Tenets of Journalistic Faith

A.K.A. Society of Professional Journalists: Code of Ethics

Which Tenets of Journalistic Faith selected, and how many:
  • 2
    Test the accuracy of information from all sources and exercise care to avoid inadvertent error. Deliberate distortion is never permissible.
  • 2
    Diligently seek out subjects of news stories to give them the opportunity to respond to allegations of wrongdoing.
  • 2
    Never distort the content of news photos or video. Image enhancement for technical clarity is always permissible. Label montages and photo illustrations.
  • 2
    Avoid misleading re-enactments or staged news events. If re-enactment is necessary to tell a story, label it.
  • 2
    Support the open exchange of views, even views they find repugnant.
  • 2
    Give voice to the voiceless; official and unofficial sources of information can be equally valid.
  • 1
    Recognize a special obligation to ensure that the public’s business is conducted in the open and that government records are open to inspection.
  • 2
    Show compassion for those who may be affected adversely by news coverage. Use special sensitivity when dealing with children and inexperienced sources or subjects.
  • 2
    Recognize that gathering and reporting information may cause harm or discomfort. Pursuit of the news is not a license for arrogance.
  • 1
    Show good taste. Avoid pandering to lurid curiosity.
  • 1
    Be judicious about naming criminal suspects before the formal filing of charges.
  • 2
    Balance a criminal suspect’s fair trial rights with the public’s right to be informed.
  • 2
    Avoid conflicts of interest, real or perceived.
  • 1
    Remain free of associations and activities that may compromise integrity or damage credibility.
  • 2
    Refuse gifts, favors, fees, free travel and special treatment, and shun secondary employment, political involvement, public office and service in community organizations if they compromise journalistic integrity.
  • 1
    Disclose unavoidable conflicts.
  • 1
    Be vigilant and courageous about holding those with power accountable.
  • 2
    Deny favored treatment to advertisers and special interests and resist their pressure to influence news coverage.
  • 2
    Be wary of sources offering information for favors or money; avoid bidding for news.
  • 1
    Clarify and explain news coverage and invite dialogue with the public over journalistic conduct.
  • 2
    Encourage the public to voice grievances against the news media.
  • 2
    Admit mistakes and correct them promptly.
  • 2
    Expose unethical practices of journalists and the news media.
  • 1
    Abide by the same high standards to which they hold others.