The Spokesman-Review : interns

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Shadra Beesley: Ethics

Most newspapers have a code of ethics. Many journalism students are aware of the Society of Professional Journalists' (SPJ) code of ethics, which is a set of standard guidelines for journalists. Individual newspapers also have ethics codes. The Spokesman-Review's ethics code is one of the simplest, and one of the best, I have ever seen.
I knew I wanted to be a journalist the first day I worked in a newsroom. I knew I was on my way to being an ethical journalist the day I first heard of the Spokesman's values. Steve Smith came to the University of Oregon and gave a class on leadership. He outlined the goals the Spokesman strives for every day. I was truly inspired and overjoyed that I was going to work for a paper that had standards I could really be on board with. I knew that at the Spokesman I would not only learn about copy editing, I'd learn about adhering to high ethical standards.
My advice to aspiring interns is: Before (or after) you accept an internship, read that newspaper's code of ethics. Study it. Think about it. Make sure you are signing up for an organization that has principles you agree with. Think about what matters to you. Make sure the same things matter to the paper you're going to work for.


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