Ethics

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For 40 years, Poynter has guided professional newsrooms in developing ethical principles to support journalism's role in a healthy democracy. In 1981, when a Pulitzer Prize-winning story in The Washington Post about a child heroin addict turned out to be a hoax, Poynter convened industry leaders to identify and implement tighter ethical standards, as we did in 2003 following the Jayson Blair scandal at the New York Times.

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Poynter trains journalists to avoid ethical failings including conflicts of interest, bias and inaccuracy, and to uphold best practices, such as transparency and accountability. With digital and audiovisual technology innovating at warp seed, news-gathering, storytelling and editing are changing and Poynter faculty help newsrooms keep ethics at the forefront. 

At a time when public trust in media is low and the president has sought to discredit the press as "fake news," it's more essential than ever that journalists be accurate and accountable, shining a light on truth to sustain our democracy.

Poynter makes it easy to develop your ethical decision-making, so you're ready for difficult situations: 

Poynter Results

  • Ethics

    Article

    Fox News reporter fabricated quotes for Seth Rich conspiracy story, lawsuit alleges

    Malia Zimmerman, a reporter at Fox News, fabricated two quotes for a bogus story that connected now-deceased Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich to Wikileaks, according to a lawsuit filed this morning on behalf of the source those quotes were attributed to.

    The lawsuit, which accused Zimmerman and Trump supporter Ed Butowsky of inventing a story to shift the blame away from Russia's hacking of the 2016 election, also says that President Trump was allowed to review a Fox News story before it was published.

  • Ethics

    Article

    Newsday releases review of Kevin Deutsch’s reporting

    Editor's note: This story has been updated with the latest report from iMediaEthics, comments from Indira Lakshmanan (the Craig Newmark Chair in Journalism Ethics at Poynter) and Deutsch's response to Newsday's review.

    More than four months after it opened an investigation into Kevin Deutsch's reporting history, Newsday has published its results.

  • Ethics

    Article

    Donald Trump and the National Enquirer: A coosome twosome

    When Joe Scarborough alleged Friday that he'd been manipulated by officials in the Trump administration who held a damning National Enquirer story over his head, one could only be sure of one thing: The tabloid and Trump are a truly coosome twosome.

    Scarborough's allegation came as he and "Morning Joe" co-host and fiance Mika Brzezinski, who were both once distinct Trump sympathizers, fought back after Trump's vulgar attack on Brzezinski.

  • Ethics

    Article

    3 CNN journalists responsible for retracted article resign

    Three journalists from CNN's investigative team have resigned after an internal review found flaws in an investigation that tied a senior adviser of President Trump to an investment fund overseen by the Russian government.

    The author of the story, Thomas Frank, the story's editor, Eric Lichtblau and CNN Investigates Executive Editor Lex Haris have all left the network, according to CNN.

  • Ethics

    Article

    Against objectivity

    Editor's note: Tom Warhover is an associate professor at the Missouri School of Journalism. From 2001 to 2017, Warhover was also executive editor of the Columbia Missourian, a community newspaper managed by professionals and staffed by students.

    Consider the following. A newsroom in California declares on its “about” page that it stands for these things:

 
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