Codes of Practice

‘Something that is very important in journalism is honour and trust..because our whole business is based on what people believe.’ –  Geoffrey Black quoted in Photojournalism and Today’s News by Loup Langton p.139

‘The first duty of the press is to obtain the earliest and most correct intelligence of the events of the time, and instantly, by disclosing them, make them the common property of the nation … for us, with whom publicity and truth are the air and light of existence, there can be no greater disgrace than to recoil from the frank and accurate disclosure of facts as they are. We are bound to tell the truth as we find it, without fear of consequences’ – The Times, 1852, quoted in The Ethical Journalist by Tony Harcup, p.28

Ethical Codes 

‘Some regard them as a vehicle of professionalisation, as a means of professional education, as instruments of consciousness raising and as a deliberate attempt by journalists to regulate the media and ward off legislation regarding their activities.’ – Richard Keeble Ethics for Journalists 2001

‘Some argue that codes inherently restrict press freedom by encouraging certain patterns of behaviour and condemning others, while some suggest the media are more effectively regulated by the market.’

 ‘Some journalists claim codes are there simply to be broken.’ – Richard Keeble Ethics for Journalists 2001


‘One of the consequences of bringing out detailed sets of regulations is that it fosters a loophole seeking attitude of mind.  The result could be that journalists will come to treat as permissable anything that does not fit the precise specifications of unethical behaviour.’ –  1992 Nigel Harris quoted in Richard Keeble Ethics for Journalists 2001



‘According to theory, the free press, independent of the state and free from any direct funding by political parties, mediates between the rulers and the ruled, providing the necessary political, financial and social information to the electorate.’

‘The notion of the press/media as the Fourth Estate is closely linked to the free press concept….it stresses the watchdog role of the media in providing checks on the abuses of power by both governments and professionals.’

‘Journalists assume the role of the ‘public’s guardians’ protecting them against the moral failures of the authorities.’



Quoted from: Richard Keeble Ethics for Journalists


Further Reading:

Chapter 6 Ethics

Photojournalism and Todays News Loup Langton 2009

Ethics for Journalists Richard Keeble 2001/2004

Julianne H Newton The Burden of Visual Truth 2005


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