The ethics of online writing/journalism

Have you been looking for resources that would ensure you write ethical and effective online content? This list contains a combination of reading and video materials that support activists and journalists particularly those who use media technology to tell their stories online. The primary purpose of this resource is to guide online journalists and activists on issues of ethics in online writing.

The ethics of online writing

Eyewitness Media Hub launch Guiding Principles for Journalists

The Eyewitness Media Hub developed six principles for journalists to promote the ethical and responsible use of the media. These guidelines were developed after careful consideration of the pressures journalists face in the newsroom when a story breaks. The Eyewitness Media Hub hopes that these ethical principles would initiate further discussions and impact on internal policies and journalistic practices.

Eyewitness media: Advice on ethics and etiquette

Have you captured one of the most provocative or topical images but you are not quite sure about your next steps when including these images in your online story? Alternatively, Have you ever taken a photo without someone’s permission but you intend on using this picture? In this article Eyewitness expert, Alistair Reid, provides top tips on the ethics and etiquette on publishing images online.

Five online standards and ethics pointers for journalists

This comprehensive article outlines some of the best practices for web publishers. These five points address many of the biggest problems encountered by journalists. The article emerged out of a panel discussion by some of the top media practitioners in the industry. The panel featured Jenny Rigby, social media, and special projects producer at Channel 4 News; Sean Ingle, sports editor at; Martin Bryant, managing editor at The Next Web; and Tom Standage, digital editor at the Economist.

Online Journalism Ethics: Guidelines from the Conference

Are you looking for an article that focuses primarily on the fundamentals of doing ethical journalism on the web? Then this reading will be useful. This guideline was developed following a discussion on the issues surrounding a large number of journalists.

Digital Media Ethics

“To what extent existing media ethics is suitable for today’s and tomorrow’s news media that is immediate, interactive and “always on” – a journalism of amateurs and professionals.” Author Stephen Ward provides a theoretical and practical discussion on digital media ethics. In this reading, the writer provides a historical context for the concept of ethics. He also poses thought-provoking questions on the subject matter.

Ethics of Online Journalists

Think you have all the information needed to write online content? Alternatively, Are you trying to decipher a good source from a poor source? This concise checklist provides some of the ethical considerations required for persons getting into online journalism.

Intro to Filming Safely and Securely and Using Informed Consent

This reading delves into the core principles of ethical video making. These fundamentals are critical in ensuring activists and/or journalists are safely creating and sharing advocacy videos. This article also covers many other areas such “how to obtain informed consent; how to develop a detailed safety and security plan; and how to conceal identities during the different stages of filming.” At the end, online writers should feel comfortable when dealing with a range of risky situations.

Key Challenge: Ethics p. 23

The issue of re-using content online is an ongoing matter for online content producers. As such this reading focuses on the way online content, particularly images and videos, are produced, stored, consumed and shared. In this resource, a case is presented to highlight the dilemmas among online activism and human rights regulations.

Is it time to update journalism ethics for the 21st century?

There are several ethical challenges in journalism today. How should journalists behave on social media platforms within this media climate? In this interview onMedia questions Steve Buttry, an American journalist, editor and educator who writes and frequently speaks on the topic.

FAQ: Online journalism ethics, accuracy, transparency and objectivity

Popular blogger Bradshaw addresses ten important questions around the issue of online journalism ethics, accuracy, and transparency. Some of the main issues discussed include: “How is online news affecting traditional values of objectivity? How would you define a professional journalist in an age where anyone can publish online? Moreover, Would you class a blogger as an online journalist?

The 5 W’s (and How) of writing for the Web

The “5 W’s” are the building blocks for web writing. These pertinent questions can guide not only the writing process but also the planning and distribution tasks. The most important takeaway from this article is how to integrate ethical considerations into these fundamental stages when writing online content.

Does This Picture Make You Feel Sad? Practical Questions for Ethical Photography

Reboot is a social impact firm dedicated to inclusive development and accountable governance. They aim to assist governments, foundations, and international organizations achieve their missions. In this article Laura Gardner, from Reboot, explores the challenges of following their photo policy.

Code of Ethics for Bloggers, Social Media and Content Creators

Are you uncertain about some of the ethical guidelines you can use when blogging? This resource provides Bloggers and Content Creators with a Code of Ethics. This article outlines the ethical guidelines content creators should adhere to when publishing material for public consumption.

Ethical Questions Arise When Quoting Sources From Social Media

What do you think about the use of social media posts as quotes in newspaper or broadcast stories? Is the use of social media for quotes, when not explicitly asked for by a news organization, ethically correct? In this article Jake Lasofsky addresses this issue.

How Tragedy Strikes When Journalism and Social Media Lack Ethics and Humanity

We have seen many stories that misrepresent Muslims around the world. Most of the media portrayal of Muslims have been conflated to those gruesome terrorist acts performed by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.  However, this resource examines one of the historical media blunders – the case of “the life and tragic death of student Sunil Tripathi.”

ONA introduces 5 ethical challenges of social news gathering at SXSW

The Online News Association, a digital media organisation, known for inspiring innovation and excellence among digital journalists to better serve the public, explores the following five ethical dilemmas facing social media news gatherers: Verification and Accuracy, Contributor’s Safety, Rights and Legal Issues, Social Journalists’ Wellbeing, and Workflow and Resources.

The Ethical Engagements of Human Rights Social Media: Spreadable, Contagious, Viral, Malleable, Fluid, Ubiquitous, Dangerous?

In light of the stories such as 3-year-old Aylan Kurdi, a drowned Syrian child found on a Turkish beach, went viral in September last year. Author Sam Gregory shares an excerpt from one of his co-authored articles that talk about some of the key principles underlying changing ethical norms in human rights social media. He concludes this blog entry by advising journalists to move beyond machines and images and into a collaborative, on-going discussion about ethics.

Images of Horror: Whose Roles and What Responsibilities?

Do you have any concerns about videos and ethics? Sam Gregory, who produces a range of resources on media ethics, broaches this subject. In this blog, he talks about recent examples of graphic images circulating online point to critical questions for commercial social media platforms, news outlets, and citizens.

Ethics and the Media: An Introduction, by Stephen J. A. Ward

A comprehensive introduction to media ethics and an exploration of how it must change to adapt to today’s media revolution. The writer discusses the ethical issues which occur in both mainstream and non-mainstream media, from newspapers and broadcast to social media users and bloggers.

Doing Ethics in Media: Theories and Practical Applications By Jay Black, Chris Roberts

An accessible, comprehensive introduction to media ethics. Its theoretical framework and grounded discussions engage students to think clearly and systematically about dilemmas in the rapidly changing media environment.

Arabic Reading List

Ethics in Journalism: Principles and Reality

A study by George Sadaqa the dean of information and documentation faculty in the Lebanese University, discussing media ethics in general and how they are applied in the Arab world and where they are not. The study suggests solutions to the problems facing the Arab media in order to maintain its role as a public service and to remain free and not influenced.

Ethics in the media society

A study by Al Jazeera Foundation discussing the ways and possibilities of holding to the ethical standards in the Arab media and by the journalists through looking at the three concepts “Globalization, Media and Ethics”

A report on the results of a survey on the access to information in Lebanon

A survey by the Lebanese Transparency Association asking journalists if they have access to information and if not do they resort to “unethical” ways to do so?
The journalists are asked if they are ready to push for a law on Right to Information.

The Arab spring and media impartiality illusion

An article on BBC about how the so called Arab Spring played a role in the ethical crisis in the Arab media.

Media ethics in the new media

A study on the ethical issues in online journalism especially in the Arab World and how to solve them.