This month marks the eight year anniversary of “Regret the Error,” which means I’ve been reporting on and writing about ethical issues in journalism for close to a decade.
That anniversary and this week’s Poynter symposium on journalism ethics in the digital age led me to step back and think about the principles that underpin ethical behavior in the profession, and how journalism ethics can and should evolve.
Rather than focusing on the usual concepts of accuracy, transparency and accountability, I found myself thinking more about humility, honesty, fairness, empathy and vulnerability.
Professional ethics are most effective when they flow from human values, emotions and, of course, action. It’s a perhaps obvious point, but one that is easily lost or overlooked at a time when new technologies recurve bows for sale have sparked change and disruption in journalism.
This understanding helps us distinguish between principles and practices, as Tom Rosenstiel and Kelly McBride noted toward the end of this week’s ethics symposium. Read more