This list of resources was initially published on my blog in September 2009. I have added some links but have not checked to remove any outdated links.
I will be leading a discussion on journalism ethics in November for the American Society of News Editors and the Reynolds Journalism Institute. It will be part of the ASNE Ethics and Values Forum.
ASNE Ethics and Values Chair Mike Fancher is compiling a reading list for participants and asked me to submit some of my writings about journalism ethics issues. After passing the links on to Mike, I thought they might have interest to a wider audience. So here are links to my own writing on journalism ethics, followed by valuable resources on ethics from other sources:
I have done handouts on the six workshops I do in the American Press Institute’s Upholding and Updating Ethical Standards seminar series (funded by a grant from the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation):
- Journalism ethics in social networks
- Ethics in the blogosphere
- Engaging the public and maintaining standards
- Generating revenue with integrity
- Standards for digital breaking news coverage
- Digital dilemmas for visual journalism ethics
On this blog and on my earlier Training Tracks blog, I have written about confidential sources:
- Power and eagerness should guide reporters’ confidentiality decisions
- Reporters need to stop trading silence for access
- Ethics outrage at the Washington Post
While the grant that subsidized the workshops has expired, newsrooms, universities, press associations or journalism organizations interested in one of the seminars can contact me.
I also developed several workshops (and accompanying handouts) for an earlier series of ethics seminars that focused more on traditional topics:
- Accuracy first (this is the reporters’ version; I have another accuracy workshop/handout for editors)
- You didn’t hear this from me …, a workshop/handout on dealing with confidential sources
- How do you cover victims fairly?
- You can quote me on that, a workshop/handout on attribution and plagiarism
- Leading an ethical news staff
- Aren’t I entitled to an opinion and a life?
- Advance review — to show or not to show
- One picture is worth a thousand complaints
- When do private matters become news?
- What’s fair game for public officials?
- Our cheating culture
- Good decisions in tough calls, a workshop/handout on handling sensitive issues in small towns.
- Ethical (and unethical) decisions have consequences
I also have blogged (here, as well as at the American Press Institute) frequently on topics relating to ethics:
- Accuracy is more important than ever for journalists
- Community involvement poses ethical challenges for journalists (a follow-up to Avoiding ethical conflicts in small towns)
- Two posts on the Washington Post’s social media policy
- Humanity is more important and honest than objectivity for journalists
- Objectivity and neutrality aren’t the only ways to protect a journalist’s credibility (still commenting on the Post guidelines, but expanding to a broader issue)
- Several blog posts on the Wall Street Journal social-media policy and other major papers’ policies
- Criticism of the Los Angeles Times social media policy
- A more thoughtful approach to ethics in social media (about the Roanoke Times ethics policy)
- The key to social media ethics: good judgment (on NPR’s social media ethics policy)
- The heart: one of journalism’s best tools
- Bad judgment doesn’t taint the platform
- When does sloppy attribution become plagiarism?
- Lessons for journalists in tragic stories
- Remember the old editor’s advice: Check it out
- Don’t let partisans dictate our terms
- Unnamed sources should have unpublished opinions
- Journalists need to acknowledge our trauma
- Let’s be skeptical of named sources, too
- Time for journalists to update views on Wikipedia
- Some journalists get uncomfortable with the transparency they want from everyone else
- I lifted (but attributed) most of this post on plagiarism
While I’m happy to share my own writing on ethics, I also want to pass along these links to other resources dealing with journalism ethics:
- Bob Steele’s Guiding Principles for the Journalist
- Bob Steele’s Ask These 10 Questions to Make Good Ethical Decisions
- Jay Rosen’s How to know if you are behaving ethically as a journalist (read the comments as well as Jay’s initial post
- Kelly McBride’s Everyday Ethics blog
- Society of Professional Journalists Code of Ethics and Ethics Hotline (each with links to more ethics resources)
- American Society of News Editors’ collection of codes of ethics
- Ed Wasserman columns on journalism ethics
- Journalism Ethics for the global citizen (University of British Columbia, University of Wisconsin)
- National Press Photographers Association Code of Ethics
- Journalist’s Toolbox ethics links
- Robert Niles’ What are the ethics of online journalism?
- Gina Chen’s A journalist’s guide to the ethics of social media