal SPJ communications, press releases and more.


June 30 2014

– Deadline for first comment period.


July 3, 2014

Second revision released.


July 11-13, 2014

– Working group will meet in person to distill all comments and update the latest draft. Meeting will be streamed live, comments will be accepted during the meeting.


August 2014

– Working group will present latest draft to SPJ board and others for feedback.
– SPJ's board of directors will meet to discuss the latest draft and make possible recommendation to EIJ14 delegates. They also hope to garner feedback on the draft from ethics experts and ombudsmen outside of SPJ.


September 2014

– SPJ members will be asked to cast non-binding, advisory votes during the election processes to gauge satisfaction with the latest revision.
– A session will be conducted during EIJ14 in Nashville to solicit more input.
– At EIJ14, the delegates will have the opportunity to approve the final draft, not approve it, approve it with amended changes, consider other versions, or postpone consideration for further review and discussion. The board and president will take direction from the delegates if further discussion or action is necessary.

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