Transparency is as good for journalism as it is for government, so the international wire service Reuters deserves kudos for making its “Handbook Of Journalism” available online. Now the public can decide whether Reuters is adhering to its own standards and values.
Here are “The 10 Absolutes Of Reuters Journalism,” as noted in the handbook:
- Always hold accuracy sacrosanct
- Always correct an error openly
- Always strive for balance and freedom from bias
- Always reveal a conflict of interest to a manager
- Always respect privileged information
- Always protect their sources from the authorities
- Always guard against putting their opinion in a news story
- Never fabricate or plagiarize
- Never alter a still or moving image beyond the requirements of normal image enhancement
- Never pay for a story and never accept a bribe
Conservatives, who exposed a doctored war photo by Reuters in 2006, have lodged many valid gripes against the company over the years and should be even more diligent about calling the wire service out when it forsakes its own admirable journalistic values.