The Society of Professional Journalists Code of Ethics discussed in the article: “Newonomics: Rebuilding the news media will require doubling-down on it’s core values” sets the standard for what every journalist should abide by throughout their career.
The most important thing to do as journalist is to seek the truth in any medium you choose, whether it be print, digital, broadcasting, reporting, etc. No matter what, if you’re reporting on a story it needs to be 100% factual — especially in today’s world when the phrase “fake news” is throw around so loosely.
I also feel like as a journalist it is also your duty to report a story no matter how uncomfortable it may be. Sometimes as journalists we may be nervous to ask certain questions, to go certain places, to put ourselves out there for a good story, but at the end of the day that could be the story that takes your career to the next level. Always be willing to take a risk. Seek the truth and report it.
The next part of the code of ethics is to minimize harm, which is very important as well. When reporting on a story you should always take the people in the story’s feelings into consideration because at the end of the day your name is attached to the story, so you want to make sure you don’t paint anyone in a negative light.
I once covered a story where my source gave semi-negative opinions on an organization/event. After discussing it with my professor, I was told not to include their comments in the story because not only could it affect the organization, but also the person interviewed future career since the stories are published online and nothing that’s posted online really ever goes away.
Next is to act independently. Acting independently is an important part of the process when reporting on stories because it prevents bias and lessens the amount of outside forces that may influence your decisions.
It’s also worth noting, that a story should never be bias. Making your story bias leaves room for confusion with your readers and not to mention your readers most likely aren’t interested in your opinions.
The last code of ethic is to be accountable and transparent. It is important to be accountable so that if there is an error in a story you’re willing to step up, admit that it was your mistake and work to fix it. When in a work setting, it’s better to own up to your mistake in the eyes of your employer rather than if you just try to hide it. It’s also important to be transparent so you can be open to any criticism and or feedback from peers, coworkers/ employers or readers.