Ethics of Journalism
- Ethics of Journalism
- Self-Directed Course
About Self-Directed Courses
In a self-directed course, you can start and stop whenever you like, progressing entirely at your own pace and going back as many times as you want to review the material.
Ethical decision-making is as essential to a journalist's craft as interviewing, writing, editing, photography and design. As a journalist, you can — and should— hone this skill.
This course will help you develop a process for making ethical decisions — before you're faced with a tough call on deadline. It will help you identify and understand the ethical questions that can arise in any story you are working on. And it will give you the confidence to make those tough calls and defend your decisions to your editors, your colleagues and your audience.
At Poynter's NewsU, we take ethics seriously. That's why you'll find so much rich content in this course. This is not a course to work through once and leave behind. You are likely to find yourself coming back to it again and again for help making challenging decisions and to learn from others who have faced similar dilemmas.
This course is designed to give you the techniques and tools you need to confront complex and complicated ethical issues, make difficult decisions and support those decisions with clear and rational thought.
What Will I Learn:
Upon completing this course, you will be able to:
- Identify ethical issues in stories you cover
- Understand the guiding principles and values of ethical journalism
- Develop and follow a rational process for figuring out your options when faced with an ethics problem
- Practice sound ethical decision-making
- Justify the decisions you make to your editors, your colleagues and your audience
Who should take this course:
Journalists and other newsroom leaders who want to make sound decisions, as well as anyone interested in the ethical guidelines for fair, accurate and honest journalism.
Kelly McBride is the vice president for academic programs at The Poynter Institute. She is a writer, teacher and one of the country's leading voices when it comes to media ethics. She has been on the faculty of The Poynter Institute since 2002 and is editor, along with Tom Rosenstiel of the American Press Institute, of The New Ethics of Journalism : Principles for the 21st Century. You can learn more about the project at Truth & Trust in Media The New Ethics of Journalism. Her other work involves Poynter’s Sense-Making Project, a Ford Foundation project examining the transformation of journalism from a profession of a few to a civic obligation of many, the effects of technology on democracy, and the media habits of the millennial generation. She conducts workshops in newsrooms and at journalism conventions across the country. Twice she has traveled to South Africa to lead advanced reporting and writing seminars geared toward reporters working in a young democracy. You can follow her on Twitter at @kellymcb.
Caitlin Johnston is a journalist whose work has appeared in the Tampa Bay Times, The Dallas Morning News and the Baltimore Sun. While with the Tampa Bay Times, she spent 10 days on the road with a local band, detailing their journey to the Bonnaroo summer music festival. She covers regional news, including military life, human trafficking and county politics. Prior to her work in Florida, she was an editorial assistant for the American Journalism Review, where she wrote the Spring 2012 cover story on the effects of tablets on legacy news outlets.
Bob Steele is the director of the Janet Prindle Institute for Ethics, DePauw University, in Greencastle, Ind., and is the Nelson Poynter Scholar for Journalism Values at The Poynter Institute.
Al Tompkins is Senior Faculty/Broadcast and Online at The Poynter Institute. He is the author of Aim for the Heart: A Guide for TV Producers and Reporters, which is being used by more than 130 universities' journalism departments around the world., and the Poynter NewsU course Reporting, Writing for TV and the Web: Aim for the Heart. He is also the author of Telling Memorable Video Stories, a video tutorial series at Poynter's NewsU. You can join the more than 10,000 people who follow him on Twitter at @atompkins.
Tompkins has more than 40 years of experience as a journalist, writer and journalism teacher who teaches in seminars at Poynter and workshops and conferences around. He has been a presenter at national conventions for IRE, RTDNA, NABJ, NAHJ, AAJA, Unity, NLGJA, PRNDI and NPPA. Since 1998, he has taught seminars and workshops in 48 states and four countries.
For this course you will need to have at least version 7.0 of the Flash plugin installed. For the best experience, we suggest that:
- PC users use Internet Explorer or Netscape/Mozilla/Firefox
- Mac users use Netscape/Mozilla/Firefox or Safari
- You set your monitor resolution to 1024 x 768 or higher
- You use a high-speed connection