&nbsp&nbsp Author

June6, 2014.


Journalismlike another profession requires astute codes of ethics that guidesthe media professionals in their daily tasks of news coverageespecially in the modern world where sensational, framing,subjectivity and controversy has replaced the traditional ethics ofjournalists as epitomized in objectivity of news coverage. Journalismis a professional call that demands a high standard of integrity,accountability, responsibility, honesty, loyalty, fairness andindependence in the coverage and reporting of news. Mediaprofessionals should desist from deviating from these ethical valuesif the integrity of their news is to be trusted. Media coverage thatis associated with controversies, gender bias, sexism, racism,sensationalism and framing indicates unethical professionalism injournalism.

Inmaking journalism professional code of ethics for respectablejournalism, the chosen codes of ethics would be guided by thefollowing principles. The first principle is that ‘freedom of pressand journalism rests on obligations of responsibility, accountabilityand integrity.’ This principle is the core aspect of professionaljournalism in news coverage. The members of the public and otherinstitutions are concerned more about the objectiveness, clarity andbias free source of information that is accompanied by responsiblereporting journalist should desists from sensational andmediatization reporting. Media personalities have the power andfreedom to report all aspects of communication in a manner thatexhibits moral and ethical responsibility.

Thesecond guiding principle in the code of ethics is ‘social welfareis critical for career in media.’ This guideline assumes that, thepublic that constitute the vast majority of news recipients is animportant consideration when making the professional code ofconducts. In addition, presenting accurate and meaningful reportsthat are void of personal bias is another golden principle underlyingmedia ethics. In designing these codes of ethics, the mantra echoedis ‘search for authentic news and responsibly cover it’ summedas fair, truthful, honest and courageous gathering, interpreting andreporting.

Codeof ethics

Advancingand Protecting Accuracy and authenticity of news coverage

Asa professional journalist testing the accuracy and origin ofinformation is critical to safeguard the public against bias, lies ormisleading information which might create confusion, loss of livesand encourage criminal activities. By accurately and authenticallyexamining the source of information, journalist eliminatesdistortion enhance integrity and reliability of the report this iscrucial in promoting information that could be used for research,decision making, security, education and even for economic purposesthis means facilitating effective relationships with the government,the public and the media. Therefore, professional journalist needs touphold a high standard of preserving flow of unbiased information andas such the amount of independence should be the guiding principlewhich inhibits journalist from been influenced subjectively to coverparticular news.

Confidentialityminimize harm

Itis critical that as a journalist, confidential information about thesubjects should not be conveyed in public without their informedconsent there are several reasons why confidentiality ethics isvaluable. One is that, individual’s right to privacy are protectedas espoused in the doctrine of human rights, security of the personis not infringed and that the individual is protected fromstigmatization by society. As such, professional journalism should besensitive when collecting and reporting information of particularsubjects, know that the privacy of individuals surpasses the value ofinformation this is the essence of ethical journalism where sources,colleagues, subjects are treated with the utmost respect. As such,media professionals need to show good taste when pandering forinformation, be sensitive when labeling a suspect as a criminal, andknow that pursuing news is not a license to warrantless arrogance. Inshort, while pursuing news coverage a journalist should apply abalanced, judicial and sensitive approach in safeguarding the rightsof ‘subjects’ and the right to inform the public.

Disclosureof information

Thevalue and profession of Journalism are to facilitate the flow ofcommunication in an open and diverse way. In some cases disclosingthe source of information, is critical for the integrity ofinformation covered and reported. In this light, journalists shoulddiligently seek the source of information to correlate factscollected from third parties. In the same line, journalist should notalter or distort information, desist from misleading or staged newscoverage and undercover journalism unless when prevailingcircumstances does not allow for the usual method of informationcollection. Furthermore, media professionals should not stereotype,use gender bias when reporting news. In a broader sense, journalistsneed to be open, avoid errors, critically investigate correctness ofthe information and desist from deception.

Conflictof interest and acting independently

Theservice of journalism should not be inclined on one side the truecall of journalism rest on objectivity. There is an essence in givingindependent news coverage without considering the conflicting issuessuch as family ties, religion, employer (media owners), colleagues atwork or management. The underlying principle in this code of ethicsis that, a professional should act independently and avoidspotential, perceived or real conflicting interest this createsintegrity, reliability, honesty and builds trust among all members ofthe public, religion, government, employers and enhances careergrowth in journalism.

Therefore,journalists should avoid circumstances that lead to conflictinginterests, conduct themselves to the best interest for the generalpublic and remain free from associations or activities that mightcompromise the integrity of objective journalism. As such, mediaprofessionals should avoid favors, political participation desistfrom bribes or other special treatments that could compromise theintegrity of journalism.