Sports Reporters (MSM) and the SPJ Code of Ethics

Hi all, as some of you are well aware, I am relatively new to MHR but I have been getting to know most all of you as a lurking reader for about 9 months. I have been reluctant (if not somewhat intimidated by all of the talented writers that share their insights and expertise) to pick one of the topics that I have been developing in my little brain and go ahead and share it with you.

The past few days (and months for that matter)have accelerated my initiative as there has been an increased level of discussion and emotion being shared among members regarding the the so called Main Stream Media (MSM), primarily as it relates to the competency of their reporting. These exchanges got me to thinking today and have caused me to consider, what are the MSM responsibilities when it comes to truth, fairness, and accurate journalistic reporting of the Sports "News" and more specifically, the NFL and our beloved Broncos.

So I decided to have some fun and do a little bit of research (pretty novel hey, not for most all of MHR I know!) to find out if, in fact, there were some rules, regulations, or industry guidelines, etc., that might be in place (for Dukes and the like) to use a guide for journalistic excellence.

I present the following excerps not as gospel or absolute compliance, but as fun-fodder to add to the discussions and sometimes intense emotions regarding the MSM in recent days. Anyway, sorry for all the preface, here we go...  


Chosen Excerps from:  Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) / Code of Ethics

SPJ was originally established in 1906 and is voluntarily embraced by more than 10,000 journalists, newsrooms, and classrooms as a guide for ethical behavior, a resource for ethical journalistic decision-making.

Members of the SPJ believe that the duty of the journalist is to seek the truth and provide a fair and comprehensive account of events and issues...Conscientious journalists from all media and specialties strive to serve the public with thoroughness and honesty...Professional integrity is the cornerstone of his/her credibility.  

Seek Truth and Report It: (just an applicable few)

Journalists should:

  • Test the accuracy of information from all sources and exercise care to avoid inadvertent error. Deliberate distortion is never permissable (Really?)
  • Make certain that headlines, news teases and promotional material, video, audio sound bites, and quotations do not misrepresent, oversimplify or highlight incidents out of context. (Florio-NOT!)
  • Never plagerize. (I don't know why they even have this one, it NEVER happens)
  • Distinguish between advocacy and news reporting...Analysis and commentary should be labeled and not misrepresented as fact or context. (Way too many of these guys to mention)
  • Be honest, fair and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting information. (OMG, just try it - you might like it!)

Minimize Harm: (Yeah right?)

Journalists should:

  • Treat sources, subjects, and colleagues as human beings deserving of respect. (comments posts?)
  • Be sensitive when seeking or using interviews of those affected by tragedy of grief. (Broncos '06-'08)
  • Recognize that gathering and reporting information may cause harm and/or discomfort....Pursuit of the news is NOT a license for arrogance. (This one's for you Dukes)
  • Show good taste...Avoid pandering to lurid curosity. (Uh...I think Kilsa failed this part of the test)

Be Accountable: (As in "everything" you or don't do)

Journalists should:

  • Clarify and explain news coverage and invite dialoque with the public over your conduct. (Woody would s**t his pants if he had to follow this one...LOL)
  • Encourage the public to voice grievances against the news media. (Like that does any good?)
  • Admit mistakes and correct them promptly. (LMFAO!!!)
  • Abide be the same high standards to which they hold others. (don't they all hang out together-I get it!)

Well that's it guys/gals...I tried to have some fun with it but these excerpts are for real...Not the law, just what the MSM is taught from the time they decide to go down that journalism path...Don't beat me up too bad.

Go Broncos...13-3 Baby (Until otherwise reported)

This is a Fan-Created Comment on The opinion here is not necessarily shared by the editorial staff of MHR

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