Explain ethical choices and processes to audiences. Encourage a civil dialogue with the public about journalistic practices, coverage and news content

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: ethics@spj.org


  • In the wake of an online movement known as #GamerGate, Helen Lewis took a look at how journalists can handle so-called Twitter storms in Nieman Reports. She spoke with several experts on reader and audience engagement.
    SOURCE: http://niemanreports.org/articles/what-gamergate-can-teach-journalists-about-handling-twitter-storms/


  • After the Society became the target of Twitter users using the #GamerGate hashtag, Ethics Committee Chair Andrew Seaman talked about civility in ethical debates.
    SOURCE: http://blogs.spjnetwork.org/ethics/2015/05/03/transparency-civility-and-respect-in-ethical-debates/


  • One of the most common ways readers, listeners and viewers show response to reports is in online comments. Journalism.co.uk asked on expert on reader engagement about how journalists should manage comments.
    SOURCE: https://www.journalism.co.uk/skills/how-to-manage-reader-comments-as-a-journalist/s7/a546289/


  • Whether journalists actually pay attention to comments or questions from readers is an interesting question. Margaret Sullivan, The New York Times ombudsman, asked a couple of the paper’s journalists whether they pay attention to reader reactions.
    SOURCE: http://publiceditor.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/03/10/do-times-journalists-pay-attention-to-readers-comments/