Now that the New York Times has released its revised ethics code, Sree Sreenivasan thought it might be useful to find a site that lists ethics codes for journalists from around the world. Here's a site that archives more than 100 journalists' codes.
The Houston Chronicle's Steve Olafson has been writing a Weblog that criticizes his own newspaper and offers opinions on news that he covered. But rather than be honest with his readers and editors, he did so anonymously, under the pseudonym "Banjo Jones," The (Clute, Texas) Facts reports. It's generally not acceptable for journalists to spout opinions on issues they cover -- but doing so anonymously makes this a serious ethical violation. The Weblog has since been shut down, but for the curious, here's a cached version of it. He has been fired.
Nelson Hernandez, a reporter for The Washington Post, posted a message on the online discussion board of a competing daily, The Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, Va., asking readers who knew the suspects or victims of a murdered couple to call him with tips or sources "to build a complete picture." Free Lance-Star Web Editor Chris Muldrow posted a reply on the board calling it "unprofessional," but Hernandez told E&P, "anything on the Internet is open." Nothing he did was unethical. Some might consider it unsportsmanlike, though others might simply call him enterprising. Read his post and the response here.
Honesty, transparency, and disclosure of who you are and who pays for you are among the things that help make news sites trustworthy to readers. Online news leaders list the factors that lend credibility to Web sites.
One of the few public newspaper policies with online-specific components. They include:
Use of Internet sources
• Verify all facts reported from an online site unless you are confident of its source. For instance, the official Pulitzer Prize Web site can be regarded as a reliable source for names of past winners; a trade association site may not be.
• If using a source via Internet or e-mail, verify the source by phone or in person. Make certain a communication is genuine before using it.
• Generally, credit photos and graphics downloaded from the Internet. Usually, generic mug shots and icons do not need credits.
Researching the Internet
• Internet-derived information should be attributed, just as we would information from any book, magazine or other publication. O...
How do online news publications standards and practices compare to those of traditional publications? "On the whole, despite occasional ethical lapses, online news sites have performed remarkably well. We're pretty damn good, we're getting better, and we know that the truth is what counts above all else," says J.D.Lasica.
The Online News Association released the complete results of its digital journalism credibility study. The good news is Internet users believe online news is about as credible as news from more traditional sources (13 percent cite the Net as their most trusted source for news). The bad news is journalists themselves have less respect for their online counterparts. Other findings include: Younger people are more likely to say online news is credible; and Americans are using online news in addition to traditional mediums rather than instead of. Read the study here. Study co-director Howard Finberg elaborates on the findings on Poynter.org and co-director Martha Stone suggests interactivity and transparency are key to building trust.
In a world where speed rules, what do online reporting and editing staffers need to do in order to insure accuracy and fairness? Check out these ten tips from Andrea Panciera, editor of Projo.com, the Web site of The Providence Journal. Continue reading....
One of the few newspaper policies with online-specific components, from one of the most converged newsrooms in America. They include:
• The Internet's unique characteristics do not lower the standards by which we evaluate, gather and disseminate information.
• Material gathered online should be verified.
• Material disseminated online should be solidly confirmed.
• The ability to change information around the clock does not lessen the need for accuracy.
Guidelines on how to cover financial markets without compromising credibility: CBS MarketWatch's Editorial Policy. And TheStreet.com's Conflicts and Disclosure Policy.