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: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Fred Brown of the Society’s Ethics Committee writes that there is nothing more important for a journalist than to come as close to the “truth” as possible. “‘Truth’ may be subject to interpretation – people have different ideas about the truth of almost everything, including the age of the Earth – but accuracy is less debatable,” he writes.
- When a story breaks, it can be difficult to verify the flood of information from on the ground and the Internet. Luckily, a team of journalists from top media organizations created the Verification Handbook, which is edited by Craig Silverman of BuzzFeed. There is also versions in several languages other than English and a new edition for investigative reporting.
- Steve Buttry, a journalist and professor, provides a strong argument on the website MediaShift that journalist should follow accuracy checklists – like doctors and airplane pilots.
- NPR‘s Ethics Handbook also offers a comprehensive section on accuracy. The section also endorses the possible use of accuracy checklists.