Codes Of Ethics For Journalists

Codes Of Ethics For Journalists

Journalists like any other professions have to observe certain code of ethics in order for them to walk along the right path of responsible journalism.

PSSPA Code of Ethics, Journalist's Creed

Below are the code of ethics for PSSPA or Philippine Secondary Schools Press Association and the Philippine Journalists in general. Also shared here are the Canons of Journalism and the Journalist's Creed.

A. PSSPA Code of Ethics

Conscious of the honor of representing the student population of all public high schools in the Philippines, and the greater responsibility that the honor entails, the Philippine Secondary Schools Press Association pledges to do and uphold the following Code of Ethics:
  1. To cooperate at all times with the faculty in the improvement and betterment of the school and to give only constructive criticisms in regard to any school undertaking.
  2. To reflect good sportsmanship in writing by disregarding personal grudge and enmity.
  3. To avoid ironic personal jokes.
  4. To exclude from publication articles about the school that may draw wrong and unpleasant conclusions from those unaware of the real situation.
  5. To extend full credit to the author of any borrowed article.
  6. To be accurate and truthful in newspaper reporting.
  7. To correct errors brought to the attention of the staff.
  8. To strive hard for the best way of expression.
  9. To practice teamwork and discard individualism.
  10. To adopt new ideas and make changes whenever such will mean progress and development.
B. The Philippine Journalists Code of Ethics
  1. I shall scrupulously report and interpret the news, taking care not to suppress essential facts nor to distort the truth by omission or improper emphasis. I recognize the duty to air the other side and the duty to correct substantive errors promptly.
  2. I shall not violate confidential information on material given me in the exercise of my calling.
  3. I shall resort only to fair and honest methods in my effort to obtain news, photographs, and/or documents, and shall properly identify myself as a representative of the press when obtaining any personal interview intended for publication.
  4. I shall refrain from writing reports which will adversely affect a private reputation unless the public interest justifies it. At the same time, I shall fight vigorously for public access to information, as provided for in the Constitution.
  5. I shall not let personal motives or interests influence me in the performance of my duties; nor shall I accept or offer any present, gift or consideration of the nature which may cast doubt on my personal integrity.
  6. I shall not commit any act of plagiarism.
  7. I shall not in any manner ridicule, cast aspersion on, or degrade any person by reason of sex, creed, religious belief, political conviction, cultural and ethnic origin.
  8. I shall presume persons accused of crime of being innocent until proven otherwise. I shall exercise caution in publishing names of minors and women involved in criminal case so that they may not unjustly lose their standing in society.
  9. I shall not take fair advantage of a fellow journalist.
  10. I shall accept only such tasks as are compatible with the integrity and dignity of my profession, invoking the "conscience clause" when duties imposed on me conflict with the voice of my conscience.
  11. I shall conduct myself in public or while performing my duties as journalist in such manner as to maintain the dignity of my profession. When in doubt, decency should be my watchword.
C. Canons of Journalism (Adapted by the American Society of Newspaper Editors)
  1. Responsibility - The right of a newspaper to attract and hold readers is restricted by nothing but considerations of public welfare. The use of a newspaper makes of the share of public attention it gains serve to determine its sense of responsibility, which it shares with every member of its staff. A journalist who uses his power for any selfish or otherwise unworthy purpose is faithless to a high trust.
  2. Freedom of the Press - Freedom of the press is to be guarded as a vital right of mankind. It is the unquestionable right to discuss whatever is not explicitly forbidden by law, including the wisdom of any restrictive stature.
  3. Independence - Freedom from all obligations except that of fidelity to public interest is vital.
    1. Promotion of any private interest contrary to the general welfare, for whatever reason, is not compatible with honest journalism. So-called news-communications from private sources should not be published without public notice of their source or else substantiation of their claims to value as new both in form and substance.
    2. Partisanship, in editorial comment. which knowingly departs from the truth, does violence to the best spirit of American journalism; in the news columns it is subversive of a fundamental principle of the profession.
  4. Sincerity, Truthfulness, Accuracy - Good faith with the readers is the foundation of all journalism worthy of the same.
    1. By every consideration of good faith, every news paper is constrained to be truthful. It is not to be excused for lack of thoroughness of accuracy within its control or failure to obtain command of these qualities.
    2. Headlines should be fully warranted by the contents of the articles which they surmount.
  5. Impartiality - Sound practices makes clear distinction between news reports and expression of opinions. News reports should be free from opinion or bias of any kind.
  6. Fair Play - A newspaper should not publish unofficial charges affecting reputation or moral character without opportunity given to the accused to be heard. Right practice demands the giving of such opportunity in all cases of serious accusations outside judicial proceedings.
    1. A newspaper should not invade private rights or feelings without sure warrant of public right as distinguished from public curiosity.
    2.  It is the privilege, as it is the duty, of a newspaper to make prompt and complete correction of its own serious mistakes of fact or opinion, whatever their origin.
  7. Decency - A newspaper cannot escape conviction of insincerity if while professing high moral purpose, it supplies incentives to base conduct, such as are found in details of crime and vice, publication of which is not demonstrably for the general good.
D. The Journalist's Creed

The Journalist's Creed

I believe in the profession of journalism

I believe that the public journal is a public trust; that all concerned with it are, to the full measure of their responsibility, trustees for the public; that all acceptance of lesser service than the public service is betrayal of this trust.

I believe that clear thinking and clear statement, accuracy and fairness are fundamental to good journalism.

I believe that a journalist should write only what he holds in his heart to be true.

I believe that suppression of the news, for any consideration other than the welfare of society, is indefensible.

I believe that no one should write as a journalist what he would not say as a gentleman; that bribery by one's own pocketbook is a much to be avoided as bribery by the pocketbook of another, that individual responsibility may not be escaped by pleading another's instruction or another's dividends.

I believe that advertising, news, and editorial columns should alike serve the interests of readers; that a single standard of helpful truth and clearness should prevail for all; that the supreme test of good journalism is the measure of its public service.

I believe that the journalism which succeeds best - and best deserves success - fears God and honors man; is stoutly independent, unmoved by pride of opinion or greed of power, constructive, tolerant by never careless, self-controlled, patient, always respectful of its readers but always unafraid; is quickly indignant at injustice; is unswayed by the appeal of privilege or clamor of the mob; seeks to give every man a chance; is profoundly patriotic while sincerely promoting international goodwill and cementing world comradeship; is a journalism of humanity, and for today's world.


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