|Categories of Journalistic Ethical
The Categories of Journalistic Ethical Violations that EyeOnThePost.Org
uses are derived from a
synthesis of The Washington Post's own Code of Ethics (WP), Honest
Reporting's (HR) code, Code of Ethics of the Society of Professional
Journalists (SPJ) and categories defined by the Board of Directors (BD)
Definitions and Terminology (HR): "By using terminology and
definitions in a way that implies accepted fact, the media injects bias
under the guise of objectivity." (WP): "No story is fair if it
consciously or unconsciously misleads or even deceives the reader."
- Imbalanced Reporting
(HR): "Media reports frequently skew the picture by presenting only one
side of the story." (WP): "Reporters and editors of The Post are
committed to fairness. While arguments about objectivity are endless,
the concept of fairness is something that editors and reporters can
easily understand and pursue." (SPJ): "By choosing to report certain
events over others, the media controls access to information and
manipulates public sentiment."
- Opinions Disguised
as News (HR): "Failing to label News Analysis or Commentary
articles that appear in the news section." (WP): "On this newspaper,
the separation of news columns from the editorial and
opposite-editorial pages is solemn and complete. This separation is
intended to serve the reader, who is entitled to the facts in the news
columns and to opinions on the editorial and 'op-ed' pages." (SPJ):
"Distinguish between advocacy and news reporting. Analysis and
commentary should be labeled and not misrepresent fact or context."
- Selective Omission
(HR): "By failing to provide proper context and full background
information, journalists can dramatically distort the true picture."
(HR): "By choosing to report certain events over others, the media
controls access to information and manipulates public sentiment." (WP):
"No story is fair if it omits facts of major importance or
significance. Fairness includes completeness. The newspaper shall tell
ALL the truth so far as it can learn it, concerning the important
affairs of America and the world." (SPJ): "By failing to provide proper
context and full background information, journalists can dramatically
distort the true picture."
- Use of Unreliable
Sources (SPJ): "Test the accuracy of information from all
sources and exercise care to avoid inadvertent error."
Headlines (SPJ): "Make certain that headlines, news teases and
promotional material, photos, video, audio, graphics, sound bites and
quotations do not misrepresent. They should not oversimplify or
highlight incidents out of context."
- Using True Facts To
Draw False Conclusions (HR): "Media reports frequently use true
facts to draw erroneous conclusions."
- Distortion of Facts
(HR): Reporting of inaccurate, false, deliberately incomplete or
misleading information. "In today's competitive media world, reporters
frequently do not
have the time, inclination or resources to properly verify information
before submitting a story for publication."
- Pejorative Syntax
and Grammar (BD): The use of syntax and grammar to slant
otherwise objective reporting.
- Unreported News
(BD): The omission of newsworthy events.
HR = Honest Reporting
WP = Washington Post Code of Ethics
SPJ = Code of Ethics of the Society of Professional Journalists
BD = Board of Directors of EyeOnThePost.org
All contents Copyright ©2002
The Washington Post is a trademark of The Washington Post Company.
EyeOnThePost.org is not affiliated with The Washington Post Company.
Please see our Disclaimer