Journalism on the internet has corrupted the world of reporting. The Fireside Post is an opinion magazine, with our bias clearly stated in “Who Are These Guys.” Even admitting we are about opinion does not excuse us from having some ethical boundaries. This is the second post in a series examining journalistic ethics.
We will be quoting from the Society of Professional Journalists. Ethics in Journalism is important to the viability of a free press. This is a fundamental right of America – the right to freedom of speech and freedom of the press. Rights are different than privileges – but even rights have boundaries.
The ethical boundaries on this page are in regard to news reporting – we are proud that professional journalists recognize the potential for harm.
From the Society of Professional Journalists:
Ethical journalists treat sources, subjects and colleagues as human beings deserving of respect.
— Show compassion for those who may be affected adversely by news coverage. Use special sensitivity when dealing with children and inexperienced sources or subjects.
— Be sensitive when seeking or using interviews or photographs of those affected by tragedy or grief.
— Recognize that gathering and reporting information may cause harm or discomfort. Pursuit of the news is not a license for arrogance.
— Recognize that private people have a greater right to control information about themselves than do public officials and others who seek power, influence or attention. Only an overriding public need can justify intrusion into anyone’s privacy.
— Show good taste. Avoid pandering to lurid curiosity.
— Be cautious about identifying juvenile suspects or victims of sex crimes.
— Be judicious about naming criminal suspects before the formal filing of charges.
— Balance a criminal suspect’s fair trial rights with the public’s right to be informed.