Ethics

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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Right of reply – scenario

Try our right of reply scenario where you are the editor of a morning radio news and current affairs programme and just before the bulletin you receive conflicting information that is too late to fact-check.

The qualities of a journalist

A journalist needs to have a broad interested in the world around them and want to find things out and share their discoveries with their readers or listeners. They must have a love of language, written or spoken, understand the meaning and flow of words and take delight in using them. 

Spelling tips for journalists

Mis-spelling is the ultimate misuse of words. Good spelling is primarily a matter of observing and remembering. Below are 80 words which are frequently misspelled. Test yourself on these.