The Journalism Code of Ethics Essay

The Code of Ethics of American Journalism is a cornerstone of professional and ethical journalism in America. This essay describes the basic ethical concerns surrounding the responsible use of confidential sources within the press. Journalists are expected to follow a code of ethics which sets out their obligations to the public and their clients. This code is designed to ensure that both the press and their clients maintain responsibility in their conduct. In this respect, the Code of Ethics of American Journalism can be seen as a statement of the values upon which the profession of journalism is based.

There are various codes in existence which apply to different professions within the United States. These professions include civil engineers, architects, dentists, physicians, psychologists, teachers, stock brokers, podiatrists and even members of the clergy. Highly recommended Internet page are required by law to have specific codes of ethics and professional responsibility regarding the conduct of their profession. This code of ethics and responsibility of professional responsibility has important legal and moral implications for the professionals involved. All American professional journalists, as well as other media professionals, are required to meet these requirements when they commit ethical breaches. This is why a thorough knowledge of the various codes of ethics in American journalism is absolutely essential.

The core of this article concerns an essay written by lawyer Peter Carr in which he argues that professional journalists must have a more detailed and elaborate version of the code of ethics than ordinary citizens because of the many extra obligations they face. It is important for all American citizens to read this article carefully and take note of its various arguments so that they may evaluate its strength and weaknesses. Furthermore, the purpose of this article is not to compare the code of ethics of professional journalists with the code of ethics of ordinary citizens. Rather, the intent of this essay is to stimulate debate about the importance of professional ethics for American journalists.

Professional journalists must be distinguished from other service professionals such as accountants, doctors, etc., by virtue of their professional status. Unlike them, journalism involves serving the public good and serving their needs by using innovative and effective methods. This means that, unlike other professionals, journalism requires them to exercise a high degree of social responsibility. For this reason, they cannot claim to be doing it “for the money”. In other words, the code of ethics of professional journalists requires that they: o Ensure objectivity – regardless of whether they are expressing an opinion o Create clear and accurate representations and provide genuine information o Ensure transparency – ensure that your actions are not unduly influenced by financial considerations o Give importance to the impact of your journalism on society o Give emphasis to the use of technology and ensure that you maintain your commitment to digital diversification o Give due weight to diversity o Give due respect to others’ right to criticize o Take preventive measures against irresponsible journalism There are also other recommendations concerning the code of ethics of journalism. Carr’s essay provides additional insights into the practice of journalism.

There is much criticism that arises about the code of professional journalism. However, Carr correctly points out that journalists have come under fire for practicing the ethics of journalism. Some have argued that there is nothing wrong with criticism, and that it can help a profession mature. The fact remains, however, that some of the criticism that arises from the Code of Ethics of Professional Journalism is unjustified. Consider the following examples of when journalism has been criticized for not being effective:

o Lack of integrity – the fact remains that journalists are supposed to have integrity in how they process information. If they fail to uphold this standard, they are not being forthright with their audiences. Also, the lack of integrity in journalism can be demonstrated in numerous ways. For instance, if a reporter fails to obtain permission from a source before obtaining information, they are liable for lying (as well as slander) if they publish or misrepresent information obtained illegally. Similarly, if they fail to treat an opposing party with respect, or fail to provide relevant information to a reader, they may be guilty of unethical behavior.

Perhaps the most telling aspect of the journalism ethics essay is the statement made by Carr that “a journalist should be primarily concerned with truth.” While this may seem like an platitude, there is no doubt that this policy does define what constitutes journalism. Furthermore, Carr goes on to state, “A person’s capacity to tell the truth may be questioned, but a person’s responsibility to maintain a sense of integrity and honesty does not.” In other words, those who violate the code of professional journalism ethics are not only being dishonest, they are also morally irresponsible. This makes perfect sense, as a person who values truth and integrity would support those who practice it in their professions.

Overall, the ethics essay is a valuable source for anyone who is already involved in the field of journalism. The key point is that ethics dictates much of how we cover issues, whether in entertainment or in journalism. Thus, it is important to always exercise proper judgment when engaging in any type of ethical conduct. In essence, you are either defending the values of journalism and/or upholding the integrity of those who practice it. So, consider all this in 2021. Disregard the opinion, practice, and ethics of the profession of journalism and take your place at the top of the mountain.

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