“3.01 Code of Ethics” – FLVS Journalism 1 Assignment

For this assessment you will create your own code of ethics. You may want to review the codes presented in this lesson to come up with your own. Create five ethical rules that you believe you should follow as a journalist and describe what those rules mean. Then explain why you feel that your five rules are the most important ethical guidelines for a journalist to follow.


I have chosen my five ethical rules. I will state the rule and then I will explain why and what it means.

  1. Be cautious when making promises, but keep the promises you make. Be very careful of who you make promises too, and what the promise is. Make sure that whatever promises you do make, you can fulfill.
  2. Be vigilant and courageous about holding those with power accountable. Give voice to the voiceless. Be careful about who’s toes you step on, when it comes to people with superior positions. But at the same time, be fair, and be the voice for those who have none. 
  3. Avoid stereotyping. Journalists should examine the ways their values and experiences may shape their reporting. Keep a careful eye out, to make sure that you do not let your personal feelings affect the bias of the story, or point of view. 
  4. Show compassion for those who may be affected by news coverage. Use heightened sensitivity when dealing with juveniles, victims of sex crimes, and sources or subjects who are inexperienced or unable to give consent. Consider cultural differences in approach and treatment. Be extremely careful when dealing with very sensitive stories, especially involving the above mentioned scenarios. Some people do not want a negative light thrown on them, just because they were involved in a serious crime, and most of the time, especially have a hard time with self acceptance and other such mental issues because or such instances. 
  5. Avoid conflicts of interest, real or perceived. Disclose unavoidable conflicts. Pretty self explanatory. 

“3.00 Introduction to Ethics” – FLVS Journalism 1 Assignment

Reporter’s Notebook

For this journal entry, you will answer two questions.

1. “What does it mean to be ethical?” Explore what you know about ethics to write a response to this question, providing examples to illustrate the qualities of an ethical person. Using your definition of an ethical person, describe how you believe someone should handle the situation described in this lesson. Explain how you came to your conclusion.

2. “How do ethics apply to journalism?” Now that you have defined an ethical person, write a short response about how you believe ethics plays a part in the presentation of the news.

Your journal entry should be at least three paragraphs of your own writing, and you must give credit to all sources that you use or quote. Try to be as informative as possible. Imagine this is an assignment for a large news organization, and that you are supposed to provide useful information to your readers on this topic.


What does it mean to be ethical? According to the Webster’s Dictionary, Ethical means “involving or expressing moral approval or disapproval”. Therefore to be ethical would be to follow some sort of moral rules, or code. An ethical person is one who thinks about the consequences of their actions before hand and does the right thing accordingly. In my opinion it’s a matter of Moral responsibility, doing what is right, according to your conscience, but at the same time, not violating others rights.

In the situation where a friend of yours gives her address to a stranger on the internet and then you find out, and you are concerned for her safety. Do you tell her parents or do you try to not make her mad, and not tell anyone. If I was in this situation with my best friend, I would have to say that I would probably feel obligated to tell her parents about the situation. Only because she is like a sister to me, and so in her best interest, and in order to keep her safe, and show her how much she can trust me, and how much I care about her, I would have to tell her parents. At first she might be mad at me, but knowing my best friend as well as I do, I know that eventually she would realize that what I did was the best thing to do for her, and her safety and well being.

Ethics definitely plays a very large role in journalism. Without ethics in journalism, we would have a huge mess on our hands. We would have journalists spreading slander and libel around, and journalists violating people’s privacy and stuff. This would create a disrespect for all journalists and nobody would believe anyone else. A journalist’s ethics determines what kind of journalist they are. Some reporters don’t care about invading other people’s privacy; but doing this makes the public respect the journalist less. Journalists that stick to a good ethical code, who treat others with respect, will be more respected and valid. Journalism and journalists can get a bad rap because there are a lot of reporters who don’t have an ethical code; they will do anything to get a good story. Thus this makes all journalists look bad, as a whole.