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Ethical journalism

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Abstract

These are the slides I used at the DDJ Seminar Series: Reporting during a Pandemic on August 10, 2020 organized by the Department of Development Journalism, College of Development Communication of the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB). This online lecture may be retrieved from the YouTube channel of Ricarda Villar (https://youtu.be/lLrVTo2Ppio).
Danilo Araña Arao
Associate Professor, UP Diliman
Special Lecturer, PUP Sta. Mesa
Editor, Media Asia
Associate Editor, Bulatlat
Context
What is ethics?
Three ethical commands
SPJ code of ethics
The Philippine journalist’s code of ethics
Identifying, solving some ethical dilemmas
Case studies
Conclusion
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Moral philosophy or moral science
Branch of philosophy which studies the
principles of right or wrong in human conduct
Moral principles which determine the rightness
or wrongness of particular acts or activities
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Seek truth and report it as fully as possible
Act independently*
Minimize harm
*now replaced by “Be transparent” (Rosenstiel,
2013)
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Four principles (Society of Professional Journalists, 2013)
Seek truth and report it
Minimize harm
Act independently
Be accountable and transparent
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I shall scrupulously report and interpret the
news, taking care not to suppress essential
facts nor to distort the truth by omission or
improper emphasis. I recognize the duty to
air the other side and the duty to correct
substantive errors promptly.
I shall not violate confidential information on
material given me in the exercise of my
calling.
I shall resort only to fair and honest methods
in my effort to obtain news, photographs
and/or documents, and shall properly identify
myself as a representative of the press when
obtaining any personal interview intended for
publication.
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I shall refrain from writing reports which will
adversely affect a private reputation unless
the public interest justifies it. At the same
time, I shall fight vigorously for public
access to information, as provided for in the
Constitution.
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I shall not let personal motives or interests
influence me in the performance of my
duties; nor shall I accept or offer any
present, gift or other consideration of a
nature which may cast doubt on my
professional integrity.
I shall not commit any act of plagiarism.
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I shall not, in any manner, ridicule, cast
aspersions on, or degrade any person by
reason of sex, creed, religious belief, political
conviction, cultural and ethnic origin.
I shall presume persons accused of crime of
being innocent until proven otherwise. I shall
exercise caution in publishing names of
minors and women involved in criminal
cases so that they may not unjustly lose their
standing in society.
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I shall not take unfair advantage of a fellow
journalist.
I shall accept only such tasks as are
compatible with the integrity and dignity of
my profession, invoking the “conscience
clause” when duties imposed on me conflict
with the voice of my conscience.
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I shall conduct myself in public or while
performing my duties as journalist in such
manner as to maintain the dignity of my
profession. When in doubt, decency should
be my watchword.
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Remember five basic principles of the
practice of journalism (Lambeth, 1986)
Truth-telling
Justice
Freedom
Humaneness
Stewardship
Let us now discuss case studies,
arranged chronologically
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Practice of journalism ethics based on one’s
conviction
Consistency in one’s ethical standards
based on one’s continuing commitment
Judgment calls should be hinged on
objective social conditions
D. A. Arao 20UPLB CDC DDJ (10 Aug 2020)
Lambeth, E. B. (1986). Committed journalism: An ethic for
the profession. Indiana University Press.
Rosenstiel, T. (2013, September 16). Why ‘be transparent’
has replaced ‘act independently’ as a guiding journalism
principle. Poynter. https://www.poynter.org/reporting-
editing/2013/why-be-transparent-is-now-a-better-ethical-
principle-than-act-independently/
Society of Professional Journalists. (2014, September 6).
SPJ code of ethics. https://www.spj.org/ethicscode.asp
The Philippine journalist’s code of ethics. (1988). Philippine
Press Institute, National Union of Journalists of the
Philippines, and National Press Club.
D. A. Arao UPLB CDC DDJ (10 Aug 2020) 21
risingsun.dannyarao.com
ResearchGate has not been able to resolve any citations for this publication.
Committed journalism: An ethic for the profession
  • E B Lambeth
Lambeth, E. B. (1986). Committed journalism: An ethic for the profession. Indiana University Press.
Why 'be transparent' has replaced 'act independently' as a guiding journalism principle
  • T Rosenstiel
Rosenstiel, T. (2013, September 16). Why 'be transparent' has replaced 'act independently' as a guiding journalism principle. Poynter. https://www.poynter.org/reportingediting/2013/why-be-transparent-is-now-a-better-ethicalprinciple-than-act-independently/ Society of Professional Journalists. (2014, September 6). SPJ code of ethics. https://www.spj.org/ethicscode.asp The Philippine journalist's code of ethics. (1988). Philippine Press Institute, National Union of Journalists of the Philippines, and National Press Club.