Ethical Toolbox

It's my first national trade article. This month's edition of Quill Magazine is the all-ethics edition. Quill, of course, is the trade mag for the Society of Professional Journalists. I was asked to write the Toolbox article, in which I distilled my one-hour lecture on developing a personal ethics code for journalists down to 600 words.

Here it is.

I was honored to be asked, considering my relative youth and slight credentials compared to the rest of the ethics commission. I was especially honored since I have publicly disagreed with some of the national organization's decisions this year, authoring two position papers on behalf of the St. Louis chapter, and still they let me hang around and talk. I am always proud to be part of this organization.

Oh, and speaking of which: I gave that same speech at the regional conference this past weekend in Kansas City, and got a better reception than I ever have. They listened, they took notes, they laughed at my lame jokes, and at the end they had intelligent questions and lively discussion. It was one of the better sessions I've had.

The last time I spoke was to a group of college students in which I challenged the public perception that newspapers were dying, and it was like speaking to a bunch of statues. Not a single question, and one young gentleman was sleeping. It was therefore quite refreshing to have such a lively group at the regional.

Next up: Mass Comm Week at the local university, in which I will speaking again about a personal code of ethics. And I will continue to say it over and over until they do as I say. In the meantime, a couple of professors asked if I would make my ethics speech available online, and as soon as I figure out the best way to do that, I will.

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