Build Your Own Ethics Code

The Build Your Own Ethics Code platform, supported by a $40K grant from the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation, addresses the intense interest and concern in the digital journalism community around the growing ethical issues unique to social media, technology and the viral nature and speed of breaking news.

The project is designed to provide news organizations, startups, individual journalists and bloggers with ownership and flexibility in creating an ethics code that meets needs in our widely varied profession. Educators may also find the project valuable in helping students learn about the various ethical choices journalists face in their reporting.

Our digital platform, launched in September 2015, was fully crowdsourced, with dedicated input from about 20 volunteer writers and editors.

We consider the tool a perpetual work-in-progress, and hope to see it expand and adapt over time to continue to meet the needs of digital journalists around the world.

If there are issues that you feel should be added, or wish to suggest edits to current topics, please contact us via the form on our ethics code website, and we’d be happy to consider your suggestion.

You will need to create an account to access the project, which will allow you to save your progress and return at any time.

Latest DIY Ethics Code posts

Online News Association launches free Build Your Own Ethics Code at 2015 conference

LOS ANGELESThe Online News Association today launched a fully crowd-sourced tool that allows journalists to easily customize and publish a digital ethics code.

The Build Your Own Ethics Code platform, supported by a $40K grant from the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation, addresses the intense interest and concern in the digital journalism community around the growing ethical issues unique to social media, technology and the viral nature and speed of breaking news.

Using the tool, journalists can review and easily select statements from a menu addressing more than 40 ethical issues, including user-generated content, verification, data journalism, social networks, suicide, graphic visuals, hostage situations, privacy, gender and ethnicity and hate speech. They then can tailor a code and export it for publication and internal use.

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First round of crowdsourcing adds depth to DIY ethics code project

Crowdsourcing for the ONA Build Your Own Ethics Code project has been underway since May. Our thanks to the dozens of journalists and educators who’ve offered us really thoughtful comments. (A few people, by the way, thought that by “crowdsourcing” we were asking for money! No, we’re just looking for your equally valuable comments and critiques at http://bit.ly/onacrowdsourcing.)

To recap briefly, the project is designed to help individual journalists, news startups and even larger organizations create ethics codes that reflect their view of journalism. Think of it as an ethics code construction kit, highly flexible except for some very fundamental principles that we believe all journalists need to accept.

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