Ethics of a Journalist

No one ever said journalism was easy. There are times where a journalist can struggle on what their next move will be.

There are ethics on being a journalist. The Society of Professional Journalist gives a break down on some of those ethics a journalist should follow.

Seek truth and report it, minimize harm, act independently, and be accountable and transparent.

One thing that also needs to happen is to not fall into a bias. This can be harder than it sounds.

When it comes to journalism, journalist can end up following a personal path instead of following the right path. There’s always a fight on trying to be the first one to report something, but if you follow that path with inaccurate details, it can be crucial.

Also make sure, to be easy to read or understand so that way there is no confusion on facts and detail.

These are a few of the best practices on ethical journalism.

Ethics for the win

Ethics in journalism is the foundation of good reporting. Balancing information on a pendulum against personal biases can be somewhat challenging.

Being an African American woman is a double-loaded burger in what experiences I bring to report that I know I should rein in on,  lest I provide a complete biased account.

After taking a structured class dedicated to research, writing and journalism I’ve become better equipped to fact check rather than take the wealth of information on the internet at face value. For example, using known fact check sites for reliable truths. This is an example of such a site!

Writing for all people whether blogging or journalism is not just ethically important to present both sides, but it is morally needed to avoid poisoning humanity from ill-gotten information.

Avoid being biased in your writing

Ethics is very important when it comes to journalists.  The SPJ website has a video on how journalists minimize bias. The video talks about how not all journalists are the same, and how journalists are diverse people.

The common topic that was used was ethics and how journalists are neutral and everyone has their own opinion. The video really helps journalist learn more about the importance of fact checking and how to be creative in your writing without being biased.

When it comes to my reporting I feel like I should put other peoples feelings and opinions in perspective. I know that I have to have an open mind when writing and not believe that I am always right.

It’s very important to avoid being biased in your writing because everything you write is in the public eye. It’s always important to focus on the real facts and also feelings. It’s always important to use some sort of feeling into your writing but it should let it affect the facts that you are trying to put out.

What’s fair- ethics drive journalism

SPJ included a video of journalists in one of their articles who spoke on the topic of ethics where one of them mentioned that though journalists are trying to remain neutral, they do in reality have opinions. However, accuracy is more important and is a priority above all else, one journalist simply says it’s “what’s fair.”

SPJ includes a video in their article on what journalists think about bias.

As a reporter, a journalist tries to get every perspective. One source cannot run a story because it is begging for bias. Sources must be verified and reporters do this by going to more than one source to check and balance their stories. One journalists puts it like this; If a mother had a child who did something wrong and said that that same child was a straight A student and never got into any trouble with the law, one can’t quickly take her word for it. Rather, it’s important to go to the child’s school and police department to check out those sources as well. It might not be that the parent is lying, yet she may be overcome with grief and feel as if she has to prove her child is pure, just like most parents think their children are.

SPJ gives examples of different articles and how they fit ethical journalism.

SPJ puts it clearly: “SPJ Code of Ethics- seek truth and report it, act independently, minimize harm, and be accountable and transparent.”

SPJ’s perspective on what ethical journalism calls for.