Guiding Principles of Media Organizations

Excerpts of key points in principles articulated from each of these professional media organizations: 

Society of Professional Journalists - Four Pillars

  1. Seek Truth and Report It (without bias or distortion of facts)
  2. Minimize Harm (treating others as human beings deserving of respect)
  3. Act Independently (primary obligation to serve, not indoctrinate, the public)
  4. Be Accountable and Transparent (explaining ethical choices and exposing unethical behaviour in journalism, including within their own organizations)

Associated Press Managing Editors - Foundational Principles

  1. Responsibility - The good newspaper is fair, accurate, honest, responsible, independent and decent. Truth is its guiding principle.
  2. Accuracy - The newspaper should guard against inaccuracies, carelessness, bias or distortion through emphasis, omission or technological manipulation.
  3. Integrity - The newspaper should strive for impartial treatment of issues and dispassionate handling of controversial subjects. It should provide a forum for the exchange of comment and criticism, especially when such comment is opposed to its editorial positions.
  4. Independence - Involvement in politics, demonstrations and social causes that would cause a conflict of interest, or the appearance of such conflict, should be avoided.

American Society of News Editors, Code of Ethics

  • ARTICLE IV - Truth and Accuracy

Good faith with the reader is the foundation of good journalism. Every effort must be made to assure that the news content is accurate, free from bias and in context, and that all sides are presented fairly.

  • ARTICLE V - Impartiality

To be impartial does not require the press to be unquestioning or to refrain from editorial expression. Sound practice, however, demands a clear distinction for the reader between news reports and opinion. Articles that contain opinion or personal interpretation should be clearly identified.