Society of Professional Journalists has long been in
the business of
promoting high ethical standards! In fact, in January
2001, SPJ's Chicago
Headline Club chapter and Loyola University Chicago
started it's Ethics
AdviceLine for Journalists!
Provided as a public service
at nocharge, it's a great resource for any of us in
the news business. It's really very simple. You just
-- identify yourself -- state your question -- leave
a call back number and wait for your answer. Most questions
will be answered within 24 hours by a person trained
in journalism ethics at Loyola University Chicago.
For more information you can
but it isn't the organization's only ethics program.
This week, SPJ Ethics
Committee Chairman Gary Hill tells us about the Society's
TO DO WHEN YOURE NOT SURE WHAT TO DO
By Gary Hill
SPJ Ethics Committee Chairman
Struggling with a dilemma on deadline, or just want to discuss
a tough call you've had to make?
The Society of Professional Journalists sponsors an Ethics
Hotline where you can call with your questions or concerns.
Simply make the call, leave a message, and a member of SPJs
Ethics Committee will soon be in touch. The group doesnít
promise a quick fix to any problem, but committee members
will listen carefully and coach Hotline callers using principles
outlined in SPJ s
Code of Ethics (available online at http://www.spj.org/ethics_code.asp).
To reach the Hotline, dial 317/927-8000 ext. 208, or simply
ask the receptionist for the Ethics Hotline. You can also
send e-mail messages to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Hotline and the e-mail are monitored by SPJ staff members,
and requests are directed to appropriate committee members.
Requests for confidentiality will be honored.
The Society of Professional Journalists works to ensure that
journalists perform their work while adhering to the highest
standards of behavior and decision-making. SPJs first
Code of Ethics was adopted in 1926. Over the years, that code
has been revised and reworked. Todays code instructs
journalists to seek truth and report it, minimize harm, act
independently and be accountable. SPJs goal is not to
provide all of the answers or settle all of the disputes but
to help equip journalists to make clear defensibledecisions.
addition to the peer hotline, SPJ plans national and local
ethics discussions, sponsors an awards program, and dedicates
an issue of Quill magazine to a discussion of ethical issues
For more information about SPJ or its Code of Ethics, log
on to www.spj.org,
e-mail email@example.com or call
About the Author
Gary Hill is chairman of the Society of Professional Journalists
Committee and is director of investigations for KSTP-TV in
Minn. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org