Diligently seek subjects of news coverage to allow them to respond to criticism or allegations of wrongdoing.

The committee that revised the Society’s Code of Ethics felt the document’s tenets and underlying principles apply to all journalism regardless of how it’s ultimately presented. Still, the committee knew people interested in ethical journalism may benefit from additional guidance from the Society and other people and organizations.
Below are several resources that the Society’s ethics committee compiled to help people with day-to-day decisions. These resources are not formally part of the Code. Also, these lists will grow and change as more resources are found, or as resources become obsolete.

For those people who still have questions, please email the Society’s Ethics Hotline: ethics@spj.org


  • The NYU Journalism Handbook for Students offers advice on how to approach human sources, including allowing them to respond to allegations and criticism. In general, the information in a news story should never be a surprise to the subjects, because a journalist should confront them with allegations and information.
    SOURCE: http://journalism.nyu.edu/publishing/ethics-handbook/human-sources/