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Ethics and Responsibility

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Developing the Craft: Ethics and Responsibility

Journalists with ethical dilemmas in their newsroom can look at one of these sites to find other journalists' opinions and decisions.

Please let the Institute know about links that do not work, or about sources we should add. If a resource here helped you in covering a story, please let us know by emailing al.cross@uky.edu.


Society of Professional Journalists, http://www.spj.org/ethics_code.asp
This is the most frequently used Code of Ethics amongst American journalists.

National Public Radio, http://ethics.npr.org/
Another Code of Ethics, for reference, expanding on the SPJ Code.

Reuters Handbook of Journalism, http://handbook.reuters.com/index.php/Main_Page
A guide of ethical prinicples Reuters employees, especially journalists, should ahere to.

Ethics guidelines, http://www.journalism.org/resources/ethics_codes
This site provides a sampling of ethics codes and guidelines from around the United States, in different fields of journalism.


Media-Alliance, http://www.media-alliance.org/
"Media Alliance is a 29 year-old media resource and advocacy center for media workers, non-profit organizations, and social justice activists. Our mission is excellence, ethics, diversity, and accountability in all aspects of the media in the interests of peace, justice, and social responsibility."

Accuracy in Media, http://www.aim.org
"Accuracy In Media is a non-profit, grassroots citizens watchdog of the news media that critiques botched and bungled news stories and sets the record straight on important issues that have received slanted coverage."

Free Press, http://www.freepress.net
"Free Press is a national nonpartisan organization working to increase informed public participation in crucial media policy debates, and to generate policies that will produce a more competitive and public interest-oriented media system with a strong nonprofit and noncommercial sector."

Fairness and Accuracy in News Reporting, http://www.fair.org
"FAIR, the national media watch group, has been offering well-documented criticism of media bias and censorship since 1986...As an anti-censorship organization, we expose neglected news stories and defend working journalists when they are muzzled. As a progressive group, FAIR believes that structural reform is ultimately needed to break up the dominant media conglomerates, establish independent public broadcasting and promote strong non-profit sources of information."


Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation, http://www.journalismfoundation.org/
"The Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation was established in 1982 for charitable, scientific and educational purposes...This support includes funding for creative projects and research that promotes excellence in journalism and instills and encourages high ethical standards in journalism."

Journal of Mass Media Ethics, http://www.tandf.co.uk/journals/HMME
"devoted to explorations of ethics problems and issues in the varous fields of mass communication."

The Maynard Institute for Journalism, http://www.maynardije.org/
This Institute is devoted to helping journalists reflect diversity.

Center for Media and Democracy, http://www.prwatch.org/

Media Ethics Online, http://www.mediaethicsmagazine.com/
"...strives to provide a forum for opinion and research articles on media ethics."

The Poynter Institute, http://www.poynter.org/
"The Poynter Institute is a school dedicated to teaching and inspiring journalists and media leaders. It promotes excellence and integrity in the practice of craft and in the practical leadership of successful businesses. It stands for a journalism that informs citizens and enlightens public discourse."

The Society of Professional Journalists, http://www.spj.org/
"To stimulate high standards and ethical behavior in the practice of journalism."

I, Reporter, http://www.ireporter.org/ethics/
"Inspiring, guiding, and educating citizen journalists and the news organizations that work with them."

The ethical reporter, ethical reporting
This site is aimed toward beginning reporters. "Have you behaved ethically?"

Newsthinking, http://www.newsthinking.com
Dedicated to the notion that there are two kinds (and only two kinds) of journalists, "bad ones, and those who are improving," Bob Baker's site tries to help journalists aspiring to be better. "This site will offer no Great Truths. It will concern itself, instead, with the incremental building blocks of greatness--the success or failure of individual stories, and the small decisions that, when multiplied by eight or ten or a hundred per day, create the momentum toward greatness."

The Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues helps non-metropolitan media define the public agenda in their communities, through strong reporting and commentary on local issues and on broader issues that have local impact. Its initial focus area is Central Appalachia, but as an arm of the University of Kentucky it has a statewide mission, and it has national scope. It has academic collaborators at Appalachian State University, East Tennessee State University, Eastern Kentucky University, Georgia College and State University, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Marshall University, Middle Tennessee State University, Ohio University, Southeast Missouri State University, the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, Washington and Lee University, West Virginia University and the Knight Community Journalism Fellows Program at the University of Alabama. It is funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and the University of Kentucky, with additional financial support from the Ford Foundation. To get notices of Rural Blog postings and other Institute news, click here.

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Al Cross, director al.cross@uky.edu