SPJ is making it crystal clear: Ethical Journalism Matters

2018 Ethics Week Art

Indianapolis, INDIANA – The Society of Professional Journalists‘ 15th annual Ethics Week is April 23-27. The aim for 2018 is clear: SPJ is showing the public that responsible, ethical and accurate journalism is, and will always be, the bedrock of democracy.

Andrew Seaman

Andrew Seaman

“The public needs ethical journalism,” said Andrew Seaman, SPJ Ethics Committee chair. “Journalists all around the world work each day with our profession’s highest standards in mind, and we want to make sure the public understands what ethical journalism looks like in their communities.”

SPJ’s Code of Ethics, which traces its origin to 1926, states that ethical journalism is truthful, compassionate, independent and transparent. The SPJ Code of Ethics, available in nine languages, is voluntarily embraced by thousands of writers, editors and other news professionals around the world. 

“Without journalism, and without the Code of Ethics to guide journalists, the world would be a much scarier place.” – Andrew Seaman, SPJ Ethics Committee chair

“Ethics Week is an opportunity to educate the public about our work and practices, as well as reinforce the importance of journalism in public discourse,” Seaman said. “Without journalism, and without the Code of Ethics to guide journalists, the world would be a much scarier place.”

SPJ Ethics Week Times Square

Ethics Week billboards will once again be displayed at 3 Times Square in New York through April 29. SPJ Photo

SPJ will once again be in Times Square, with giant, blue Ethics Week billboards at 3 Times Square in New York. The billboards will be there from Sunday through April 28. 

The events planned for Ethics Week 2018 are designed to help journalists and the public talk about ethical journalism – where to find it, how to identify it and how to support and share it.

Journalists who would like to bring the Code of Ethics into newsrooms and into day-to-day journalism can participate in SPJ’s Ethics Week webinar. Seaman will host with special guest Lynn Walsh, immediate past president of SPJ, at noon EDT April 25. Register for the free webinar here.

Journalists and members of the public can participate in a Twitter chat “town hall” where journalists will be available to explain their practices to the public, share contact information and provide behind-the-scenes details about how they get story ideas, what happens when they make a mistake and many other areas of journalism. Anyone can join the conversation using the hashtag #PressForEthics at noon EDT April 26.

SPJ will publish an e-book April 27. The book will educate the public about journalism ethics. Some of the topics include “How to civilly raise concerns about editorial decisions at print, broadcast and digital news organizations;” “How to tell the difference between impartial and partisan sources of information;” and “What the public should expect from journalists.”

Lynn Walsh mug

Lynn Walsh

Also on April 27, Walsh will talk all things journalism ethics on The Jim Bohannon Show at 11 p.m. EDT. Find a station here.

SPJ chapters, journalism schools and newsrooms may request free Code of Ethics posters and bookmarks by filling out this form. Or download printable copies here. The general public may request a free copy of the Code of Ethics by filling out this form. Small and large posters may also be purchased in SPJ’s J-Mart.

Watch SPJ’s FacebookTwitter and #PressforEthics for updates. 

SPJ promotes the free flow of information vital to informing citizens; works to inspire and educate the next generation of journalists; and fights to protect First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and press. Support excellent journalism and fight for your right to know. Become a member, give to the Legal Defense Fund, or give to the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation.

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