Business Code of Ethics
Every organization should have a code of ethics in place as a guide for their business to follow. The code of ethics should address the major components that are important to the particular business needs. The Society of Professional Journalists has a code of ethics that guide journalists toward the proper reporting methods and protocol which is meant to ensure that fact based journalism is the result passed on to the community. The code of ethics consists of four major areas which include seeking the truth, minimizing harm, acting independently and accountability. Journalists should be held accountable to the code of ethics established by following a system of inquiry used to retrieve information as well as a plan to implement the system.
Code of Ethics of Journalists
Journalism practiced without a code of ethics can become severely tainted with false information. A journalist is responsible for reporting truthful information. The community is entitled to receive accurate and unbiased information. In a perfect situation, the journalist will report factual information that will allow the listener or reader to develop his or her own opinion as the how to interpret the information. According to the Professional Journalists one should be “honest fair and courageous when gathering, reporting and interpreting information.” News sources should be identified whenever possible and the journalist should question the motives of the sources. Pictures or video should never be distorted or misleading. As with any written or spoken reports, plagiarism in not tolerated. Stereotyping of any kind is discouraged and an ethical journalist will distinguish between news and advertisements. When the media leaks inaccurate information it could be harmful to the public.
The second major section in the code of ethic from the Society of Professional Journalist relates to minimizing harm. Ethical journalists treat others with respect. Compassion and sensitivity are especially important when dealing with children or those who are grieving or affected by tragedy. Journalists should display good judgment and recognize that private citizens have a greater right to withhold personal information than do public offices. A journalist must not show arrogance and be cautious about identifying juvenile suspects or victims. Criminal suspects must not be identified prior to formal charges being filed and the journalist has an obligation to balance fair trial rights of a suspect with a public’s right to be informed.
Although a journalist may be motivated by special interest groups, a journalist should remain solely interested in the public’s right to information. Conflicts of interest are to be avoided and a journalist should avoid activities that can compromise integrity or damage credibility. Gifts, favors or special treatment is frowned upon. A journalist must hold those with power accountable no matter the difficulty. Resist the pressure to...