Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Five Core Principles of Journalism

Five Core Principles of Journalism

1. Truth and Accuracy

Journalists cannot always guarantee ‘truth’, but getting the facts right is the cardinal principle of journalism. We should always strive for accuracy, give all the relevant facts we have and ensure that they have been checked. When we cannot corroborate information we should say so.

2. Independence

Journalists must be independent voices; we should not act, formally or informally, on behalf of special interests whether political, corporate or cultural. We should declare to our editors – or the audience – any of our political affiliations, financial arrangements or other personal information that might constitute a conflict of interest.

3. Fairness and Impartiality

Most stories have at least two sides. While there is no obligation to present every side in every piece, stories should be balanced and add context. Objectivity is not always possible, and may not always be desirable (in the face for example of brutality or inhumanity), but impartial reporting builds trust and confidence.

4. Humanity

Journalists should do no harm. What we publish or broadcast may be hurtful, but we should be aware of the impact of our words and images on the lives of others.

5. Accountability

A sure sign of professionalism and responsible journalism is the ability to hold ourselves accountable. When we commit errors we must correct them and our expressions of regret must be sincere not cynical. We listen to the concerns of our audience. We may not change what readers write or say but we will always provide remedies when we are unfair.

(Copy from

The 10 Absolutes of Reuters Journalism

Reuters journalists:
  • Always hold accuracy sacrosanct
  • Always correct an error openly
  • Always strive for balance and freedom from bias
  • Always reveal a conflict of interest to a manager
  • Always respect privileged information
  • Always protect their sources from the authorities
  • Always guard against putting their opinion in a news story
  • Never fabricate or plagiarise
  • Never alter a still or moving image beyond the requirements of normal image enhancement
  • Never pay for a story and never accept a bribe
This Section is divided into four categories:
  1. Accuracy
  2. Independence
  3. Freedom from bias
  4. Integrity


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