Code of Ethics

SHS Multimedia Journalism
Code of Ethics

The Saratoga High School Multimedia Journalism Class believes in the importance of a free news media in a democratic society, including the academic/school setting. We believe the duty of student journalists is to seek truth and report it fairly and thoroughly to their audience, both in school and in the community. We understand that journalistic integrity is the basis of public trust and is developed and maintained by adherence to ethical principles. We adopt this code as the statement and evidence of our principles and our commitment to them.


Seek Truth and Report It: 

SHS Multimedia Journalists should:
o Be accurate in reporting information.
o Search for the truth.
o Make every effort to avoid distortion of information. 
o Identify sources of information as accurately as possible. 
o Be objective in reporting both sides of a story. 
o Avoid stereotyping. 
o Never plagiarize. 


Minimize Harm
SHS Multimedia Journalists should:
o Value news subjects and news as topics and people who deserve respect. 
o Be compassionate when covering stories that may be painful to subjects. 
o Be sensitive to those in grief or affected with tragedy. 
o Be cautious and aware of the law in identifying minors involved in crime or
victims of crime. 
o Recognize the privacy of individuals. 
o Avoid reporting that is libelous or slanderous. 
o Avoid reporting that may endanger students or school personnel. 
o Show good taste in reporting, avoiding vulgarity or obscenity. 


Act Independently 
SHS Multimedia Journalists should:
o Aspire at all times to fulfill their obligation to their audience and the public, and 
maintain their independence of any attempts to obstruct or hinder these efforts. 
o Avoid conflicts of interest, and disclose any unavoidable conflicts. 
o Hold those in power accountable. 
o Resist pressure from individuals or groups to influence coverage. 
o Seek to maintain the integrity and credibility of themselves and the organizations 
they represent. 


Be Accountable 
SHS Multimedia Journalists should:
o Be accountable to their audience and to their peers.
o Understand they are a supervised group, just as their counterparts in the 
business world are.
o Seek and encourage open dialogue with the public about their coverage and 
conduct. 
o Admit and correct any mistakes, promptly and publicly. 
o Follow the highest standards of integrity and ethical behavior.


Adapted from Student Television Network codes of ethics. 
Adopted August 2009