New Page 1
On Facebook | Twitter: @blairsville_com | Online Forums | About The Site | Contact Us | What's New! | Keyword:  
We Support Our Troops
Home   Happenings   Drop By...   Stay Awhile...   About Blairsville

Save Password
Please review our Usage Policies.

No members are currently in the forums and 18 visitors.
 All Forums
 Blairsville Area News
 Journalistic Code of Ethics
 New Topic  Reply to Topic
Author Previous Topic Topic Next Topic  
BoeBro Erik

174 Posts
Local Business Leader

Posted - 09/18/2007 :  9:21:46 PM  Show Profile  Visit BoeBro Erik's Homepage  Reply with Quote

As Admin of, we're often criticized for not allowing people to sign up with relatively anonymous names and tell their negative version of the "truth" about people or the town.  In fact, the criticism was enough that some people even started their own forum just to allow anyone to say anything about anyone else, whether it is the truth, a lie, or something in between.

I wanted to take a moment to share some of my personal perspective on why we chose this policy, and how it reflects on how you, the public with access to post your thoughts and perceptions to any website, can help participate in this new era of news coverage and free speech.

I'm personally still traveling on the long road to becoming an attorney, but one of the frequent stops along the way involves learning the behavior that is appropriate for that profession.  Attorneys being what they are, they no longer call it a code of ethics, but rather professional responsibility.  But, none the less, these rules define what behavior is appropriate for an attorney.  And these rules have teeth - if they're not followed, you can get kicked out and no longer be an attorney.

Many other professions have codes of ethics or rules of conduct.  Some, like the legal profession, can enforce them by revoking a license.  Others publish them as aspirations or ideals - try to act like the rules say, but don’t worry about being punished if you don't.  Journalism is such an industry where the rules are voluntary - our press doesn't have to participate. 

Now that blogs and forums have given anyone the power to be a "journalist," and technology has given traditional journalists the power to be fiction writers, such as shown by the numerous national news scandals over the past few years involving plagiarism and edited photographs, the need for an understanding and a respect for the journalist’s code of ethics has become even more important.

The Society of Professional Journalists has published a Code of Ethics.  You can find it here:

I strongly suggest that we all read these and understand these rules.  As we as individuals post information about the world, our government, our neighbors, and the events that surround us, we are all acting as journalists.  We are writing for the public eye.  We should act as though we are professional journalists.

Not only should we aspire to follow these rules as web journalists, but we should demand that those we employ in traditional journalistic positions follow them even closer.  Our television, radio, and newspaper journalists should all desire to follow these rules strictly and we should demand it and call them out when they do not.  There should not be a debate over whether one news source is more biased than another – there should not be a question over whether the news is being reported.

If we ourselves follow this code of ethics as we participate in the public speech of the Internet and we demand that our professional journalists do the same, we can hope that we will have the ability to speak the truth about our town, county, state, country, and world, and not worry about those who abuse our freedom of speech to spread lies or support a policy of freedom from speech to hide truths.

Then we can truly claim that we are a country of a free press and of free speech.

BoeBro Erik

174 Posts
Local Business Leader

Posted - 09/18/2007 :  10:51:29 PM  Show Profile  Visit BoeBro Erik's Homepage  Reply with Quote
And lest I be accused of citing a biased organization regarding journalism ethics, take a look at this article from the National Newspaper Association:

And while the Georgia Press Association does not publish (at least for the public to view) a code of ethics for its members, in its by-laws, it was established to "advance [the] ethics of our members to a higher plane" and also provides a link to the Society of Professional Journalists.

Go to Top of Page
Mr Bill

1390 Posts
Local Business Leader

Posted - 09/19/2007 :  10:24:46 PM  Show Profile  Visit Mr Bill's Homepage  Reply with Quote
There's some great lines in that code of ethics for journalists, Erik. Here's the ones that stood out most to me:

From the "Preamble"
Professional integrity is the cornerstone of a journalist's credibility.

From "Seek Truth and Report It"
— Never distort the content of news photos or video. Image enhancement for technical clarity is always permissible.
— Tell the story of the diversity and magnitude of the human experience boldly, even when it is unpopular to do so.
— Examine their own cultural values and avoid imposing those values on others.
— Support the open exchange of views, even views they find repugnant.
— Give voice to the voiceless; official and unofficial sources of information can be equally valid.
— Distinguish between advocacy and news reporting. Analysis and commentary should be labeled and not misrepresent fact or context.

From "Act Independently"
Journalists should be free of obligation to any interest other than the public's right to know.
— Avoid conflicts of interest, real or perceived.
— Remain free of associations and activities that may compromise integrity or damage credibility.

From "Be Accountable"
Journalists are accountable to their readers, listeners, viewers and each other. Journalists should:
— Clarify and explain news coverage and invite dialogue with the public over journalistic conduct.
— Encourage the public to voice grievances against the news media.
— Admit mistakes and correct them promptly.
— Abide by the same high standards to which they hold others.

How do we get journalists like that up here?

Go to Top of Page

 New Topic  Reply to Topic
Jump To:

Blairsville, Georgia - home in the North GA Mountains

© 2002-2007 BoeBro Ventures, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Go To Top Of Page
Snitz Forums 2000

© 2002-2009 BoeBro Ventures, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Usage Policy