Journalism Laws and Codes of Conduct
The SRMS Journalism Department will follow these laws in the production and release of news and information to our school and our community.
SRMS Journalists will work to preserve the free exchange of information that is fair, thorough, and accurate.
Laws and Codes of Conduct
Seek Truth and Report It
- Journalists will gather, update, and correct information throughout the life of a news story, but will not share any false information.
- Journalists will be cautious when making promises and hold true to them when they are made in order to maintain faith of readership and sources.
- Journalists will not plagiarize information. Work may be inspired by others but not copied. All information taken from sources must be accredited.
- Journalists will take responsibility for their work. Journalists will not use unverified information.
- Journalists will not sacrifice accuracy for speed nor use formatting as an excuse for inaccuracy.
- Journalists will not promote illegal activities or immoral behavior. Journalists will diligently seek subjects of news coverage to allow them to respond to criticism or allegations of wrongdoing.
- Journalists must show compassion to those who may be affected by news coverage.
- Journalists will recognize that legal access to information differs from an ethical justification to publish or broadcast.
- Journalists can not use outsider information without permission.
- Journalists should avoid pandering to curiosity, even if others do.
- Journalists will deny favored treatment to advertisers. Journalists can not let internal or external forces to influence coverage.
- Journalists will avoid conflicts of interests, real, or perceived. Journalists must disclose unavoidable conflicts.
- Journalists must be wary of sources offering information for favors or for money. Journalists are not allowed to pay for access to news. Journalists will identify content provided by outside sources, whether paid or not.
Be Accountable and Transparent
- Journalists will respond quickly to questions about accuracy, clarity, and fairness.
- Journalist will not ignore mistakes. Journalists will acknowledge mistakes and correct them promptly. Journalists will explain corrections and clarifications carefully and clearly.
- Journalists will abide by the same standards that they expect of others. Journalists will not lower their standards in the journalistic process.
- Journalists must encourage a civil dialogue with the public about journalistic practices, coverage, and content. Journalists will not leave ethical choices unexplained.