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Society tables ethics revision vote

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Delegates at the Society of Professional Journalists National Convention in St. Paul, Minn., voted Saturday to maintain the group's course under its current code of ethics for another year while studying proposals to update its current code.

After studying possible changes to the code adopted by the Society in 1987, delegates voted Oct. 14 to table the proposal until the Society's 1996 National Convention in Washington, D.C. The Society's Ethics Committee, chaired by Kevin D. Smith of Miami University, had been researching the current code since 1994.

"Our members said they want another year to study the language as we make our 60 year old code of ethics reflect the changing nature of the news business," said Steve Geimann, SPJ's president elect. "The debate at the convention showed our members care passionately about the code and its principles and they want to write language that meets the needs of all our members. That's the right thing to do."

The decision to table the vote came after members indicated that a complete and comprehensive review of the proposed changes by the entire membership was needed to develop a document that fully met the changing needs of the organization and the profession.

The proposed code will go back to the Ethics Committee for a year of review and refinement and will be voted on at next year's convention.

The Society will continue under its current code until a revised code is approved.

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