We are witnessing a campaign south of the border to diminish journalism. It is tactical: News reporting holds lawmakers and other powerful people accountable for their actions. At the same time, with the easy proliferation of conspiracy sites and Russian bots on social media, it is becoming more difficult to separate the real from the unreal news.
This is why it is important to be transparent about how journalists work and about the standards of news gathering. At The Globe, you see those standards, and that transparency about mistakes, in the regular Corrections on page A2; and online, attached to articles.
There is also an Editorial Code of Conduct that readers can access on the bottom right-hand corner of the homepage of Globeandmail.com. This year, after almost five years, it was time for a refresh and update of that code.
Its basic principles are unchanged. As the code itself makes clear, it is published “as a road map to clarify the boundaries between ethical and unethical journalism. The Globe and Mail sets a high bar for its editorial staff.”
For several months, a group of editors and reporters at The Globe (including me) reviewed the code’s wording, studied other professional journalism codes, consulted with staff, and then sent a draft proposal to Editor-in-Chief David Walmsley.
It is ultimately the editor’s code, and he approved a number of changes. “This document is the updated ethical road map governing all journalists employed by The Globe and Mail. The review was an extensive, months-long process by many staff and that process highlights the conscientiousness and determination of all people employed by The Globe to get things right. It is equally important that our rules are clear and available to scrutiny,” Mr. Walmsley noted. “We sometimes stumble and it is at the heart of this news organization that when we err, we fix the mistake.”
Below are some key points about the updated code.