Here's the full report.
Many journalism organizations offer ethics guidelines, including the Canadian Association of Journalists, which has both a general statement of principles for ethical journalism and an expanded ethics guidelines.
Some other journalist' codes of conduct include:
Society of Professional Journalists (USA)
National Union of Journalists (UK)
Journalism Code of Ethics (New Zealand)
RTNDA Canada's Code of Ethics for electronic journalists
Guide de déontologie des journalistes du Québec (FPJQ)
Communications Workers of America, Canada (includes several newspaper and media guilds)
Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada (CEP Media/Canadian Freelance Union)
National Society of Newspaper Columnists Code of Conduct (North America)
Association of Opinion Journalists Basic Statement of Principles
Many major news organizations provide guidelines for editorial staff, though not all these documents are available to the public. Of special interest may be the ethics guidelines of The Canadian Press and The New York Times Company.
None of these codes is intended as, or useful as, a rule book for every occasion. Lists of guidelines may help in clarifying some widely accepted norms of practice, but journalists' work calls for frequent decisions of individual and collective conscience which often involve balancing conflicting values and analyzing complex situations. Still, as Stephen J.A. Ward has suggested, codes can, if incorporated into newsroom discussions, inform moral reasoning and promote public accountability.
That rule may seem to form the bedrock of good journalism, but social media practices involving Twitter and other real-time social networks call it into question.
Many social media users -- including journalists -- see immediate re-tweeting as an important means of acknowledging breaking news reports and building engagement with audiences.
News organizations are divided on the practice. Some, such as the Associated Press and the Los Angeles Times, urge journalists to apply traditional standards of "publishing" to their use of Twitter: in essence, don't retweet what you can't confirm.
Others see Twitter as a news-gathering tool that is part of the process -- not the end product -- of journalism.
A panel of the Canadian Association of Journalists Ethics Advisory Committee has been trying to come up with guidelines that journalists can apply to their use of Twitter. Its draft guidelines will be discussed by a workshop on social media ethics at the CAJ Conference in Montreal on Friday, May 28th, 2010 at 13:00 Eastern.
The panel welcomes journalists' feedback on the draft, which it hopes to finalize in June. All comments - whether posted here or on Twitter (hashtag #cajethics please) - will be passed on to and by those attending the workshop in person.
The current membership of the Ethics Advisory Committee of the Canadian Association of Journalists is:
Ivor Shapiro (chair), Associate Professor and Undergraduate Program Director of the School of Journalism at Ryerson University.
Marc-François Bernier, Research Chair in Communication of the Canadian Francophonie specializing in journalism ethics at the University of Ottawa.
Patrick Brethour, British Columbia editor of The Globe and Mail.
Bert Bruser, counsel to the Toronto Star and adjunct professor, Ryerson University and University of Toronto.
Tim Currie, Assistant Professor of Journalism at the University of King's College in Halifax.
Kathy English, Public Editor at the Toronto Star.
Esther Enkin, executive editor, CBC News.
Ethan Faber, Managing Editor at CTV British Columbia in Vancouver and a broadcast journalism instructor at the BC Institute of Technology.
Meredith Levine, Lecturer, Graduate Journalism Program, University of Western Ontario in London.
Rod Link, Publisher and Editor of The Terrace Standard, the weekly newspaper serving Terrace and area in northwestern British Columbia.
Linden MacIntyre, TV documentary journalist and co-host of CBC-TV's the fifth estate since 1990.
Ken Regan, General Manager of the CKUA Radio Network.
Julian Sher, documentary writer and director, author of five international best-selling books, and a past president of the CAJ.
Craig Silverman, editorial director of OpenFile.ca and founder of RegretTheError.com.
Shauna Snow-Capparelli, Associate Professor, Department of Journalism, Mount Royal University.
Ellen van Wageningen, business/news editor for The Windsor Star, where she has worked as a reporter and editor since 1990.
Stephen J. A. Ward, Burgess Professor of Journalism Ethics and director of the Center for Journalism Ethics in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
CAJ Ethics Committee
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 ethics editor of J-Source and teaches journalism ethics and feature reporting at Ryerson University. To contribute, please comment on any article or contact the editor.
CAJ Ethics Committee
- Ivor Shapiro (chair)
- Marc-François Bernier
- Patrick Brethour
- Bert Bruser
- Tim Currie
- Kathy English
- Esther Enkin
- Ethan Faber
- Meredith Levine
- Rod Link
- Linden MacIntyre
- Ken Regan
- Julian Sher
- Craig Silverman
- Shauna Snow-Capparelli
- Ellen van Wageningen
- Stephen J. A. Ward
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