Ethics

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

You might also likeRELATED
Recommended to you

Is your journalism open to manipulation?

The relationship between the media and politicians can have an impact on the functioning society. One of the roles of the journalist is to scrutinise the actions of politicians without getting too close.

How media assistance could improve

Trainers have as much to learn as they have to give. That’s the message to those offering media assistance in transition and post-conflict countries from some of those on the receiving end.

Editorial impartiality – scenario

Allegations are made about an incompetent medical surgeon and a subsequent cover up at a hospital. People have died. Your news editor asks you to investigate. The only problem is – the surgeon is your cousin. What do you do?