Journalism Ethics

Identify the foundations of good reporting and ethical journalism

Click for related ACADEMY Lesson Plan

Media must build trust and credibility with their audiences. One way news outlets do so is by adhering to unwritten and written codes of conduct. Codes of ethics provide the guidelines for news media to operate. The best of these are the result of a thoughtful process of self regulation that emphasizes journalistic transparency, while protecting sources, and promotes honesty and service to the community, especially those groups of people who may be under-represented.

  • Class discussion: Why do news audiences value news organizations that adhere to a code of ethics? Why do such codes make good business sense?

  • Student exercise: Take a look at the ethical codes of conducts for news organizations in your region. Do you think they are strong enough? Do the media outlets follow their own (or the industry’s) code of ethics? Find specific examples of where they do or do not.

➢ You might want to check out these codes of ethics for reference

  1. The BBC
  2. Al Jazeera
  3. The New York Times