After endorsing an ethical code for almost a century, SPJ’s Code of Ethics finally gets its time in the spotlight.
The Society of Professional Journalists works every day to improve and protect journalism through its advocacy and education efforts. A big part of that work centers on SPJ’s Code of Ethics, which outlines what the profession views as ethical and responsible journalism.
As the President of the United States continues to attack the press and people’s trust in the information it provides continues to wane, SPJ wanted to do something BIG to launch its annual Ethics Week, which runs from April 24 to 28.
Nothing is bigger than New York City’s Times Square. Also, no lights shine brighter than those along Broadway.
So, the SPJ Code of Ethics and its messages are being displayed this week on nearly 7,724 square feet of digital billboard space in Times Square in New York City. The billboards sit at the intersection of 43rd Street and Seventh Avenue and soar hundreds of feet into the air.
The images will periodically pop up on the billboards throughout Ethics Week. In addition to promoting the tenets of the SPJ Code of Ethics, the billboards promote the Ethics Week hashtag #PressForEthics.
The hashtag works on several levels. The press is encouraging and advocating the use of SPJ’s Code of Ethics. The press is standing by ethical journalism. Additionally, the hashtag encourages the public to call for responsible and ethical journalism.
One of the main goals of SPJ and its ethics committee is to bridge the gap between journalists and the public. The hashtag #PressForEthics creates an opportunity for people to engage with journalists, discuss issues and build relationships.
The billboards shining bright over Times Square is just the first big surprise for Ethics Week. Stay tuned to this blog and SPJ’s Twitter and Facebook accounts for more.
Andrew M. Seaman is the chair of the Society of Professional Journalists’ ethics committee.