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October 12, 2005

Ethical Journalism


Professional Activities: Staffers are encouraged to participate in media industry groups and activities including panels and seminars, as long as that participation would not compromise the employee in his or her daily activity in the newspaper.

Reprints All reprint permission comes from the managing editor's office. Generally reprints must be in full, credited to the newspaper and not imply any endorsement by this paper.

Crime Victims, Arrests: Names of rape victims are withheld unless they ask to be identified. Crime victims may be protected by reporting general locations of homes such as blocks rather than specific house addresses. An arrested individual usually is not named until charges are filed, if there is an arraignment before a judge or if a public document, such as an arrest warrant or probable cause affidavit, is filed that names a suspect. Exceptions can include a very prominent person in a highly public offense or "smoking gun" incidents. Supervising editors must be consulted in these cases.

Misrepresentation/Deception: No staffer will represent himself or herself as anything other than a reporter, editor, photographer, artist or other occupation for the newspaper you serve. If for security or other reasons you must avoid identification, you must inform your editor as soon as possible. The managing editor also must be informed.

Finally, no guidelines or codes can or should anticipate every situation. Individual cases require individual discussion, so feel free to contact the appropriate editors any time, day or night, if problems arise. In summary, always be guided by fairness, accuracy and good common sense.

  (This draft is the product of various ASNE newspaper policies.)

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