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
- Journalists often encounter problems when covering breaking news. In many developing situations, journalists need to update and correct information over a short period of time. The first step is to get the facts correct the first time around. Please see the section on speed and accuracy.
- Anthony De Rosa offers several suggestions in a Los Angeles Times editorial on how news organizations can responsibly update and correct stories in digital formats. “Digital publishing has made it possible for editors not only to scrub or enhance stories as they develop but also to pull back the curtain — to make sure readers see and understand what they’ve done,” he writes.
- Craig Silverman offers a detailed explanation on Poynter about why corrections are important, and how to do so effectively. His post includes examples and detailed explanations about corrections.
- Mallary Tenor takes a deep dive for Poynter on how journalism organizations can respond to requests to “unpublish” news stories from the Internet. Instead of unpublishing stories, Tenor looks at alternatives that may be helpful years after publication.
- 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.