These are the standards of our journalism.
Our Guiding Principles
VNN is at its core a news organization. Our news content, whether on the radio, on the web, or in any other form, must attain the highest quality and strengthen our credibility. We take pride in our craft. Our journalism is as accurate, fair and complete as possible. Our journalists conduct their work with honesty and respect, and they strive to be both independent and impartial in their efforts. Our methods are transparent and we will be accountable for all we do.
We hold those who serve and influence the public to a high standard when we report about their actions. We must ask no less of ourselves. Journalism is a daily process of painting an ever truer picture of the world. Every step of this process – from reporting to editing to presenting information – may either strengthen or erode the public’s trust in us. We work hard to be worthy of that trust and to protect it.
These principles are intended to guide our journalism, both as it is performed and as it is perceived, to help us earn and keep the confidence of the public. The principles exist not only to answer questions, but more importantly, to raise them. By regularly discussing and debating how these principles apply to our work, we will produce journalism worthy of VNN’s name and the public we serve.
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SPJ Code of Ethics
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Members of the Society of Professional Journalists believe that public enlightenment is the forerunner of justice and the foundation of democracy. Ethical journalism strives to ensure the free exchange of information that is accurate, fair and thorough. An ethical journalist acts with integrity.
The Society declares these four principles as the foundation of ethical journalism and encourages their use in its practice by all people in all media.
Seek Truth and
Ethical journalism should be accurate and fair. Journalists should be honest and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting information.
– Consider sources’ motives before promising anonymity. Reserve anonymity for sources who may face danger, retribution or other harm, and have information that cannot be obtained elsewhere. Explain why anonymity was granted.
Ethical journalism treats sources, subjects, colleagues and members of the public as human beings deserving of respect.
– 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.
– Realize that private people have a greater right to control information about themselves than public figures and others who seek power, influence or attention. Weigh the consequences of publishing or broadcasting personal information.
The highest and primary obligation of ethical journalism is to serve the public.
Be Accountable and Transparent
Ethical journalism means taking responsibility for one’s work and explaining one’s decisions to the public.
The SPJ Code of Ethics is a statement of abiding principles supported by additional explanations and position papers that address changing journalistic practices. It is not a set of rules, rather a guide that encourages all who engage in journalism to take responsibility for the information they provide, regardless of medium. The code should be read as a whole; individual principles should not be taken out of context. It is not, nor can it be under the First Amendment, legally enforceable.
Sigma Delta Chi’s first Code of Ethics was borrowed from the American Society of Newspaper Editors in 1926. In 1973, Sigma Delta Chi wrote its own code, which was revised in 1984, 1987, 1996 and 2014.