More ethics training needed
More education, training and discussion is needed so journalists – especially new college graduates – have a solid understanding of ethical behavior and potential conflicts of interest. That was part of the discussion in a recent Studio SPJ podcast on The Ethics of Freelancing.
Jeff Cutler, freelance content creator and social media strategist, and SPJ Ethics Committee Chairman Kevin Smith joined Studio SPJ Producer Holly Fisher for a discussion on recent ethical lapses involving freelancers as well as media outlets using freelance journalists.
Some examples of ethical issues:
- Seattle Weekly’s Liysa Northon, Ann Rule Story Lacks Huge Disclosure
- Utah mayor uses fake name to write good news about his city
- Photoshopped-train image leaves cautionary tale for media
Other conversations on this topic:
- Public Radio and the Freelance Journalist
- On the Media: Journalists Holding Signs
- Journalists Are People Too
SPJ’s Code of Ethics is widely accepted as the ethical standard for journalists. To clarify SPJ’s position on certain ethical themes in the code, SPJ’s Ethics Committee is creating a series of position papers to provide better guidance.