Like other national and international media organisations, GLCSMS trusts that community education is the sign of justice and propels true fairness. Principled journalism strives to ensure the free exchange of information that is accurate, fair and in-depth. GLCSMS further believes that an ethical journalist acts with integrity and believes in accuracy before speed.
At GLCSMS, we urge journalists and media houses to practice four key areas:
- Seek Truth and Report It. A professional journalist should be accurate and fair. Journalists should be honest and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting information.
A Journalist should endeavour to consider the followings:
- Take responsibility for the accuracy of their work. He or she should verify information before releasing it.
- Never plagiarize. Always attribute.
- He or she should provide perspective; take special care not to misrepresent or distort in promoting, previewing or summarizing a story.
- He or she should gather, update and correct data throughout the life of a news story.
- A journalist should be alert when making promises, but keep the promises they make.
- Remember inaccuracy before speed.
- He or she should be able to identify sources clearly. The public is entitled to as much information as possible to judge the consistency and motivations of sources.
- 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.
- Boldly tell the story of the mixture and magnitude of the human experience. Seek sources whose voices we occasionally hear.
- He or she should carefully seek subjects of news coverage to allow them to respond to criticism or allegations of wrongdoing.
- He or she should be vigilant and brave about holding those with power responsible.
- Give voice to the voiceless.
- A journalist should support the open and civil exchange of views, even views they find repugnant.
- Recognize a special obligation to serve as watchdogs over public affairs and government.
- He or she should seek to ensure that the public’s business is conducted in the open, and that public records are open to all.
- Transparent and Accountability
GLCSMS further believes that taking responsibility for one’s work and explaining one’s decisions to the public is paramount, and it’s a practice which should be upheld.
A professional journalist should:
- He or she responds quickly to questions about accuracy, transparency and fairness.
- Acknowledge mistakes and correct them promptly and prominently. Explain corrections and clarifications carefully and clearly.
- Explain moral choices and processes to audiences. Encourage a civil dialogue with the public about journalistic practices, coverage and news content.
- Expose unethical conduct in journalism, including within their organizations.
- Curtail Harm: Professional journalism treats sources, subjects, colleagues and members of the public as human beings deserving of respect.
In achieving this, a Journalists should:
- Recognize that legal access to information differs from an ethical defence to publish or broadcast.
- He or she should realize that private people have a greater right to control information about themselves than public figures and others who seek power, influence or attention.
- He or she should weigh the values of publishing or broadcasting personal information.
- Balance the public’s need for information against potential harm or discomfort. Pursuit of the news is not a license for arrogance or unwarranted pushiness.
- A journalist should show kind-heartedness for those who may be affected by news coverage.
- He or she should use sensitivity when dealing with teenagers, victims of sex crimes, and sources who are inexperienced or unable to give consent.
- Balance a suspect’s right to a fair trial with the public’s right to know. Consider the implications of identifying criminal suspects before they face legal charges.
- A journalist should avoid being expurgated by any source, a government agent who would compromise his or her works. For this to be achieved, he or she should, at all times should:
- Reject favoured treatment to promoters, donors or any other special interests, and resist internal and external pressure to influence coverage.
- Avoid conflicts of interest, real or professed. Disclose unavoidable conflicts.
- He or she should refuse gifts, favours, free travel and special treatment and dodge political and other outside activities that may compromise integrity or fairness.
- A journalist should be wary of sources offering information for favours or money. Identify content provided by outside sources, whether paid or not.