Ethics

The CAJ’s ethics advisory committee considers and provides advice on ethical issues faced by journalists through the course of their regular work. Members are appointed by the CAJ’s national board of directors, and the chair or co-chairs are appointed by the board from among the committee’s members.

The ethics advisory committee is currently chaired by Western University’s Meredith Levine.

The rest of the committee’s current members are:

Dale Bass
Kamloops This Week
Marc-François Bernier
University of Ottawa
Patrick Brethour
Brunswick News
Bert Bruser
Toronto Star
Jeffrey Dvorkin
University of Toronto
Patricia Graham
Brunswick News
Deborah Jones
Independent writer
Kirk LaPointe
Self-Counsel Press
Matt Lundy
The Globe and Mail
Jack Nagler
CBC
Ken Partridge
Advocate Media
Karyn Pugliese
APTN
Shauna Snow-Capparelli
Mount Royal University
Lisa Taylor
Ryerson University

 

Learn more about the committee’s work by browsing its catalogue of policies, discussion papers and reports on key journalism issues.

CAJ ETHICS GUIDELINES

The CAJ's widely cited Ethics Guidelines are intended to help both seasoned professionals and new journalists to hold themselves accountable for professional work. While many specific questions are considered here, it is impossible to capture all potential scenarios in a document such as this. Instead, it seeks to provide examples of the application of our general ethical principles, and to help journalists apply those principles and their best judgment when faced with scenarios not covered here.

See also: Principles for Ethical Journalism

DISCUSSION PAPERS

Best Practices in digital accuracy and corrections

How close is too close? Conflict of interest in journalists' relationships with sources

Paying for information

Naming sexual assault complainants in the media: Ethical considerations for journalists

Sponsored content: How should journalism ethics respond to advertising dressed up as journalism?

Online comment moderation

On the record: Is it really informed consent without discussion of consequences?

What is journalism?

Guidelines for personal activity online

Journalists seeking public office: What are the ethical issues?

The ethics of unpublishing

Guidelines for re-tweeting and re-posting on social media

Final briefing on news blackouts

Protection of sources

Policy paper on editorial independence

Scroll down for the latest announcements from the committee.

Newsrooms must confront sponsored content ethical dilemmas

OCT. 6, 2015 — Newsrooms must establish guidelines that clearly distinguish between what is journalism and what is advertising, says a new discussion paper from the Canadian Association of Journalists’ ethics advisory committee. Content created to serve private interests is inherently d...

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On the record: Is it really informed consent without discussion of consequences?

Panel members: Meredith Levine (CHAIR), Kathy English, Esther Enkin and Julian Sher A release goes out about a major new study linking increased reported cases of depression in young men to online gaming. A newsroom editor assigns a reporter with the command: “Get me a depressed gamer.”...

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Guidelines for personal activity online

Report of the Ethics Advisory Committee of The Canadian Association of Journalists February 4, 2011 PANEL MEMBERS | TIM CURRIE, CHAIR; BERT BRUSER, ELLEN VAN WAGENINGEN The Ethics Committee of the CAJ asked its Social Media Panel to propose guidelines for personal activity online. To study this i...

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Journalists seeking public office: What are the ethical issues?

Panel report by Ken Regan (chair), Scott White, and Ivor ShapiroWith research provided by Christine Dobby Approved by the Full Committee on October 27, 2010 If a practising journalist seeks public office, what effect does, can or should that choice have on his or her ability to continue or return ...

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The ethics of unpublishing

Panel report by Kathy English (Chair), Tim Currie, Rod LinkApproved by the Full Committee on October 27, 2010 The Ethics Committee of the CAJ asked the unpublishing panel to propose guidelines for correcting online content and handling public requests to “unpublish” -- a word media orga...

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Guidelines for re-tweeting or re-posting information found in social media

June 7, 2010 Social Media Panel Members: Bert Bruser, Tim Currie (Chair), Kirk LaPointe and Ellen Van Wageningen The Ethics Committee of the CAJ asked the Social Media panel to propose guidelines for re-tweeting, or forwarding through social networks, information that originates from followers. Th...

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Final briefing on news blackouts

News Blackouts panel members:  Ethan Faber (Chair), Sadia Zamanm, Ivor Shapiro The Ethics Committee of the CAJ asked this panel to explore the following questions posed by the CAJ's Board: Under what circumstances should outlets agree to news blackouts like the one media agreed to on the Mell...

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Protection of sources

From: CAJ Ethics CommitteeRe:  Protection of Sources November 10, 2009 The Board’s referral:How far should reporters go to protect their sources and are there any cases in which it is acceptable or morally advisable to reveal a source? For example, thinking of the Maher Arar case an...

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Policy paper on editorial independence

"Problems arise when editors publish material that offends powerful individuals or groups, but that’s exactly why editorial independence is needed. Journals should be on the side of the powerless not the powerful, the governed not the governors. If readers once hear that important, relevant, a...

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