Realize that private people have a greater right to control information about themselves than public figures and others who seek power, influence or attention. Weigh the consequences of publishing or broadcasting personal information.

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:

  • 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.



  • Andrew Seaman writes for the Society’s Ethics Committee blog about a case when a reporter posted a photograph of a police report to Twitter with a person’s address and telephone numbers. “As children learn, sharing is caring, but we should care about what we share,” he writes.


  • 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.”