Balance the public’s need for information against potential harm or discomfort. Pursuit of the news is not a license for arrogance or undue intrusiveness.

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


 

  • Journalists carry the responsibility of what their readers, viewers and listeners are and are not exposed to in reports. The Society’s Ethics Committee tackled many questions related to grief, tragedy and victims in a previous position paper.
    SOURCE: https://www.spj.org/ethics-papers-grief.asp
  • In a post to the Society’s Ethics Committee blog, Andrew Seaman examines the line journalists walk between harm and serving the greater good. “A primary care doctor may prescribe medicine that causes side effects to control an even worse condition,” he writes. “Likewise, journalists may cause disruption in families, communities or countries to achieve their mission.”
    SOURCE: http://blogs.spjnetwork.org/ethics/2015/05/01/ethics-week-2015-like-a-surgeon/
  • Journalists and news organizations often avoid reporting on suicide, but – like other public health issues – blindly ignoring the topic is irresponsible. The Society’s ethics committee is currently working on a document to guide journalist reporting on suicide, but there are already several other resource available to educate jouranlists. The first resource – known as Recommendations for Reporting on Suicide – comes from several authoritative voices on mental health. The San Diego Society of Professional Journalists also offers quality resources on its website about mental health reporting. Additionally, Andy Schotz provided a brief overview in the Society’s Quill about why it’s necessary for journalist to responsibly report on suicides.
    SOURCE: http://reportingonsuicide.org/
    SOURCE: http://spjsandiego.org/resources-for-journalists/reporting-on-suicide-and-mental-illness/
    SOURCE: http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/spj/quill0108/index.php?startid=28