Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Celebrate National Ethics in Journalism Week

The Southwest Missouri Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists invites journalists and members of the public to join us in celebrating National Ethics in Journalism Week April 23-27. Promoting ethical journalism and freedom of information are the two principal missions of the Society of Professional Journalists.

The SPJ Code of Ethics can be found online. The SPJ Code of Ethics is an industry standard and was the first in the country, adopted in 1926. The code is a living document that has been updated several times, most recently in 1995. The code calls journalists to uphold four main criteria: Seek Truth and Report It, Minimize Harm, Act Independently and Be Accountable.

Good journalists recognize ethical behavior is crucial to their credibility and important in maintaining a solid relationship between the media and readers, viewers and listeners. The Southwest Missouri Chapter encourages working journalists to refer to the Code of Ethics for guidance as they tackle ethical issues in coverage.

The Society also invites newsroom staff to use its Ethics Advice Line at 866-DILEMMA (345-3662). To use the Advice Line: call, identify yourself, state your question and leave a call back number. Most questions will be answered by phone within 24 hours by a person trained in journalism ethics at Loyola University in Chicago.

SPJ works to improve and protect journalism. Founded in 1909 as Sigma Delta Chi, SPJ is dedicated to encouraging the free practice of journalism and to stimulating high standards of ethical conduct.

If you want to have some fun learning about journalist ethics, take the local SPJ Chapter ethics survey online.


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