Be wary of sources offering information for favors or money; do not pay for access to news. Identify content provided by outside sources, whether paid or not.

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:

  • So-called checkbook journalism threatens to undermine the credibility of journalism and journalists, according to a position paper by the Society’s Ethics Committee. Furthermore, checkbook journalism puts news in the hands of the highest bidder.



  • Andy Schotz writes for the Society’s Ethics Committee blog about ABC’s payment of $200,000 to the family of a woman accused of murdering her daughter. “Not only is it highly questionable ethically to pay a source while covering her, ABC compounded the matter by keeping it quiet for two years and continuing to report on the case,” he writes.