The Society of Professional Journalists recently revised its Code of Ethics (9/6/2104):
“Members of the Society of Professional Journalists believe that public enlightenment is the forerunner of justice and the foundation of democracy. Ethical journalism strives to ensure the free exchange of information that is accurate, fair and thorough. An ethical journalist acts with integrity.
The Society declares these four principles as the foundation of ethical journalism and encourages their use in its practice by all people in all media.”
Seek Truth and Report It: Ethical journalism should be accurate and fair. Journalists should be honest and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting information.
Minimize Harm: Ethical journalism treats sources, subjects, colleagues and members of the public as human beings deserving of respect.
Act Independently: The highest and primary obligation of ethical journalism is to serve the public.
Be Accountable and Transparent: Ethical journalism means taking responsibility for one’s work and explaining one’s decisions to the public.