Andrew M. Seaman writes a call for newsrooms and individual journalists to change their perspectives. Responding to the roller coaster year journalism experienced in 2016, Seaman reminds journalists of their “noble purpose.” Seaman serves as ethics committee chairperson for Society of Professional Journalists at the national level, and so his voice echoes with particular influence.
SPJ owns a long history of ethics advocacy with a Code of Ethics professing the highest standards of objectivity and freedom from conflict of interest. The following is the fine print below the actual code on the web page at spj.org:
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.
Seaman says the shift in public trust of journalism as a whole works as a signal for change in the ethical best practices of news media across the nation. He refers to historical precedent under President John F. Kennedy’s administration, references current-day incivility and Gallup poll data to support his suggestions. Check out the article this week at SPJ.org.
Visit Seaman’s website for more information about his work.