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Fake News vs. Real News: Mainstream Media

How to determine actual and reliable information on the internet and in social media feeds

Ethics Codes

"Journalism’s obligation is to the public. Journalism places the public’s interests ahead of commercial, political and personal interests. Journalism empowers viewers, listeners and readers to make more informed decisions for themselves; it does not tell people what to believe or how to feel." (RTDNA)


All credible, mainstream news outlets subscribe to a code of ethics or statement of principles or statement of values. These ethics or values are core to their mission.

Print news: The American Society of News Editors - provides the ethics codes for several major newspapers

Radio Television Digital News Association Code of Ethics

SPJ Code of Ethics

Professional journalists adhere to a code of ethics

"Members of the Society of Professional Journalists believe that public enlightenment is the forerunner of justice and the foundation of democracy. Ethical journalism strives to ensure the free exchange of information that is accurate, fair and thorough. An ethical journalist acts with integrity.

The Society declares these four principles as the foundation of ethical journalism and encourages their use in its practice by all people in all media."

  1. Seek Truth and Report It
  2. Minimize Harm
  3. Act Independently
  4. Be Accountable and Transparent

Ethical Journalism Network

The Ethical Journalism Network (EJN) is a non-profit, international network of media professional based in Europe.
Their mission is "to promote for the public benefit high ethical standards in journalism, based on principles of truth and accuracy, independence, fairness and impartiality, humanity and accountability by the provision of education and training of journalists and the publication of useful research."

The offer several helpful resources on fake news and other topics.

Ethics in Action

infographic with hate speech guidelines for journalists


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