Ethics

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.

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.

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.

Offence and journalism

Journalists must ensure that the material they use in coverage has a clear editorial purpose. Where that material is likely to offend, there need to be clear warnings of what is coming up.

Unconscious bias and its impact on journalism

Journalists must not allow their own personal or political views to influence their pursuit of the truth. They need to remain objective and impartial, while also being aware of the dangers that unconscious biases can cause.

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.

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.

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.

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Public interest – scenario

This scenario looks at some of the issues that need to be considered when deciding whether a story is in the public interest.

Off-the-record chat – scenario

What should a journalist do with off-the-record information? Should they agree to conditions on its use? Should they ignore any conditions and do the story anyway? Or should they use what they have been told as background information and dig further? Try our scenario and decide what you would do in the circumstances.

Covering a tragedy – scenario

In this scenario we look at how a journalist should act when they witness a tragedy unfolding and have to decide whether to help, or to stand by and report. The scenario also looks at how senior editorial managers could, and probably should, support their journalists working in difficult conditions.