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Encyclopedia > Journalism ethics and standards
Topics in Journalism
Professional Issues

Ethics & News Values
Objectivity & Attribution
News Source & Libel Law
News & Reporting & Writing
Education & Fourth Estate
Other Topics & Books
Journalism is a discipline of writing. ... News values determine how much prominence a news story is given by a media outlet. ... Objectivity is frequently held to be essential to journalistic professionalism (particularly in the United States); however, there is some disagreement about what the concept consists of. ... It has been suggested that Attribution (journalism) be merged into this article or section. ... Source is a term used in journalism to refer to any individual from whom information about a story has been received. ... “Libel” redirects here. ... For other uses, see News (disambiguation). ... A reporter is a type of journalist who researches and presents information in certain types of mass media. ... News style is the prose style of short, front-page newspaper stories and the news bulletins that air on radio and television. ... In modern times, television reporters are part of the fourth estate. ... List of journalism topics A-D AP Stylebook Arizona Republic Associated Press Bar chart Canadian Association of Journalists Chart Citizen journalism Committee to Protect Journalists Conservative bias Copy editing Desktop publishing E-J Editor Freedom of the press Graphic design Hedcut Headline Headlinese Hostile media effect House style Information graphic... List of books related to journalism: The Art of Editing, by Floyd K. Baskette, Jack Z. Scissors, Brian S. Brooks Designing Infographics The Elements of Journalism What Newspeople Should Know and the Public Should Expect, by Bill Kovach and Tom Rosenstiel Infographics, by James Glen Stovall Media Management in the...

Fields

Advocacy journalism
Alternative journalism
Arts journalism
Business journalism
Citizen journalism
Fashion journalism
Investigative journalism
Literary journalism
Photojournalism
Science journalism
Sports journalism
Video game journalism
Video journalism
Advocacy journalism is a genre of journalism which is strongly fact-based, but may seek to support a point-of-view in some public or private sector issue. ... As long as there has been media there has been alternative media. ... Arts journalism is a branch of journalism concerned with the reporting and discussion monkeys giblets and squirrels rectums. ... Business journalism includes coverage of companies, the workplace, personal finance, and economics, including unemployment and other economic indicators. ... Citizen journalism, also known as participatory journalism, is the act of citizens playing an active role in the process of collecting, reporting, analyzing and disseminating news and information according to the seminal report We Media: How Audiences are Shaping the Future of News and Information, by Shayne Bowman and Chris... Fashion journalism is an umbrella term used to describe all aspects of published fashion media. ... Investigative journalism is a kind of journalism in which reporters deeply investigate a topic of interest, often related to crime, scandals, government corruption, or white collar crime. ... Creative nonfiction is a genre of literature, also known as literary journalism, which uses literary skills in the writing of nonfiction. ... Photojournalism is a particular form of journalism (the collecting, editing, and presenting of news material for publication or broadcast) that creates images in order to tell a news story. ... Science journalism is a relatively new branch of journalism, which uses the art of reporting to convey information about science topics to a public forum. ... Sports Journalism is a form of journalism that reports on sports topics and events. ... Video game journalism is a branch of journalism concerned with the reporting and discussion of video games. ... There are very few or no other articles that link to this one. ...

Social Impact

Infotainment & Celebrity
'Infotainers' & Personalities
News Management
Distortion & VNRs
PR & Propaganda
'Yellow' Journalism
Press freedom
Infotainment (a portmanteau of information and entertainment) refers to a general type of media broadcast program which provides a combination of current events news and feature news, or features stories. Infotainment also refers to the segments of programming in television news programs which overall consist of both hard news segments... Infotainers are entertainers in infotainment media, such as news anchors or news personalities who cross the line between journalism (quasi-journalism) and entertainment within the broader news trade. ... Infotainment or soft news, refers to a part of the wider news trade that provides information in a way that is considered entertaining to its viewers, as evident by attraction of a higher market demographic. ... Managing the news refers to acts which are intended to influence the presentation of information within the news media. ... Distorted news or planted news are terms in journalism for two deviated aspects of the wider news media wherein media outlets deliberately present false data, evidence, or sources as factual, in contradiction to the ethical practices in professional journalism. ... A video news release (VNR) is a video segment created by a PR firm, advertising agency, marketing firm, corporation, or government agency and provided to television news stations for the purpose of informing, shaping public opinion, or to promote and publicize individuals, commercial products and services, or other interests. ... Public relations (PR) is the business, organizational, philanthropic, or social function of managing communication between an organization and its audiences. ... An Australian anti-conscription propaganda poster from World War One U.S. propaganda poster, which warns against civilians sharing information on troop movements (National Archives) The much-imitated 1914 Lord Kitchener Wants You! poster Soviet Propaganda Poster during the Great Patriotic War. ... Nasty little printers devils spew forth from the Hoe press in this Puck cartoon of Nov. ... Freedom of the press (or press freedom) is the guarantee by a government of free public press for its citizens and their associations, extended to members of news gathering organizations, and their published reporting. ...

News media

Newspapers & Magazines
News Agencies
Broadcast Journalism
Online & Blogging
Alternative Media News media satellite up-link trucks and photojournalists gathered outside the Prudential Financial headquarters in Newark, New Jersey in August, 2004 following the announcement of evidence of a terrorist threat to it and to buildings in New York City. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... A news agency is an organization of journalists established to supply news reports to organizations in the news trade: newspapers, magazines, and radio and television broadcasters. ... Broadcast journalism refers to television news and radio news, as well as the online news outlets of broadcast affiliates. ... This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Alternative media are defined most broadly as those media practices falling outside the mainstreams of corporate communication. ...

Roles

Journalist, Reporter, Editor, News presenter, Photo Journalist, Columnist, Visual Journalist The terms news trade or news business refers to news-related organizations in the mass media (or information media) as a business entity —associated with but distinct from the profession of journalism. ... This does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... A Female Reporter A reporter is a type of journalist who researches and presents information in certain types of mass media. ... Editing may also refer to audio or film editing. ... ITV newscaster Mark Austin. ... Photojournalism is a particular form of journalism (the collecting, editing, and presenting of news material for publication or broadcast) that creates images in order to tell a news story. ... A columnist is a journalist who produces a specific form of writing for publication called a column. Columns appear in newspapers, magazines and the Internet. ... Wikipedia does not yet have an article with this exact name. ...


 v  d  e 

Journalism ethics and standards include principles of ethics and of good practice to address the specific challenges faced by professional journalists. Historically and currently these principles are most widely known to journalists as their professional "code of ethics" or the "canons of journalism." The basic codes and canons commonly appear in statements drafted by both professional journalism associations and individual print, broadcast, and online news organizations. Ethics (from the Ancient Greek Ä“thikos, the adjective of Ä“thos custom, habit), a major branch of philosophy, including genetics is the study of values and customs of a person or group. ... This does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... In communications, a code is a rule for converting a piece of information (for example, a letter, word, or phrase) into another form or representation, not necessarily of the same type. ... Print media includes newspapers, magazines, and the like. ... Broadcasting is the distribution of audio and/or video signals which transmit programs to an audience. ... This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ...

Every news organization has only its credibility and reputation to rely on.
-Tony Burman, editor-in-chief of CBC News[citation needed]

While various existing codes have some differences, most share common elements including the principles of — truthfulness, accuracy, objectivity, impartiality, fairness and public accountability — as these apply to the acquisition of newsworthy information and its subsequent reportage to the public. Tony Burman (born 13 June 1948) is Editor in Chief of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporations English Services Division. ... CBC redirects here, as this is the most common use of the abbreviation. ... A common dictionary definition of truth is agreement with fact or reality.[1] There is no single definition of truth about which the majority of philosophers agree. ... In the fields of science, engineering, industry and statistics, accuracy is the degree of conformity of a measured or calculated quantity to its actual (true) value. ... Objectivity is frequently held to be essential to journalistic professionalism (particularly in the United States); however, there is some disagreement about what the concept consists of. ... Justice is a concept involving the fair and moral treatment of all persons, especially in law. ...


Like many broader ethical systems, journalism ethics include the principle of "limitation of harm." This often involves the withholding of certain details from reports such as the names of minor children, crime victims' names or information not materially related to particular news reports release of which might, for example, harm someone's reputation. In law, a person who is not yet a legal adult is known as a minor (known in some places as an infant or juvenile). ...

Contents

Evolution and purpose of codes of journalism

The principles of good journalism are directed toward bringing the highest quality of news reporting to the public, thus fulfilling the mission of timely distribution of information in service of the public interest. To a large degree, the codes and canons evolved via observation of and response to past ethical lapses by journalists and publishers. Today, it is common for terms of employment to mandate adherence to such codes equally applicable to both staff and freelance journalists; journalists may face dismissal for ethical failures. Upholding professional standards also enhances the reputation of and trust in a news organization, which boosts the size of the audience it serves. Public interest is a term used to denote political movements and organizations that are in the public interest—supporting general public and civic causes, in opposition of private and corporate ones (particularistic goals). ... Gefen Publishing House, is dedicated to producing a broad range of quality titles relating to Judaism, Jewish thought, and Israel, including history, the Holocaust, art, childrens books, philosophy, science, biographies, and more. ... A freelancer or (freelance worker) is a self-employed person working in a profession or trade in which full-time employment is also common. ...


Journalistic codes of ethics are designed as guides through numerous difficulties, such as conflicts of interest, to assist journalists in dealing with ethical dilemmas. The codes and canons provide journalists a framework for self-monitoring and self-correction as they pursue professional assignments. Conflicts of Interest is an episode from the fourth season of the science-fiction television series Babylon 5. ... An ethical dilemma is a situation that will often involve an apparent conflict between moral imperatives, in which to obey one would result in transgressing another. ...


Codes of practice

While journalists in the United States and European countries have led in formulation and adoption of these standards, such codes can be found in news reporting organizations in most countries with freedom of the press. The written codes and practical standards vary somewhat from country to country and organization to organization, but there is a substantial overlap among mainstream publications and societies. This article is 150 kilobytes or more in size. ... Freedom of the press (or press freedom) is the guarantee by a government of free public press for its citizens and their associations, extended to members of news gathering organizations, and their published reporting. ...


One of the leading voices in the U.S. on the subject of Journalistic Standards and Ethics is the Society of Professional Journalists.[1] The Preamble to its Code of Ethics states: Motto: (Out Of Many, One) (traditional) In God We Trust (1956 to date) Anthem: The Star-Spangled Banner Capital Washington D.C. Largest city New York City None at federal level (English de facto) Government Federal constitutional republic  - President George Walker Bush (R)  - Vice President Dick Cheney (R) Independence from... Ethics (from the Ancient Greek Ä“thikos, the adjective of Ä“thos custom, habit), a major branch of philosophy, including genetics is the study of values and customs of a person or group. ...

...public enlightenment is the forerunner of justice and the foundation of democracy. The duty of the journalist is to further those ends by seeking truth and providing a fair and comprehensive account of events and issues. Conscientious journalists from all media and specialties strive to serve the public with thoroughness and honesty. Professional integrity is the cornerstone of a journalist's credibility.

The Radio-Television News Directors Association, an organization exclusively centered on electronic journalism, maintains a code of ethics centering on -- public trust, truthfulness, fairness, integrity, independence and accountability.[2] RTDNA publishes a pocket guide (PDF file) to these standards. PDF is an abbreviation with several meanings: Portable Document Format Post-doctoral fellowship Probability density function There also is an electronic design automation company named PDF Solutions. ...


Examples of journalistic codes of ethics held by international news gathering organizations may be found as follows:

The British Broadcasting Corporation, usually known as the BBC (and also informally known as the Beeb or Auntie) is the largest broadcasting corporation in the world in terms of audience numbers, employing 26,000 staff in the United Kingdom alone and with a budget of more than GB£4 billion... The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), a Canadian crown corporation, is the country’s national public radio and television broadcaster. ... Al Jazeera logo Al Jazeera (الجزيرة), meaning The Island or The (Arabian) Peninsula (whence also Algiers) is an Arabic television channel based in Qatar. ...

Common elements

The primary themes common to most codes of journalistic standards and ethics are the following.


Objectivity

  • Unequivocal separation between news and opinion. In-house editorials and opinion (Op-Ed) pieces are clearly separated from news pieces. News reporters and editorial staff are distinct.
  • Unequivocal separation between advertisements and news. All advertisements must be clearly identifiable as such.
  • Reporter must avoid conflicts of interest — incentives to report a story with a given slant. This includes not taking bribes and not reporting on stories that affect the reporter's personal, economic or political interests. See envelope journalism.
  • Competing points of view are balanced and fairly characterized.
  • Persons who are the subject of adverse news stories are allowed a reasonable opportunity to respond to the adverse information before the story is published or broadcast.
  • Interference with reporting by any entity, including censorship, must be disclosed.

Look up editorial, op-ed in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... An Op-Ed is a piece of writing expressing an opinion. ... Generally speaking, advertising is the paid promotion of goods, services, companies and ideas by an identified sponsor. ... Envelope journalism (also envelopmental journalism[1], red envelope journalism[2], white envelope journalism[3], Chongi[4], wartawan amplop[5]) is a colloquial term for the practice of bribing journalists for favourable media coverage. ... Censorship is the removal or withholding of information from the public by a controlling group or body. ...

Sources

  • Confidentiality of anonymous sources (see news source).
  • Avoidance of anonymous sources when possible.
  • Accurate attribution of statements made by individuals or other news media.
  • Pictures, sound, and quotations must not be presented in a misleading context (or lack thereof). Simulations, reenactments, alterations, and artistic imaginings must be clearly labelled as such, if not avoided entirely.
  • Plagiarism is strongly stigmatized and in many cases illegal (see copyright).

Source is a term used in journalism to refer to any individual from whom information about a story has been received. ... It has been suggested that Attribution (journalism) be merged into this article or section. ... Plagiarism is the unauthorized use or close imitation of the language and thoughts of another author and the representation of them as ones own original work. ... Articles with similar titles include copywrite. ...

Accuracy and standards for factual reporting

  • Reporters are expected to be as accurate as possible given the time allotted to story preparation and the space available, and to seek reliable sources.
  • Events with a single eyewitness are reported with attribution. Events with two or more independent eyewitnesses may be reported as fact. Controversial facts are reported with attribution.
  • Independent fact-checking by another employee of the publisher is desirable
  • Corrections are published when errors are discovered
  • Defendants at trial are treated only as having "allegedly" committed crimes, until conviction, when their crimes are generally reported as fact (unless, that is, there is serious controversy about wrongful conviction).
  • Opinion surveys and statistical information deserve special treatment to communicate in precise terms any conclusions, to contextualize the results, and to specify accuracy, including estimated error and methodological criticism or flaws.

A miscarriage of justice is primarily the conviction and punishment of a person for a crime that they did not commit. ...

Slander and libel considerations

  • Reporting the truth is never libel, which makes accuracy and attribution very important.
  • Private persons have privacy rights that must be balanced against the public interest in reporting information about them. Public figures have fewer privacy rights.
  • Publishers vigorously defend libel lawsuits filed against their reporters

Harm limitation principle

During the normal course of an assignment a reporter might go about — gathering facts and details, conducting interviews, doing research, background checks, taking photos, video taping, recording sound -- should he or she report everything learned? If so, how should this be done? The principle of limitation of harm means that some weight needs to be given to the negative consequences of full disclosure, creating a practical and ethical dilemma. The Society of Professional Journalists' code of ethics [3] offers the following advice, which is representative of the practical ideals of most professional journalists. Quoting directly: Facts may refer to: fact, an incontrovertible truth Flexible AC transmission system, abbreviated FACTS Facts (newspaper), a Swiss newspaper Category: ... interview An interview is a conversation between two or more people where questions are asked to obtain information about the interviewee. ... Research is a human activity based on intellectual investigation and aimed at discovering, interpreting, and revising human knowledge on different aspects of the world. ... Background check is a generic term for the process of acquiring information on an individual through third-party services, government organizations and private individuals in the hopes of making a determination on the future actions of an individual based on past actions. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... Video (Latin for I see, first person singular present, indicative of videre, to see) is the technology of electronically capturing, recording, processing, storing, transmitting, and reconstructing a sequence of still images representing scenes in motion. ... Sound is a disturbance of mechanical energy that propagates through matter as a longitudinal wave, and therefore is a mechanical wave. ... An ethical dilemma is a situation that will often involve an apparent conflict between moral imperatives, in which to obey one would result in transgressing another. ...

  • Show compassion for those who may be affected adversely by news coverage. Use special sensitivity when dealing with children and inexperienced sources or subjects.
  • Be sensitive when seeking or using interviews or photographs of those affected by tragedy or grief.
  • Recognize that gathering and reporting information may cause harm or discomfort. Pursuit of the news is not a license for arrogance.
  • Recognize that private people have a greater right to control information about themselves than do public officials and others who seek power, influence or attention. Only an overriding public need can justify intrusion into anyone's privacy.
  • Show good taste. Avoid pandering to lurid curiosity.
  • Be cautious about identifying juvenile suspects or victims of sex crimes.
  • Be judicious about naming criminal suspects before the formal filing of charges.
  • Balance a criminal suspect's fair trial rights with the public's right to be informed.

Presentation

Main articles: News writing, Journalism, News style is the prose style of short, front-page newspaper stories and the news bulletins that air on radio and television. ... Journalism is a discipline of writing. ...


Ethical standards should not be confused with common standards of quality of presentation, including:

  • Correctly spoken or written language (often in a widely spoken and formal dialect, such as Standard English)
  • Clarity
  • Brevity (or depth, depending on the niche of the publisher)

Standard English is a controversial term used to denote a form of written and spoken English that is thought to be normative for educated users. ...

Self-regulation

In addition to codes of ethics, many news organizations maintain an in-house Ombudsman whose role is, in part, to keep news organizations honest and accountable to the public. The ombudsman is intended to mediate in conflicts stemming from internal and or external pressures, and to maintain accountability to the public for news reported. Also, to foster self-criticism and to encourage adherence to both codified and uncodified ethics and standards. This position may be the same or similar to the public editor, though public editors also act as a liason with readers and do not generally become members of the Organisation of News Ombudsmen. An ombudsman (English plural: ombudsmans or ombudsmen) is an official, usually (but not always) appointed by the government or by parliament, who is charged with representing the interests of the public by investigating and addressing complaints reported by individual citizens. ... Public Editor is an editorial position established by The New York Times in response to the Jayson Blair scandal. ... The Organization of News Ombudsmen (ONO) is a nonprofit corporation that was formed in 1980. ...


An alternative is a news council, an industry-wide self-regulation body, such as the Press Complaints Commission, set up by UK newspapers and magazines. Such a body is capable perhaps of applying fairly consistent standards, and of dealing with a higher volume of complaints, but may not escape criticisms of being toothless. A news council is an organization set up to look into complaints about journalism, such as inaccuracy and bias. ... The Press Complaints Commission is a British organisation that has regulated printed newspapers and magazines since 1990. ...


Ethics and standards in practice

See main articles: journalism scandals, media bias, and yellow journalism Journalism scandals are high-profile incidents or acts, whether intentional or accidental, that run contrary to the generally accepted ethics and standards of journalism, or otherwise violate the ideal mission of journalism: to report news events and issues accurately and fairly. ... This article or section is in need of attention from an expert on the subject. ... Nasty little printers devils spew forth from the Hoe press in this Puck cartoon of Nov. ...


As with other ethical codes, there is perennial concern that the standards of journalism are being ignored. One of the most controversial issues in modern reporting is media bias, especially on political issues, but also with regard to cultural and other issues. Sensationalism is also a common complaint. Minor factual errors are also extremely common, as almost anyone who is familiar with the subject of a particular report will quickly realize. This article or section is in need of attention from an expert on the subject. ... Sensationalism is a manner of being extremely controversial, loud, attention-grabbing, or otherwise sensationalistic. ...


There are also some wider concerns, as the media continue to change, for example that the brevity of news reports and use of soundbites has reduced fidelity to the truth, and may contribute to a lack of needed context for public understanding. From outside the profession, the rise of news management contributes to the real possibility that news media may be deliberately manipulated. Selective reporting (spiking, double standards) are very commonly alleged against newspapers, and by their nature are forms of bias not easy to establish, or guard against. This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... News management is the process by which individuals and organizations (especially political parties) control information and their interactions with the news media to achieve some strategic objective. ... News media satellite up-link trucks and photojournalists gathered outside the Prudential Financial headquarters in Newark, New Jersey in August, 2004 following the announcement of evidence of a terrorist threat to it and to buildings in New York City. ... In journalism, spiking is the practice of deliberately choosing not to publish a news story, or otherwise suppressing newsworthy information, which does not fit the preconceived slant of a news topic. ... A double standard is an ethical rule applied more stringently to one party than to others. ...


This section does not address specifics of such matters, but issues of practical compliance, as well as differences between professional journalists on principles.


Standards and reputation

Among the leading news organizations that voluntarily adopt and attempt to uphold the common standards of journalism ethics described herein, adherence and general quality varies considerably. The professionalism, reliability and public accountability of a news organization are three of its most valuable assets. An organization earns and maintains a strong reputation, in part, through a consistent implementation of ethical standards, which influence its position with the public and within the industry.


Among the most respected western English-language publications, programs and broadcast networks are:

... The New York Times is an internationally known daily newspaper published in New York City and distributed in the United States and many other nations worldwide. ... The Wall Street Journal is an influential international daily newspaper published in New York City, New York with an average daily circulation of 1,800,607 (2002). ... The Christian Science Monitor (CSM) is an international newspaper published daily, Monday through Friday. ... The British Broadcasting Corporation, usually known as the BBC (and also informally known as the Beeb or Auntie) is the largest broadcasting corporation in the world in terms of audience numbers, employing 26,000 staff in the United Kingdom alone and with a budget of more than GB£4 billion... The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), a Canadian crown corporation, is the country’s national public radio and television broadcaster. ... The Globe and Mail is a large English language national newspaper based in Toronto, Canada, and printed in seven cities across Canada. ... The Cable News Network, commonly known as CNN, is a major cable television network founded in 1980 by Ted Turner. ... The Corporation for Public Broadcasting logo, used from 1969 to 2002. ... “NPR” redirects here. ... The Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) is a non-profit public broadcasting television service with 354 member TV stations in the United States, with some member stations available by cable in Canada. ... The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer is an evening television news program broadcast weeknights on PBS in the United States. ... Frontline is an hour-long public affairs television program produced at WGBH in Boston, Massachusetts, and distributed through the Public Broadcasting Service network in the United States. ...

Genres and ethics

Advocacy journalists — a term of some debate even within the field of journalism — by definition tend to reject "objectivity", while at the same time maintaining many other common standards and ethics. Advocacy journalism is a genre of journalism which is strongly fact-based, but may seek to support a point-of-view in some public or private sector issue. ... Objectivity is frequently held to be essential to journalistic professionalism (particularly in the United States); however, there is some disagreement about what the concept consists of. ...


Creative nonfiction and Literary journalism use the power of language and literary devices more akin to fiction to bring insight and depth into often book-length treatment of the subjects about which they write. Such devices as dialogue, metaphor, digression and other such techniques offer the reader insights not usually found in standard news reportage. However, authors in this branch of journalism still maintain ethical criteria such as factual and historical accuracy as found in standard news reporting. Yet, with brilliant prose, they venture outside the boundaries of standard news reporting in offering richly detailed accounts. One widely regarded author in the genre is Joyce Carol Oates, as with her book on boxer Mike Tyson. Creative nonfiction is a genre of literature, also known as literary journalism and narrative journalism, which uses literary skills in the writing of nonfiction. ... Creative nonfiction is a genre of literature, also known as literary journalism, which uses literary skills in the writing of nonfiction. ... Fiction (from the Latin fingere, to form, create) is storytelling of imagined events and stands in contrast to non-fiction, which makes factual claims that can be substantiated with evidence. ... This article belongs in one or more categories. ... Look up metaphor in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Wikipedia does not yet have an article with this exact name. ... Look up genre in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Joyce Carol Oates (born June 16, 1938) is an American author and is the Roger S. Berlind 52 Professor in the Humanities with the Program in Creative Writing at Princeton University, where she has taught since 1978 ([1]). She serves as associate editor for Ontario Review, a literary magazine, and... Michael Gerard Tyson, (born June 30, 1966) is a former American World Heavyweight boxing Champion. ...


New Journalism and Gonzo journalism also reject some of the fundamental ethical traditions and will set aside the technical standards of journalistic prose in order to express themselves and reach a particular audience or market segment. New Journalism was the name given to a style of 1960s and 1970s news writing and journalism which used literary techniques deemed unconventional at the time. ... Hunter S. Thompsons famous Gonzo logo. ... Prose is writing distinguished from poetry by its greater variety of rhythm and its closer resemblance to the patterns of everyday [[speech. ...


Tabloid journalists are often accused of sacrificing accuracy and the personal privacy of their subjects in order to boost sales. Supermarket tabloids are often focused on entertainment rather than news. A few have "news" stories that are so outrageous that they are widely read for entertainment purposes, not for information. Some tabloids do purport to maintain common journalistic standards, but may fall far short in practice. Others make no such claims. This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Supermarket tabloids are national weekly magazines in the United States, printed on newsprint in tabloid format, specializing in celebrity news, gossip, astrology, and bizarre (some would say apocryphal) stories about ordinary people. ...


Some publications deliberately engage in satire, but give the publication the design elements of a newspaper, for example, The Onion, and it is not unheard of for other publications to offer the occasional, humorous articles appearing on April Fool's Day. 1867 edition of the satirical magazine Punch, a British satirical magazine, ground-breaking on popular literature satire. ... The Onion is a parody newspaper published weekly in print and online. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ...


Relationship with freedom of the press

In countries without freedom of the press, the majority of people who report the news may not follow the above-described standards of journalism. Very often non-free media are prohibited from criticizing the national government, and in many cases are required to distribute propaganda as if it were news. Various other forms of censorship may restrict reporting on issues the government deems sensitive. Freedom of the press (or press freedom) is the guarantee by a government of free public press for its citizens and their associations, extended to members of news gathering organizations, and their published reporting. ... An Australian anti-conscription propaganda poster from World War One U.S. propaganda poster, which warns against civilians sharing information on troop movements (National Archives) The much-imitated 1914 Lord Kitchener Wants You! poster Soviet Propaganda Poster during the Great Patriotic War. ... Censorship is the removal or withholding of information from the public by a controlling group or body. ...


Variations, violations, and controversies

There are a number of finer points of journalistic procedure that foster disagreements in principle and variation in practice among "mainstream" journalists in the free press. Laws concerning libel and slander vary from country to country, and local journalistic standards may be tailored to fit. For example, the United Kingdom has a broader definition of libel than does the United States.


Accuracy is important as a core value and to maintain credibility, but especially in broadcast media, audience share often gravitates toward outlets that are reporting new information first. Different organizations may balance speed and accuracy in different ways. The New York Times, for instance, tends to print longer, more detailed, less speculative, and more thoroughly verified pieces a day or two later than many other newspapers. 24-hour television news networks tend to place much more emphasis on getting the "scoop." Here, viewers may switch channels at a moment's notice; with fierce competition for ratings and a large amount of airtime to fill, fresh material is very valuable. Because of the fast turn-around, reporters for these networks may be under considerable time pressure, which reduces their ability to verify information. The New York Times is an internationally known daily newspaper published in New York City and distributed in the United States and many other nations worldwide. ...


Laws with regard to personal privacy, official secrets, and media disclosure of names and facts from criminal cases and civil lawsuits differ widely, and journalistic standards may vary accordingly. Different organizations may have different answers to questions about when it is journalistically acceptable to skirt, circumvent, or even break these regulations. Another example of differences surrounding harm reduction is the reporting of preliminary election results. In the United States, some news organizations feel that it is harmful to the democratic process to report exit poll results or preliminary returns while voting is still open. Such reports may influence people who vote later in the day, or who are in western time zones, in their decisions about how and whether or not to vote. There is also some concern that such preliminary results are often inaccurate and may be misleading to the public. Other outlets feel that this information is a vital part of the transparency of the election process, and see no harm (if not considerable benefit) in reporting it. Privacy is the ability of an individual or group to keep their lives and personal affairs out of public view, or to control the flow of information about themselves. ... Criminal law (also known as penal law) is the body of statutory and common law that deals with crime and the legal punishment of criminal offenses. ... A lawsuit is a civil action brought before a court in order to recover a right, obtain damages for an injury, obtain an injunction to prevent an injury, or obtain a declaratory judgment to prevent future legal disputes. ...


Taste, decency and acceptability

Audiences have different reactions to depictions of violence, nudity, coarse language, or to people in any other situation that is unacceptable to or stigmatized by the local culture or laws (such as the consumption of alcohol, homosexuality, illegal drug use, scatological images, etc.). Even with similar audiences, different organizations and even individual reporters have different standards and practices. These decisions often revolve around what facts are necessary for the audience to know. Functional group of an alcohol molecule. ... Homosexuality refers to sexual interaction and / or romantic attraction between individuals of the same sex. ... Retail selling Street selling is the bottom of the chain and can be accomplished through purchasing from prostitutes, through cloaked retail stores or refuse houses for users in the act located in red-light districts which often also deal in paraphernalia, dealers marketing merriment at night clubs and other events... Scatology, or coprology, in medicine, biology and paleontology, is the study of feces. ...


When certain distasteful or shocking material is considered important to the story, there are a variety of common methods for mitigating negative audience reaction. Advance warning of explicit or disturbing material may allow listeners or readers to avoid content they would rather not be exposed to. Offensive words may be partially obscured or bleeped. Potentially offensive images may be blurred or narrowly cropped. Descriptions may be substituted for pictures; graphic detail might be omitted. Disturbing content might be moved from a cover to an inside page, or from daytime to late evening, when children are less likely to be watching.


There is often considerable controversy over these techniques, especially concern that obscuring or not reporting certain facts or details is self-censorship that compromises objectivity and fidelity to the truth, and which does not serve the public interest. Public interest is a term used to denote political movements and organizations that are in the public interest—supporting general public and civic causes, in opposition of private and corporate ones (particularistic goals). ...


For example, images and graphic descriptions of war are often violent, bloody, shocking and profoundly tragic. This makes certain content disturbing to some audience members, but it is precisely these aspects of war that some consider to be the most important to convey. Some argue that "sanitizing" the depiction of war influences public opinion about the merits of continuing to fight, and about the policies or circumstances that precipitated the conflict. The amount of explicit violence and mutilation depicted in war coverage varies considerable from time to time, from organization to organization, and from country to country. (See also: Military journalism.)


Reporters have also been accused of indecency in the process of collecting news, namely that they are overly intrusive in the name of journalistic insensitivity. War correspondent Edward Behr recounts the story of a reporter during the Congo Crisis who walked into a crowd of Belgian evacuees and shouted, "Anyone here been raped and speaks English?"[1] An editor has expressed a concern that the subject of the article does not satisfy the notability guideline or one of the following guidelines for inclusion on Wikipedia: Biographies, Books, Companies, Fiction, Music, Neologisms, Numbers, Web content, or several proposals for new guidelines. ... Combatants Congo  UN troops Katanga  Belgium Mercenaries The Congo Crisis (1960-1965) was a period of turmoil in the First Republic of the Congo that began with national independence from Belgium and ended with the seizing of power by Joseph Mobutu. ...


Campaigning in the media

Many print publications take advantage of their wide readership and print persuasive pieces in the form of unsigned editorials that represent the official position of the organization. Despite the ostensible separation between editorial writing and news gathering, this practice may cause some people to doubt the political objectivity of the publication's news reporting. (Though usually unsigned editorials are accompanied by a diversity of signed opinions from other perspectives.) An editorial is a statement or article by a news organization (generally a newspaper) that expresses an opinion rather than attempting to simply report news. ...


Other publications and many broadcast media only publish opinion pieces that are attributed to a particular individual (who may be an in-house analyst) or to an outside entity. One particularly controversial question is whether media organizations should endorse political candidates for office. Political endorsements create more opportunities to construe favoritism in reporting, and can create a perceived conflict of interest.


Investigative methods

Investigative journalism is largely an information-gathering exercise, looking for facts that are not easy to obtain by simple requests and searches, or are actively being concealed, suppressed or distorted. Where investigative work involves undercover journalism or use of whistleblowers, and even more if it resorts to covert methods more typical of private detectives or even spying, it brings a large extra burden on ethical standards. Investigative journalism is a kind of journalism in which reporters deeply investigate a topic of interest, often related to crime, scandals, government corruption, or white collar crime. ... Undercover journalism is a form of journalism in which a reporter tries to infiltrate in a community by posing as somebody friendly to that community. ... A whistleblower is an employee, former employee, or member of an organization who reports misconduct to people or entities that have the power and presumed willingness to take corrective action. ... A private investigator, or PI, is a person who undertakes investigations. ...


Anonymous sources are double-edged - they often provide especially newsworthy information, such as classified or confidential information about current events, information about a previously unreported scandal, or the perspective of a particular group that may fear retribution for expressing certain opinions in the press. The downside is that the condition of anonymity may make it difficult or impossible for the reporter to verify the source's statements. Sometimes sources hide their identities from the public because their statements would otherwise quickly be discredited. Thus, statements attributed to anonymous sources may carry more weight with the public than they might if they were attributed. (See also: news source.) Look up anon in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Source is a term used in journalism to refer to any individual from whom information about a story has been received. ...


The Washington press has been criticized in recent years for excessive use of anonymous sources, in particular to report information that is later revealed to be unreliable. The use of anonymous sources increased markedly in the period before the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Nickname: Motto: Justitia Omnibus (Justice for All) Location of Washington, D.C., in relation to the states Maryland and Virginia Coordinates: Country United States Federal District District of Columbia Government  - Mayor Adrian M. Fenty (D)  - City Council Chairperson: Vincent C. Gray (D) Ward 1: Jim Graham (D) Ward 2: Jack... Combatants Coalition Forces: United States United Kingdom South Korea Australia Poland Romania others. ...


Science issues

The mainstream press is often criticized for poor accuracy in reporting science news. Many reporters are not scientists, and are thus not familiar with the material they are summarizing. Technical information is also difficult to contextualize for lay audiences, and short-form reporting makes providing background, context, and clarification even harder. Food scares are an example of the need for responsible science journalism, as are stories connected with the safety of medical procedures. Science journalism is a relatively new branch of journalism, which uses the art of reporting to convey information about science topics to a public forum. ...


Examples of ethical dilemmas

One of the primary functions of journalism ethics is to aid journalists in dealing with many ethical dilemmas they may encounter. From highly sensitive issues of national security to everyday questions such as accepting a dinner from a source, putting a bumper sticker on one's car, publishing a personal opinion blog, a journalist must make decisions taking into account things such as the public's right to know, potential threats, reprisals and intimidations of all kinds, personal integrity, conflicts between editors, reporters and publishers or management, and many other such conundrums. The following are illustrations of some of those. An ethical dilemma is a situation that will often involve an apparent conflict between moral imperatives, in which to obey one would result in transgressing another. ... Security measures taken to protect the Houses of Parliament in London, England. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ...

  • The Pentagon Papers dealt with extremely difficult ethical dilemmas faced by journalists. Despite government intervention, The Washington Post, joined by The New York Times, felt the public interest was more compelling and both published reports. (The cases went to the Supreme Court where they were merged and are known as New York Times Co. v. United States, 403 U.S. 713 [4]
  • The Washington Post also once published a story about a listening device that the United States had installed over an undersea Soviet cable during the height of the cold war. The device allowed the United States to learn where Soviet submarines were positioned. In that case, Post Executive Editor Ben Bradlee chose not to run the story on national security grounds. However, the Soviets subsequently discovered the device and, according to Bradlee, "It was no longer a matter of national security. It was a matter of national embarrassment." However, the U.S. government still wanted The Washington Post not to run the story on the basis of national security, yet, according to Bradlee, "We ran the story. And you know what, the sun rose the next day." [5]
  • The Ethics Advice Line [6], a joint venture, public service project of Chicago Headline Club Chapter[7] of the Society of Professional Journalists [8] and Loyola University Chicago Center for Ethics and Social Justice [9], provides some examples of typical ethical dilemmas reported to their ethical dilemma hotline and are typical of the kinds of questions faced by many professional journalists.

A partial listing of questions received by The Ethics Advice Line:[10] The Pentagon Papers is the colloquial term for United States-Vietnam Relations, 1945-1967: A Study Prepared by the Department of Defense, a 47 volume, 7,000-page, top-secret United States Department of Defense history of the United States political and military involvement in the Vietnam War from 1945... The Washington Post is the largest newspaper in Washington, D.C., the capital of the United States. ... The New York Times is a daily newspaper published in New York City by Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Jr. ... Holding In order to exercise prior restraint, the Government must show sufficient evidence that the publication would cause a “grave and irreparable” danger. ... The Washington Post is the largest newspaper in Washington, D.C., the capital of the United States. ... Soviet redirects here. ... For other uses, see Cold War (disambiguation). ... Benjamin Crowninshield Bradlee (born August 26, 1921) is the vice president of the Washington Post. ... Security measures taken to protect the Houses of Parliament in London, England. ...

  • Is it ethical to make an appointment to interview an arsonist sought by police, without informing police in advance of the interview?
  • Is lack of proper attribution plagiarism?
  • Should a reporter write a story about a local priest who confessed to a sex crime if it will cost the newspaper readers and advertisers who are sympathetic to the priest?
  • Is it ethical for a reporter to write a news piece on the same topic on which he or she has written an opinion piece in the same paper?
  • Under what circumstances do you identify a person who was arrested as a relative of a public figure, such as a local sports star?
  • Freelance journalists and photographers accept cash to write about, or take photos of, events with the promise of attempting to get their work on the AP or other news outlets, from which they also will be paid. Is that ethical?
  • Can a journalist reveal a source of information after guaranteeing confidentiality if the source proves to be unreliable?

See also

Wikibooks
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Journalism Portal

Image File history File links Wikibooks-logo-en. ... Wikibooks logo Wikibooks, previously called Wikimedia Free Textbook Project and Wikimedia-Textbooks, is a wiki for the creation of books. ... Image File history File links Portal. ... Journalism is a discipline of writing. ... There are very few or no other articles that link to this one. ... The history of American newspapers spans the history of the United States from 1700 till today. ... Nasty little printers devils spew forth from the Hoe press in this Puck cartoon of Nov. ... Parachute journalism refers to the practice of reporting stories by journalists inexperienced with the context or cultures of a story, often resulting in inaccurate or distorted news reports. ... Journalism in Australia varies from American and international standards in areas as diverse as legal freedoms to editorial practices. ... A journalism school is a school or department, usually part of an established university, where journalists are trained. ... This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ... Reporters Without Borders, or RWB (French: Reporters sans frontières, Spanish: Reporteros Sin Fronteras, or RSF) is a French origin international non-governmental organization that advocates freedom of the press, founded by its current general-secretary, Robert Menard. ... Citizen journalism, also known as participatory journalism, is the act of citizens playing an active role in the process of collecting, reporting, analyzing and disseminating news and information according to the seminal report We Media: How Audiences are Shaping the Future of News and Information, by Shayne Bowman and Chris... Advocacy journalism is a genre of journalism which is strongly fact-based, but may seek to support a point-of-view in some public or private sector issue. ... Environmental journalism is the collection, verification, production, distribution and exhibition of information regarding current events, trends, issues and people that are associated with the non-human world with which humans necessarily interact. ... Science journalism is a relatively new branch of journalism, which uses the art of reporting to convey information about science topics to a public forum. ... It is proposed that this article be deleted, because of the following concern: Limited information sources, article is object for nothing but original research If you can address this concern by improving, copyediting, sourcing, renaming or merging the page, please edit this page and do so. ... Objectivity is frequently held to be essential to journalistic professionalism (particularly in the United States); however, there is some disagreement about what the concept consists of. ... An ombudsman (English plural: ombudsmans or ombudsmen) is an official, usually (but not always) appointed by the government or by parliament, who is charged with representing the interests of the public by investigating and addressing complaints reported by individual citizens. ... The Organization of News Ombudsmen (ONO) is a nonprofit corporation that was formed in 1980. ... Public Editor is an editorial position established by The New York Times in response to the Jayson Blair scandal. ...

Notes and references

Slate is an online news and culture magazine created in 1996 by former New Republic editor Michael Kinsley and owned by Microsoft (as part of MSN). ... April 17 is the 107th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (108th in leap years). ... 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the Anno Domini era. ...

External links

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), a Canadian crown corporation, is the country’s national public radio and television broadcaster. ...

Bibliography

  • Good News, Bad News - Journalism Ethics and the Public Interest (Critical Studies in Communication and in the Cultural Industries) by Jeremy Iggers (New York, Westview Press, 1998)
  • Journalism Ethics -- A Reference Handbook (Contemporary Ethical Issues) edited by Elliot D. Cohen and Deni Elliott (Abc-Clio, 1998)
  • Media Ethics and Accountability Systems. New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Publishers, 2000. [Originally published in French, translated in Armenia, Brazil, Greece, Italy, Korea, Portugal, Romania & Turkey. Arabic & Chinese translations in progress.]
  • Crisis of Conscience - Perspectives on Journalism Ethics. Hausman, Carl. New York, Harper Collins, 1992.
  • Ethics & Journalism, Sanders, Karen. London, Sage Publications, 2003.

  Results from FactBites:
 
Society of Professional Journalists: Ethics (2302 words)
Ethics Week: Celebrate responsible reporting during a special week dedicated to ethics in journalism.
Hansen holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, a master’s degree in journalism and mass communication from Iowa State University, and a Ph.D. in communication with emphases in mass media law and ethics from the University of Kentucky.
Sara Stone, professor of journalism at Baylor University, teaches courses in media law and ethics and reporting and is the director of undergraduate studies for the journalism department at Baylor.
advocacy journalism: Definition and Much More from Answers.com (2070 words)
Advocacy journalism is a genre of journalism that (unlike simple propaganda) is fact-based, but supports a specific point of view on an issue.
These reports are often dismissed as "Advocacy journalism" by those under investigation with the intent of discrediting the news report as biased, casting doubt on the integrity of the reporter or the news media outlet from which the report was issued.
In some instances, advocacy journalism is the same as investigative journalism and muckraking, where these serve the public interest and the public's right to know.
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