Growing up I had a very specific set of values drilled into me. My Grandma always emphasized to, “learn to be gracious.” My dad taught me that being kind was the key to a good life, and my mom always reminded me to be respectful. Then on my own, from a very young age, I came to the conclusion that there was never a point to breaking the rules and therefore lying didn’t make sense.
While being gracious might not have a strong place in the newsroom, I feel like these other points are all important in journalism.
In no particular order of importance, my journalistic ethics code would consist of:
- Be kind (minimize harm)
- Be respectful (of privacy, confidentiality, fairness, and justice)
- Be honest (truth-telling)
- Don’t break the rules (always keep your eyes and mind wide open to a third option to preserve the integrity of my ethics code)