Principles for Ethical Journalism

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Principles for Ethical Journalism

Journalists have the duty and privilege to seek and report the truth, encourage civic debate to build our communities, and serve the public interest. We vigorously defend freedom of expression and freedom of the press as guaranteed under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. We return society’s trust by practising our craft responsibly and respecting our fellow-citizens’ rights.

WE STRIVE FOR ACCURACY AND FAIRNESS

  • We avoid allowing our biases to influence our reporting.
  • We disclose conflicts of interest.
  • We give people, companies or organizations that are criticized in our reporting the opportunity to present their points of view prior to publication.
  • We respect people’s civil rights, including the rights to privacy and a fair trial.
  • We don’t alter photos, videos or sound in ways that mislead the public.

WE ARE INDEPENDENT AND TRANSPARENT

  • We don’t give favoured treatment to advertisers and special interests.
  • We don’t accept or solicit gifts or favours from those we might cover.
  • We don’t report about subjects in which we have a financial interest.
  • We don’t participate in movements and activities that we cover.
  • Editorial boards and columnists or commentators endorse political candidates or causes. Reporters do not.
  • We generally don’t conceal our identities. When, on rare occasions, a reporter needs to go “undercover” in the public interest, we will clearly explain why.

WE KEEP OUR PROMISES

  • We identify sources of information, except when there is a clear and pressing reason to protect anonymity.
  • We explain the need for anonymity when we decide to grant it.
  • We independently corroborate facts given by unnamed sources.
  • If we promise to protect a source’s identity, we do so.

WE RESPECT DIVERSITY

  • We seek to capture in our stories the diverse values, viewpoints and lives of the people in our communities.
  • We avoid stereotypes of race, gender, age, religion, ethnicity, geography, sexual orientation, gender identification, disability, physical appearance and social status.
  • We will not refer to a person’s race, colour or religion unless it is pertinent.

WE ARE ACCOUNTABLE

  • We will answer to the public for our reporting and conduct.
  • When we make a mistake, we correct it promptly and ungrudgingly, and in a manner that matches the seriousness of the error.

For an expanded look at our ideals and values, see our Ethics Guidelines.
To download this as a one-page PDF to post in your newsroom, click here.