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Media Literacy in Today's World: Real News


"Real news" is written by professional journalists who adhere to ethical guidelines for gathering and writing the news.  Here are examples of journalistic codes of ethics:

Society of Professional Journalists

"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."

SPJ Code of Ethics

1. Seek Truth and Report it

2. Minimize Harm

3. Act Independently

4. Be Accountable and Transparent

New York Times

"The core purpose of The New York Times is to enhance society by creating, collecting and distributing high-quality news and information. Producing content of the highest quality and integrity is the basis for our reputation and the means by which we fulfill the public trust and our customers’ expectations."

NYT Standards and Ethics

1. Fairness

2. Integrity

3. Truth

National Public Radio

"The mission of NPR, in partnership with its member stations, is to create a more informed public, one challenged and invigorated by a deeper understanding and appreciation of events, ideas, and culture within the United States and across the globe. To this end, NPR reports, produces, acquires and distributes news, information and other content that meet the highest standards of public service in journalism and cultural expression."

NPR Ethics Handbook

1. Accuracy

2. Fairness

3. Completeness

4. Honesty

5. Independence

6. Impartiality

7. Transparency

8. Accountability

9. Respect

Poynter Institute

The Poynter Institute's goal is to elevate journalism.

"Each year, Poynter reaches thousands of journalists around the world through a combination of seminars in St. Petersburg and around the globe, e-learning courses through News University, our news and information site on, and much much more. Last year alone, we trained journalists from 126 countries and have forged training partnerships with more than 20 major media organizations, including Gannett, Google, National Geographic and Univision."

Whether you’re a beat reporter or a new manager, a producer breaking ground online or on the air, a photojournalist or a designer, a future journalist or a journalism teacher, a publisher or station owner, Poynter can help you get better at what you do by equipping you with new tools and ideas to handle the challenges of producing quality news reports, programs, and publications, and with new ways of thinking about the work that you do.

Here’s what we hope you will gain:

  • The courage to take risks and to do your best
  • A higher sense of self-esteem and the power to shape your own career
  • New confidence in your craft
  • A recognition of the value of diversity in the newsroom and in life
  • The vocabulary to describe what you do and why, and what you stand for
  • A desire to continue your growth as a journalist and to share what you’ve learned
  • A new network of people who support you in your work, so your learning continues
  • A clear picture of the special role of journalism in a democracy
  • An understanding that your life’s work is valuable and that you can make a difference