In a recent email interview, Tom Kent, the Deputy Managing Editor and Standards Editor of The Associated Press (AP), who is leading the ONA initiative, told us the project came about because “no one ethics code can satisfy every news organisation, startup, blogger and individual journalist.”
“At the same time,” Kent added, “we all agree on a few fundamental things. Our project is aimed at identifying these absolute fundamentals, and then listing other areas where honest journalists can disagree and presenting arguments on various sides of these questions. The goal is to help journalists and news orgs create broad, complete ethics codes that include fundamental values while still allowing a great degree of customisation to reflect their own views of journalism.”
Yesterday’s crowdsourcing announcement on the ONA website listed several suggestions for comment, such as: “Are we reflecting the latest thinking on each issue we cover?” and “Is our approach truly international?”
Crowdsourcing will run for several months, the announcement noted, adding that even after a final draft has been completed, it will be updated regularly as issues continue to evolve.
More than 40 issues are addressed in the first draft of the kit including:
● “Removal of items from online archives
● Anonymous sources
● Quoting, without permission, comments people make on social media
● Social media sources, verification and corrections”
Kent will be discussing the project during a session at the World Newspaper Congress and World Editors Forum on 10 June in Torino, Italy.
To access and comment on the ethics project, click here.