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SPJ Code of Ethics
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Ethics
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Quill: Stories About Journalism Ethics
– Quill question: When does sponsored content require disclosure?
– 10 lessons in journalism ethics
– Journalism’s complicated relationship with transparency

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

Lynn Walsh
Assistant Director
Trusting News Project
Email
@LWalsh
Bio (click to expand) Lynn Walsh is an Emmy award-winning journalist who has worked in investigative, data and TV journalism for more than 10 years. Currently, she is a freelance journalist and the Assistant Director for the Trusting News project, where she works to help rebuild trust between journalists and the public by working with newsrooms to be more transparent about how they do their jobs.

She is a past national president for the Society of Professional Journalists. During her term, she spoke out against threats to the First Amendment while working to protect and defend journalists and journalism. She also serves the journalism organization as a member of SPJ’s FOI committee and is the current Ethics Chair. Lynn was also selected to represent SPJ on the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Advisory Committee where she worked to recommend changes to help improve the national FOIA process.

Previously she led the NBC 7 Investigates and NBC 7 Responds teams in San Diego, California for KNSD-TV. Prior to working in California, she was working as data producer and investigative reporter for the E.W. Scripps National Desk producing stories for the 30+ Scripps news organizations across the country. Before moving to the national desk, she worked as the Investigative Producer at WPTV, NewsChannel 5, in West Palm Beach, Florida.

She has won state and local awards as well as multiple Emmy’s for her stories. She loves holding the powerful accountable and spends more time than she would like fighting for access to public information. Lynn travels around the country, teaching journalists and students about the latest innovative storytelling techniques and how to produce ethical content, no matter the medium.

Lynn is a proud Bobcat Alumna and graduated from the Ohio University’s E.W. Scripps School of Journalism. She loves the beach, sunsets, exploring the world and attempting new yoga poses. She believes the glass is half-full, the truth is always out there and that hard work, dedication and personality can make any dream come true.

Home > Ethics > Ethics Code Revision Project > Code Revision timeline

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.


SPJ Code of Ethics
English | PDF version
Arabic [PDF]
Chinese [PDF]
Croatian [PDF]
French
German [PDF]
Greek [PDF]
Hungarian [PDF]
Macedonian [PDF]
Persian
Portuguese
Slovene
Spanish

Other Codes of Ethics


Ethics
Ethics Home
SPJ Code of Ethics
News/Articles
Journalism Ethics Book
Case Studies
Committee Position Papers
Ethics Answers
Ethics Hotline
Resources
Ethics Committee

Quill: Stories About Journalism Ethics
– Quill question: When does sponsored content require disclosure?
– 10 lessons in journalism ethics
– Journalism’s complicated relationship with transparency

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.

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