Posts Tagged ‘Ethics Week’

Teaching social media ethics must be a priority

Ethics Week is the perfect time to remember journalism ethics, especially social media. (Photo: SPJ)

Ethics Week is the perfect time to remember journalism ethics, especially social media.
(Photo: SPJ)

This week is the SPJ’s annual Ethics Week, a celebration of, and a time to examine deeper, the Code of Ethics and its primary values – to seek truth, report it, minimize harm, be accountable and transparent, and act independent.

With the rise of new technologies and platforms shaping this industry, it is important to remember the ethics and principles of journalism and adapt them with modern technology. My SPJ colleague, Lynn Walsh, has written a blog post over on the Code Words blog on ethics in the internet age, especially on social media, which should be a must read this week for every journalist practicing in the digital age, student or professional.

As new technologies change how we think about journalism and how we approach it, it is essential that ethics must be considered. This is especially true with social media ethics, from compiling information to its verification, irrespective of platform, as it becomes a larger part of most news organizations’ multi-platform operations, be it a newspaper, television or radio station, or web site.

This learning, especially now, should be made essential by every news organization, and it must be emphasized to every student at every university that teaches journalism. The more knowledge that can be contributed into how social media can work in a journalistic context, and how it can be used responsibly, the better we will be as journalists, and the better this industry will be in the future.

Social media is part of the norm for consuming news. Its ethics must be part of the norm for every practicing journalist. We owe it not just to our profession, but to our audience, and there is no better time to make that happen than right now.

Alex Veeneman, a Chicago based SPJ member and founder of SPJ Digital, is a contributing blogger for Net Worked, and serves as Community Coordinator for SPJ. Veeneman also is Deputy Editor, Media Editor and a writer for Kettle Magazine, an online publication in the UK. Veeneman also blogs for the web site ChicagoNowYou can interact with Veeneman on Twitter here.

The views expressed in this blog post are that of the author’s unless otherwise indicated, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SPJ Digital executive, the board and staff of the Society of Professional Journalists, or its members.


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