Ethics

Mar 03, 2014 - Posted by Tamara Baluja

The Canadian Association of Journalists ethics committee looked at whether journalists have a responsibility to discuss the potential consequences of an interview when dealing with vulnerable sources, and if that could be done without undermining journalists’ duty to serve the public interest by providing it with important information. Esther Enkin reports. 

Mar 03, 2014 - Posted by Tamara Baluja

In journalism, we are focused on publicizing, rather than protecting, information, writes Canadian Association of Journalists ethics committee member Meredith Levine. There is currently little in the way of legal, professional or ethical obligations for journalists to consider the effect of their stories on the subjects of those stories, but perhaps there should be.    

Mar 03, 2014 - Posted by Tamara Baluja

Sharing information with a reporteris not a risk free act. There is a range of potential consequences for subjects and sources. The Canadian Association of Journalists ethics committee considered if interview subjects can really give consent without a chat about the consequences of their interview. 

 

Feb 12, 2014 - Posted by Tamara Baluja

The Ethics Advisory Committee of the Canadian Association of Journalists convened the panel in the wake of Mellissa Fung's 2008 kidnapping with a mandate to consider when and under what circumstances media outlets should consent to news blackouts.

Jul 18, 2012 - Posted by Belinda Alzner

The criteria that the latest CAJ report lays out are just a jumping off point; the report's authors want it to serve as part of the conversation about the role our profession plays in a rapidly-evolving media environment. Read the transcript of last week’s discussion with CAJ report author and The Globe and Mail B.C. bureau chief Patrick Brethour and add your own thoughts on the report in the comments.

 

Jul 17, 2012 - Posted by Belinda Alzner

When the Canadian Association of Journalists’ ethics advisory committee reluctantly took up the task of defining journalism, it struggled, at first, to find a way forward. Then, writes Patrick Brethour, it stumbled on a solution: define what journalism is not. The result: three simple tests, one tentative proposal.

Jul 17, 2012 - Posted by Belinda Alzner

It used to be that everyone knew, or thought they knew, what journalism was and who journalists were. Those were the days when journalists served as the gatekeepers to public information—an idea that now seems archaic. This report from the CAJ Ethics Advisory Committee is a response to questions considered by the committee surrounding the increasingly elusive definition of journalism and the distinct role, if any, of journalists.

Nov 16, 2011 - Posted by Lauren McKeon

In recognition of the obligations of journalists to pursue accuracy and to be accountable for their work, the Canadian Association of Journalists’ Principles for Ethical Journalism states: “When we make a mistake, we correct it promptly and ungrudgingly, and in a manner that matches the seriousness of the error.” This is not a new idea, but digital publishing raises new challenges for defining best practices in corrections. Accordingly, the Ethics Advisory Committee of the CAJ asked this panel to propose best practices in digital accuracy and corrections as a follow-up to this same committee’s 2010 work on unpublishing digital content. That earlier report asserted three key principles about unpublishing from which this work on digital accuracy and corrections builds.

Sep 20, 2011 - Posted by Lauren McKeon

Journalists have the duty and privilege to seek and report the truth, encourage civic debate to build our communities, and serve the public interest. We vigorously defend freedom of expression and freedom of the press as guaranteed under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. We return society's trust by practising our craft responsibly and respecting our fellow-citizens' rights.

Sep 20, 2011 - Posted by Lauren McKeon

This document – along with the accompanying “Principles for Ethical Journalism” – is intended to help both seasoned professionals and new journalists to hold themselves accountable for professional work. While many specific questions are considered here, it is impossible to capture all potential scenarios in a document such as this. Instead, it seeks to provide examples of the application of our general ethical principles, and to help journalists apply those principles and their best judgment when faced with scenarios not covered here. Updates will be issued periodically as new issues come under consideration by the association’s Ethics Advisory Committee; suggestions for additions or amendments should be directed to the committee chair.

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CAJ Ethics Committee

CAJ This is the Web space of the ethics advisory committee of the Canadian Association of Journalists (CAJ). The committee was formed to consider and provide advice on ethical issues faced by journalists through the course of regular work. Members are appointed by the CAJ’s national board of directors and its chair is appointed by the board from among the committee members. Ivor Shapiro, the committee's chair, is also chair of the Ryerson School of Journalism and teaches journalism ethics and feature reporting at Ryerson University. To contribute to the discussion, please comment on any article or contact the committee chair.

CAJ Principles for Ethical Journalism
CAJ Ethics Guidelines

Reports of the committee:
Digital accuracy and corrections
News blackouts
Personal activity online
Protection of sources
Reposting and retweeting
Seeking public office
Unpublishing
What is journalism?
Informed consent

CAJ Ethics Committee

  • Ivor Shapiro (chair)
  • Marc-François Bernier
  • Patrick Brethour
  • Bert Bruser
  • Tim Currie
  • Kathy English
  • Esther Enkin
  • Meredith Levine
  • Julian Sher
  • Craig Silverman
  • Shauna Snow-Capparelli
  • Ellen van Wageningen

Full list with bios