Ethical and Legal Concerns in a Digital World

Associated Press–New Ethics Guidelines

Posted in ethical issues,legal issues by digitalprof on December 27, 2005

AP Addresses Digital Issues

The Associated Press has recently released a statement of News Values and Principles.

While the new guidelines are sweeping for any major news organization it still seems to me that they have no “bite.”

So, what are ethical guidelines about? Is there ever any punishment for violating the codes?

From personal experience, I worked for a major newspaper as a freelancer for eleven years and never received a single written guideline concerning what I could/should do concerning ethics, or for that matter, the law. Of course I was just a photojournalist!

The reporters got an inch-thick set of written guidelines, but not the people that give you the images that are trusted so much.

What do you think? Are ethical guidelines worth anything?

There are some organizations that lead the way in discussions involving ethics and the media. The Poynter Institute is a leader in the field. And, in the field of academic journals, the Journal of Mass Media Ethics has published for over twenty years on the subject.


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