The SPJ Code of Ethics promotes the belief that the duty of a journalist is to seek truth and provide a fair and comprehensive account of events and issues. Conscientious journalists from all media strive to serve the public with honesty and thoroughness. The following are a few of the basic tenets of the SPJ Code of Ethics:
Seek Truth and Report It
· Journalist should be honest, fair and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting information, testing the accuracy of information from all sources and exercise care to avoid inadvertent error.
· Diligently seek out subjects of news stories to give them the opportunity to respond to allegations of wrongdoing. Deliberate distortion is never permissible.
· Make certain that headlines do not oversimplify or highlight incidents out of context.
· Give voice to the voiceless; official and unofficial sources of information can be equally valid.
· Ethical journalists treat sources, subjects and colleagues as human beings deserving of respect.
· Recognize that gathering and reporting information may cause harm or discomfort. Pursuit of the news is not a license for arrogance.
· Show good taste. Avoid pandering to lurid curiosity.
· Journalists should be free of obligation to any interest other than the public’s right to know.
· remain free of associations and activities that may compromise integrity or damage credibility
· Journalists are accountable to their readers, listeners, viewers and each other
· Abide by the same high standards to which they hold others.