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Journalism Ethics & Professionalism

Here you'll learn about objectivity and fairness, libel law and the First Amendment, and how to avoid plagiarism and copyright violations.

Should Journalists Be Objective or Tell the Truth?
'Truth Vigilante' Remark by New York Times Public Editor Sparks Debate

A Code of Conduct For Reporters
Rules To Live By On The Job

Objectivity and Fairness
Keeping Your Opinions Out of the Story

Journalism Professor Creates Website Focusing on Media Ethics
A Look at a New Website That Offers a Fresh Take on Journalism Ethics

Somaly Mam Scandal Raises Question: What Should Reporters Do When a Source Lies?
Somaly Mam Scandal Raises Question: What Should Reporters Do When a Source Lies?

Why the 'Objectivity is Outdated' Argument Falls Flat
Journalism, Objectivity, Objectivity in News Reporting, Fox News, MSNBC

Six Reasons Why Objectivity in Journalism is a Good Thing
Six Reasons Why Objectivity in Journalism is a Good Thing

Mistakes in Boston Bombings Coverage Show the Pitfalls of Using Sources
Mistakes in Boston Bombings Coverage Show the Pitfalls of Using Sources

What is the Difference Between Public Relations and Journalism?
What is the difference between public relations and journalism?

The First Amendment and Press Freedom
The Freedoms Guaranteed By The Constitution

Should Newspapers Have Revealed Location of Secret U.S. Drone Base?
Should Newspapers Have Revealed Location of Secret U.S. Drone Base?

Press Freedom Around the World
This map from Freedom House shows where the press is free - and where it's not.

Ethics Expert Says Leveson is Right to Call for Regulation of British Newspapers
Ethics Expert Says Leveson is Right to Call for Regulation of British Newspapers

Education, Not Regulation, is What's Needed at Britain's Rowdy Tabloids
Education, Not Regulation, is What's Needed at Britain's Rowdy Tabloids

Anti-Muslim Film May be Offensive, but it's Protected by the First Amendment
Anti-Muslim Film May be Offensive, but it's Protected by the First Amendment

TV News Should Cover Big Storms with Restraint, not Hyperbole
TV news should cover big storms with restraint, not hyperbole

Sunshine Week Highlights the Right to Access Public Records
Sunshine Week Highlights the Right to Access Public Records

Plagiarism, Journalism's Cardinal Sin
What is it, How Can You Avoid it?

Avoiding Plagiarism in Journalism
Don't Make the Mistake of Citing Another Reporter's Work As Your Own

Want to Avoid the Pitfalls of Plagiarism?
Plagiarism, Kendra Marr, Avoiding Plagiarism, Reporting for Local Newspapers

Politico Reporter Kendra Marr Fired for Plagiarism
Journalism Ethics, Plagiarism, Politico Reporter Kendra Marr Fired for Plagiarism

Is Plagiarism More Likely in the Internet Age?
Roy Peter Clark Talks About How to Avoid Plagiarism in an Online World

Phone-hacking Scandal Stirs Debate in Britain: Is Journalism a Profession?
Phone-hacking Scandal, British Journalism, Journalism ethics

Six Ways Journalists Can Avoid Conflicts of Interest
Conflicts of Interest - How Journalists Can Avoid Conflicts of Interest

When Journalism is Overrun by Public Relations, Democracy Takes a Hit
When Journalism is Overrun by Public Relations, Democracy Takes a Hit

Jon Stewart Blasts Sensationalism in the News Media, but is it Really So Bad?
Can Sensationalism Actually Serve a Function?

Lessons Journalists Can Learn From the Shirley Sherrod Video Fiasco
Lessons Journalists Can Learn From the Shirley Sherrod Video Fiasco

Bizarre Charlie Sheen Interviews Raise Ethical Dilemmas for Journalists
Charlie Sheen and Bizarre News Interviews - Should a Journalist Ever Refuse to Interview Someone?

Analysis Shows James O'Keefe's Video of NPR Fundraiser was Misleading
Even a Conservative Blogger Agrees Video was Edited to be Misleading

When is it Okay for Journalists to go Undercover?
James O'Keefe, ACORN, NPR and Undercover Journalism - When Should Journalists Go Undercover?

Are Japanese News Media Asking Tough Questions About Nuclear Crisis?
Japanese News Media, Nuclear Crisis - Are Japanese News Media Asking Government Tough Questions About Nuclear Crisis?

Non-profit News Sites and Ethical Dilemmas Over Funding
Journalism Ethics - Ethical Questions for Non-profit News Websites

Wikileaks, the Afghanistan War Documents and Journalism Ethics
How Do Journalists decide When to Publish Classified Documents?

Rolling Stone Article on McChrystal Raises Ethics Questions
What To Do When Sources Say Stupid Things

When Should Journalists Help Those in Need at Disaster Scenes?
A Tough Question for Reporters Who Are Also Doctors

Avoiding Checkbook Journalism
Don't Pay Sources for Information

The Top 10 Journalism Scandals of the 2000s
We're all accustomed to hearing about corrupt politicians and crooked captains of industry, but there's something especially jarring when journalists are accused of behaving badly. Journalists, after all, are supposed to be the ones keeping a critical eye on the people in power (think Woodward and Bernstein.) So when the Fourth Estate turns to the dark side, where does that leave us?

When Should Graphic Images be Published?
Pictures From Haiti Quake and Video of Fatal Luge Crash Renew an Age-old Debate

The White House vs. Fox News
Is the Conservative Network a Political Operation or a News Organization?

FOX News, MSNBC and Journalistic Objectivity
The Difference Between Objective Reporting and Opinion-Mongering

Both Fox News and CNN Made Mistakes in Tea Party Protest Coverage
Cheerleading and Browbeating Are Not Objective Reporting

AP Decision to Distribute Photo of Dying Marine Stirs Controversy
The Associated Press has stirred controversy with its decision to distribute a photograph of a dying Marine in Afghanistan. The photo shows fellow Marines tending to Lance Cpl. Joshua Bernard just after he was hit by a rocket propelled grenade in southern Afghanistan. Bernard was seriously injured and died later.

Why Should the Public Be So Shielded From the Horrors of War?
From Bull Run to Khe Sanh, The Associated Press has been covering war for more than 160 years. And that coverage has almost always included graphic images of death on the battlefield. But since the Vietnam War, the U.S. military has placed restrictions on war correspondents that have resulted in fewer of those images reaching the public. Critics say the effect has been to sanitize war.

Study Says Early Press Coverage of Obama is Positive
President Barack Obama received mostly positive press coverage in his first two months in office, a study finds.

Press Coverage of McCain Was "Heavily Unfavorable," Study Finds
A study that tracked campaign news for the six weeks following the conventions through the final debate, found that coverage of Sen. John McCain was "heavily unfavorable." "Unfavorable stories about McCain outweighed favorable ones by a factor of more than three to one — the most unfavorable of all four candidates," the study said.

House Passes Limited Protection for Journalists Shielding Sources
The House passes a bill that would give limited protection in federal court to reporters who choose not to reveal confidential information or sources. Rep. Rick Boucher, D-Va., chief sponsor of the Free Flow of Information Act, said sources won't give reporters important information if they're worried that their identities could be revealed.

Libel Basics
Here's what you need to know to avoid libel and libel lawsuits.

When Should Reporters Cooperate With Law Enforcement?
Should Reporters Publish Stories That Could Jeopardize Criminal Investigations?

In Wake of Times Story, SPJ Calls on NBC To Cut Ties With McCaffrey
The NBC military analyst has ties to defense contractors

Pentagon Lifts Ban on News Media Pictures of Coffins
The Defense Department lifted an 18-year-old ban on the news media photographing the flag-draped caskets of fallen U.S. soldiers at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware. Defense Secretary Robert Gates decided to allow photos of the caskets if the families of the dead agree.

BBC Admits Error in Claiming Race Played Role in Cleveland Kidnappings Coverage
BBC Admits Error in Claiming Race Played Role in Cleveland Kidnappings Coverage

Female Foreign Correspondents and the Danger of Sexual Assault
Female Foreign Correspondents and Sexual Assault - Safety Tips for Female Foreign Correspondents

Society of Professional Journalists Ethics Code

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