Journalism Ethics and Standards
Ethical journalism should be accurate and fair. Journalists should be honest and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting information.
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.
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.
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. Journalism Ethics & Standards
- Journalism ethics and standards are principles of good practice.
- Professional journalism associations, individual news organizations, and journalists themselves often have their own “code of ethics;” however, most share these basic principles: truthfulness, accuracy, objectivity, impartiality, fairness, and public accountability.
- Many journalists also abide by the principle of “limitation of harm” which means that they have a responsibility to not harm others while reporting a story. This is one major difference between professional journalists reporting for “reputable” news organizations as opposed to fringe news sources and fake news creators.
- CWEB abides by high strict publishing standards. We are committed to achieving accuracy on all published articles. We believe this is a fundamental necessity for the reputation of our published news articles and to gain trust for our audiences.
- We provide impartial news and information to help people understand and engage with the world around them. We perform the avoidance of the risk of plagiarism and abide by the respect for intellectual property. All articles are reviewed by editorial managers and we knowingly and materially do not publish anything to mislead our audiences. We do not distort known facts, present invented material as fact or otherwise undermine our audiences’ trust in our content.
- We do not publish anything that has unfounded speculation and list all sources with citations. If any material facts and other content cannot be corroborated then we make an attribution to the fact, or do not publish it. We maintain strict standards on plagiarism and copyright infringement. While we never published this type of information, CWEB is always compliant to remove any defamatory statements or legal copyrights at the request of any author and copyright owner. When other news organizations break news and we follow, we give credit to the originating source.
- We may on occasion post unaltered screenshots of software, websites, computer/video games, etc., and this is generally considered fair use (with proper attribution), as long as it does not damage the commercial value of the product. Screenshots for such purposes are widely regarded as fair use. We do not alter any photographs and proper attribution is always required.
- Stories involving products and quotes from experts who is also a paid spokesperson/influencer for the brand, the reader will be informed of a paid sponsorship. If a researcher is receiving money from an interested party for research, the connection should be disclosed.
- All staff and contributing writers are given writing guidelines and are required to adhere to a non-biased voice and tone for news articles writing, guidelines including grammar and style guides, sourcing and factchecking.