National Press Club

SPJ's Code of Ethics Adapts to the Digital Age

July 7, 2014

SPJ's Code of Ethics Adapts to the Digital Age

The Society of Professional Journalists, the nation’s most broad-based journalism organization, is dedicated to stimulating high standards of ethical behavior by journalists. Its Code of Ethics has stood for years as a benchmark for newsrooms. Now, that Code is under revision to recognize the changes in news gathering brought on by the digital age. The revision process is under the leadership of Kevin Smith, chairman of the SPJ Ethics Committee. In this edition of Update-1 Smith is interviewed by Broadcast Committee member Bill McCloskey, who is also on the national board of SPJ.

In the podcast they discuss the relevance of journalism ethics to the public at large, as demonstrated by the fact that the SPJ Ethics Code ( is one of the SPJ Web pages most frequently visited by non-SPJ members. Smith reports that members of the public often call the SPJ Ethics Hotline to get advice on how the public should approach their complaints of potential journalism ethics missteps.

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