Ethics Week Programs to Focus on Responsible Journalistic Practices

Article excerpt

This month, SPJ celebrates the third annual Ethics in Journalism Week. Local chapters around the country will be having discussions about responsible reporting during the week, scheduled for April 25-30.

As part of the celebration, the ethics committee of SPJ has awarded 14 grants for local programming. The grants were funded by the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation.

Upcoming Ethics Week events:

* The Atlanta Pro Chapter plans "Ethics and Cyberspace," a hands-on demonstration of good and bad uses of Internet-based resources and database reporting.

* The Colorado Pro Chapter will host a luncheon and discussion with Daniel Okrent, the first public editor of The New York Times. The topic will be openly addressing the media's actions and mistakes with readers and viewers.

* The Emerson College Chapter will host "Revealing Sources: Contempt of Court or Contempt of Confidentiality?" The chapter also plans an essay contest for students focusing on whether journalists should ever reveal their sources.

* At the Indiana Pro Chapter, the group will attempt to answer some tricky questions. Should a journalist accept awards from non-journalism organizations? Should journalists who serve on boards in journalistic organizations such as SPJ sign their names to letters advocating first amendment issues? Can a publisher serve in a governor's administration and still preside over a balanced news operation?

* The Minnesota Pro Chapter will join the Silha Center for the Study of Media Ethics and Law at the University of Minnesota for a program with David Kidwell, The Miami Herald, and Gerald Boyd, former managing editor of The New York Times. The two will discuss the use and protection of anonymous sources. Kidwell spent time in jail when he refused to testify about a jailhouse interview.

* The Montana Pro Chapter and the University of Montana will prepare a day of ethics programming at the university, in local print and broadcast newsrooms, and a public presentation on objectivity in the media.

* The Quinnipiac University Chapter will host a program on how television news management teams decide what makes the news at their stations. …