A Magazine by the Society of Professional Journalists

Should SPJ Update the Code of Ethics?

By Quill

Since 1996, when SPJ implemented the current Code of Ethics, there have been calls to update, modify or otherwise change what is widely accepted as a gold standard in journalism ethics. After adopting its first code from the American Society of Newspaper Editors in 1926, SPJ implemented its own code in 1973, with additional revisions in 1984 and 1987.

Are we now, in 2011, at such a point again? Have the ways by which news is gathered and reported changed enough since 1996 to necessitate an update?

Here are two perspectives, one “yes,” one “no.” To submit your thoughts, email quill@spj.org or contact the Ethics Committee.

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