Thursday, September 27, 2007

Guiding Principles for the Journalist

Code of ethics may vary from country to country and newsroom to newsroom. However, some guiding principles prepared by Mr Bob Steele, Director, Ethics Program, The Poynter Institute for Media Studies would serve as useful advice for journalists at all levels.
Here is the copy of those principles, he provided me during my training at the Poynter Institute summer 2006.

1-
SEEK TRUTH AND REPORT IT AS FULLY AS POSSIBLE

Inform yourself continuously so you in turn can inform, engage, and educate the public in a clear and compelling way on significant issues

Be honest, fair, and courageous in gathering, reporting, and interpreting accurate information

Give voice to the voiceless

Hold the powerful accountable


2- ACT INDEPENDENTLY

Guard vigorously the essential stewardship role a free press plays in an open society

Seek out and disseminate competing perspectives without being unduly influenced by those who would use their power or position counter to the public interest

Remain free of associations and activities that may compromise your integrity or damage your credibility

Recognize that good ethical decisions require individual responsibility enriched by collaborative efforts

3-
MINIMIZE HARM
Be compassionate for those affected by your actions

Treat sources, subjects, and colleagues as human beings deserving of respect, not merely as means to your journalistic ends

Recognize that gathering and reporting information may cause harm or discomfort, but balance those negatives by choosing alternatives that maximize your goal of truth telling

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