Scenarios

Journalistic ethics – scenario

Try our journalistic ethics scenario and see what you would do if an earlier laps in editorial led to you feeling unable to cover a news story because of external pressures.

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.

Legal threats – scenario

Journalists often come under pressure with threats of legal action if they don't publish or broadcast what others want. In this scenario we look at a scenario where a reporter is sent a cease and desist letter and told legal action will be taken against them if they don't add 'positive-spin' to an article.

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?

Informed consent – scenario

You are a reporter covering a house fire where a traumatised woman talks to you on camera but after the interview you are made aware of the circumstances that could mean she didn't realise what she was saying. Do you use the interview?

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.

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.

Trespass and journalism – scenario

In this scenario we discuss whether it is every justified for a journalist to trespass in order to gather information that helps the audience better understand the issue being covered.

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Planning is essential for effective election coverage. This following is a checklist by editors or election coverage teams. It gives also some guidance on special editorial approaches to the campaign.

Journalism and the public interest

A journalist has no right to intrude on the personal lives of others except in cases where doing so will serve the public interest. We need to be crystal clear on what we mean by 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.