Posts Tagged ‘Steve Buttry’


What’s your personal journalism code of ethics?

SPJ’s Code of Ethics is among the most cited codes for journalism professionals, but there are certainly more from other organizations and news outlets. These codes are mostly starting points to guide ethical decision making. Often the gray areas of journalism ethics require your own additional thought process.

So, we ask, what’s your personal code of ethics? Are there more points you use to steer your own work? What, in addition to SPJ’s Code or other institutional rules, do you follow?

This is a question we pose in the upcoming issue of Quill magazine, the annual ethics issue.

Share your personal code of ethics in the comments below, on Facebook, or email to me. Keep it relatively short — 50 to 150 words or so. We’ll highlight some in a future issue and online.

As an example, we asked Steve Buttry, digital transformation editor at Digital First Media and a frequent writer on journalism ethics topics, to give us his personal code of ethics. (Steve has previously written on his blog and for Quill about the need to update the SPJ Code.)

Steve Buttry’s Personal Code of Ethics

A journalist’s job is pretty much like a witness’s oath in court: to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. This goes deeper and broader than the call in codes of ethics to seek and report the truth. We must tell the whole truth about our reporting: showing our work and linking to our sources (including the competition). We must tell the whole truth about connections and experiences that might influence our reporting. This means acknowledging that we are humans with biases and opinions, not insisting that we’re objects. We must tell nothing but the truth. This means that we don’t settle for the faux balance of he-said-she-said journalism, but dig for verification and learn who is telling the truth. We must fact-check and call out the liars who too often use media as megaphones.

That’s Steve’s take. What’s yours?

Scott Leadingham is SPJ’s Director of Education and editor of Quill. Interact on Twitter: @scottleadingham

 

Can you really engage a community by telling them to “follow” and “like” you?

Sometimes the most obvious answers are the hardest to find – or at least require an “aha!” moment before they’re revealed.

That happened yesterday as I was writing an e-mail message to Quill subscribers and SPJ members about the new digital e-magazine version being available.

At the end I initially wrote: “Follow us on Twitter and Facebook,” giving links to SPJ’s accounts on those networks.

I’ve been thinking a lot about “community engagement” lately, no doubt fueled by following numerous community engagement managers and social media editors on Twitter. (Steve Buttry and Craig Kanalley to name just two.)

It struck me there: What about true community engagement is embedded in terms like “follow us” and “like us”? In short: nothing. I can’t think of a time I’ve felt deeply connected to or an equal part of a group by being told to “follow” or “like” something else.

So, I changed the construction in the e-mail to:

If you’re so inclined, join Quill and SPJ in discussing and reviewing journalism news and conversations on Twitter and Facebook.

If news outlets really are becoming greater partners with their audiences – if community engagement isn’t just the buzzword of the year (which I don’t believe it is) – then perhaps it’s time to re-examine how to interact with community members on the most basic level. Sure, having tweetups and hosting live-chats are essential and incredibly rewarding. But what message are you sending by telling audiences that they’re “followers” and that THEY should “like” YOU?

News and information sharing is a team effort. It takes a village to raise a child, we’re told. And it takes a collaborative community joining together to report, share and discuss the stories that are important to them.

Scott Leadingham is editor of Quill magazine. If you’re so inclined, you can join him in discussing, sharing and commenting on journalism and media issues on Twitter: @scottleadingham.

Connect

Twitter Facebook Google Plus RSS Instagram Pinterest Pinterest LinkedIn


© Society of Professional Journalists. All rights reserved. Legal

Society of Professional Journalists
Eugene S. Pulliam National Journalism Center, 3909 N. Meridian St., Indianapolis, IN 46208
317/927-8000 | Fax: 317/920-4789 | Contact SPJ Headquarters | Employment Opportunities | Advertise with SPJ