The American National Press Union, a professional Union that promotes the highest standards in publication of record, filing of evidence, and performance of judicial investigations, acknowledges concern for every person’s need to be fully informed of the facts of any case.
Reporters operate as trustees of the Public. The primary objective is to conduct a thorough investigation to be published as a matter of Public Record.
This code is intended to promote the highest quality of reporting in all its forms and to strengthen public confidence in the profession. This code also serves as an educational tool for those who practice, and for those who appreciate, comprehensive reporting. To that end, The American National Press Union sets forth the following.
Code of Ethics
Reporters are accountable for upholding the following standards in their daily investigations:
- Be accurate and comprehensive in filing and reporting.
- Resist being manipulated by staged events, misrepresentations and false evidence.
- Be complete and provide context. Avoid stereotyping people. Maintain objectivity. Reporters communicate/present documented or verifiable facts and avoid presenting one’s own bias and opinions in the investigation.
- Treat all people with respect and dignity. Give special consideration to vulnerable victims and compassion to victims of crime or tragedy. Intrude when there is probable cause to believe that a crime is being committed or probable cause to believe that there is evidence of a crime to be filed and reported.
- Do not intentionally contribute to, alter, or seek to alter or influence evidence.
- Do not manipulate evidence (images, documents or audio) to enhance impact mislead the Public or misrepresent the facts.
- Do not pay or otherwise reward sources for evidence.
- Do not accept gifts, favors, or compensation from those that seek to influence the facts, alter evidence or conceal a crime.
- Do not intentionally sabotage the efforts of other reporters as they too, are trustees of the Public.
- As reports are the Public’s business and become part of the Public record, it is imperative that all evidence and claims are verified and all sources are cited accurately
Reporters are required to:
- Ensure that the Public’s business is conducted in an ethical manner and defend the rights of access for all reporters.
- Think proactively, as a student of psychology, sociology, politics and art to develop a unique vision and presentation. Work with a voracious appetite for justice.
- Strive for total and unrestricted access to people, recommend alternatives to shallow or rushed opportunities, seek a diversity of viewpoints, and work to show unpopular or unnoticed points of view.
- Avoid political, civic and business involvements or other employment that compromise or give the appearance of compromising one’s own investigative independence.
- Strive to be unobtrusive and humble in dealing with people.
- Respect the integrity of the evidence and strive to preserve its authenticity.
Require by example and influence to maintain the spirit and high standards expressed in this code. When confronted with situations in which the proper action is not clear, seek the counsel of those who exhibit the highest standards of the profession. Reporters should continuously study their craft, techniques and the ethics that guide it.