Is it time to update the SPJ Code of Ethics?

It’s not a new conversation. But with the spring comes renewed interest in examining the SPJ Code of Ethics and its usefulness in addressing the many facets of contemporary journalism.

The March/April issue of Quill addresses the question in a cover story. There are two perspectives:

– Yes, says Steve Buttry, a longtime editor and digital news evangelist. By his account, 21st century journalism requires a 21st century code.

– On the other hand, past SPJ president Irwin Gratz says the Code, as adopted in 1996, is inclusive and flexible. It’s structured to address the many considerations journalists and outlets make daily – considerations that were present in 1996 and remain present today.

But those aren’t the only perspectives. What do you think? The SPJ Ethics Committee wants to know. Tell committee members what you think. Comment below and/or submit a letter to the editor. If emailing a letter, please include a phone number for verification.

Let the reasonable discourse begin!

– Scott Leadingham

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