Archive for the ‘Supporting Documents’ Category


It’s Alive: Code’s Supporting Documents Linked

Screenshot of the SPJ Code of Ethics on the organization's website.

Screenshot of the SPJ Code of Ethics on the organization’s website.

After a year of work by the Society’s Ethics Committee, I’m happy to announce that each principle in the Society’s Code of Ethics offers additional resources to guide journalists in making responsible decisions.


The new resources are not part of the Code or formally endorsed by the Society. Instead, they are meant to show journalists and other people interested in the profession’s practices potential avenues of action.

For example, a journalist considering granting a person anonymity can consult the “Seek Truth and Report It” tenet of the Code. There, they will find the principle warning journalists against granting anonymity. If they click on the principle in the online version of the Code, they will find additional explanations and suggested actions from the Society, Reuters and NPR.

The supporting documents behind the Code’s principles are never meant to be complete. Instead, each page accompanying the principles will change as resources are found or become obsolete.

For those with unanswered ethical questions after consulting the Code and its supporting documents, please contact the Society’s Ethics Hotline.


Andrew Seaman is the chairman of the Society’s ethics committee.

 

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Some big news about the Society’s Code of Ethics

When the committee revising the Society’s Code of Ethics met on Ohio State University’s campus last summer, an idea without a name was born.


Screenshot of the SPJ Code of Ethics on the organization's website.

Screenshot of the SPJ Code of Ethics on the organization’s website.

The idea was to create a library of resources for people seeking additional guidance in the ethical practice of journalism.

After months of work, people now accessing the Society’s Code of Ethics on SPJ.org see small boxes and arrows next to specific principles. Those small boxes link to pages with resources that provide additional guidance related to that principle.

For example, a new page pops up when people click on the principle that says ethical journalists should “never plagiarize” and “always attribute.” The links on that new page include a position paper from the Society’s Ethics Committee about plagiarism and attribution, and a blog post from Steve Buttry about the importance of linking.

By the end of next week, each principle within the Society’s Code of Ethics will have supporting documents to aid people looking for guidance. The library of documents will never be complete. Instead, these lists will change as more resources are found, or as resources become obsolete.

Also, it’s important to note that these documents are not part of the Society’s Code of Ethics, which is found here.

SPJ's Code of Ethics in Arabic

SPJ’s Code of Ethics in Arabic

What’s more, people around the world will be able to begin using the Code thanks to months of work by the members of the Society’s International Journalism Community. The community’s members graciously volunteered their time to translate the Code into several languages.

Currently, the new version of the Code is available in Arabic, English, Chinese, French, German and Spanish. Soon, more languages will be added, including Russian.

As always, people with recommendations and thoughts on the supporting documents or translations should contact the Ethics Hotline at ethics@spj.org.

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