The Record

Code of Ethics

The Record Volume 118 Code of Ethics* 

WE MUST SEEK TRUTH AND REPORT IT Ethical journalism should be accurate and fair. We strive to be honest and courageous in gathering, reporting, and interpreting information. We should: 

Take responsibility for the accuracy of our work. 

Verify information before releasing it. Remember that nothing, including speed, excuses inaccuracy. 

Never plagiarize. Always attribute.

Provide context. Take special care not to misrepresent or oversimplify information within a preview of a story or in a story itself. 

Consider sources’ motives before promising anonymity. Reserve anonymity for sources who may face harm and/or possess information that cannot be obtained elsewhere. Explain why anonymity was granted.

Allow subjects of coverage to respond to criticism. 

Support the open and civil exchange of views.

Be vigilant about holding those with power accountable. 

Tell the story of the diversity and magnitude of the human experience.

Seek and present the various sides of a story without bias. 

Avoid stereotyping. Examine the ways our values and experiences may shape our reporting. 

 

WE MUST MINIMIZE HARM Ethical journalism treats sources, subjects, colleagues, and members of the school community with respect. We should: 

Balance the community’s need for information against potential harm or discomfort. 

Show compassion for those who may be affected by coverage. 

Weigh the consequences of publishing personal information. 

Provide updated and more complete information as appropriate.

 

WE MUST ACT INDEPENDENTLY The highest and primary obligation of ethical journalism is to serve the community. We should: 

Avoid conflicts of interest, real or perceived. Disclose unavoidable conflicts. 

Be independent from those we cover as much as possible in a school community.

 

WE MUST BE ACCOUNTABLE AND TRANSPARENT Ethical journalism means taking responsibility for one’s work and explaining one’s decisions to the public. We should: 

Explain journalistic practices, ethical choices, and processes to the community. 

Respond quickly to questions about accuracy, clarity, and fairness. 

Acknowledge mistakes and correct them promptly. 

Expose unethical conduct in journalism, including within our publication. 

Abide by the same high standards we expect of others.

 

*Adapted from the Society of Professional Journalists’ Code of Ethics

“SPJ Code of Ethics.” Society of Professional Journalists, www.spj.org/ethicscode.asp. Accessed 8 July 2020.

 

Horace Mann's Weekly Newspaper Since 1903
Code of Ethics