Ethics

Respecting privacy as a journalist

Journalists face a difficult balancing act. They must respect privacy, but they must also be rigorous and robust in their investigation into issues that are in the public interest.

Why editorial ethics are important

The Media Helping Media ethics section is designed to help journalists understand and navigate some of the challenges they are likely to face as they go about their work.

Photojournalism and ethics

Media Helping Media has produced a set of suggested ethical guidelines for video and photojournalists in order to try to help those in the field navigate everyday editorial issues.

Fairness in journalism

Fairness in journalism means exploring all sides of an issue and reporting the findings accurately. Members of the public should never be used to exaggerate the importance of a story.

Impartiality in journalism

Being impartial means not being prejudiced towards or against any particular side. All journalists have their own views, however they must learn to leave aside their own personal perspectives.

Is your journalism ethical?

If the content you produce pushes an agenda, spins a line, favours a sector of society, is manipulated by subjective values, you are probably producing PR copy or even propaganda.

Accuracy in journalism

A media organisation will be judged on the accuracy and reliability of its journalism, which must be well-sourced, supported by strong evidence, examined and tested, clear and unambiguous. Verified facts must form the basis of all news, not rumour or speculation.

Integrity and journalism

Without integrity your journalism is untrustworthy and suspect. Integrity is essential if a journalist wants to investigate issues, shine a light in dark places, and to dig where others don't.

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Adopting the right attitude for media training

A trainer must not shout at participants or get into loud arguments. They must not make those attending their courses feel small or humiliate them. Some fairly strong points made by participants.

What it takes to be a journalist

Our journalism should be factual, accurate, and easy to understand, and we must be committed to finding original stories and telling them in a way that makes sense to the audience.

For journalists, clarity is as important as accuracy

These are a few thoughts (some of them adapted from The Economist’s style guide and those of other respected newspapers) for journalists writing and editing copy in English.