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October 12, 2005

Ethical Journalism

PRINCIPLES OF QUALITY JOURNALISM

A newspaper's most important asset is its integrity. Lose it, and the newspaper loses the very power that makes it a community force.

Because of this, every newspaper - and every newspaper person - must take certain safeguards to ensure the paper’s integrity. Because a newspaper and its staff are subject to severe public scrutiny, it becomes necessary for employees to avoid both the fact and appearance of partiality and dishonesty.

In developing these principles, the following is offered:

That an individual's own judgment and integrity are the keystones of this code, because it would be impossible to spell out every single question that might arise.

That our management and employees must remain free of obligation to any special interest. This means avoiding all possible conflicts of interest, or the appearance thereof.

That the public must be assured our writers, photographers and editors are beholden to no one.

That this code of ethics applies to all news and editorial department employees of The Pharos-Tribune.

A NEWSROOM’S GUIDING PRINCIPLES:

We will emphasize local coverage and bring relevancy to state, national and world news to the communities we serve. We will strive to be interesting and helpful in our everyday coverage, assisting people to cope.

We will be vigilant in serving everyone in our communities without bias, and courageously report the news our communities need. We will be compassionate in actions and words, respecting people's privacy except when those concerns are outweighed by the greater public good.

We will assume a leadership role as a force for positive change in our communities through coverage, editorials and civic involvement. We can do this by informing, educating, exploring solutions and giving readers information on how they can take action or get involved when appropriate.

We encourage and involve the community in our journalistic efforts, including promoting public contact with staff members, editors and the publisher.

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