In today’s ever-changing news media climate, ethical journalism is a necessity. Journalists operate as public servants, sharing stories that would otherwise go untold and give a voice to the voiceless. Journalists use multiple platforms to share stories, which, in turn, creates the necessity for a complex and layered ethics code.
In his work as a journalist and public servant, Josh Lamberty embraces the four pillars of the Society of Professional Journalists Code of Ethics— to seek truth and report it, minimize harm, act independently and be accountable and transparent. His personal code expands upon those tenets, in which he pledges to:
Be courageous. Journalism, when pursued diligently, makes those in power feel uncomfortable. Josh will not shy away from asking difficult questions that provide his readers and viewers with the information they need to remain informed. He will uphold and defend the public’s right to public information through any legal means.
Seek truth. In a digital age with constant flow of information, Josh will question the world around him. Social media poses a unique challenge to truth, creating a greater necessity for fact-based reporting. Josh takes responsibility for the accuracy of his work, verifying details and using original sources whenever possible.
Respect differences. Everyone comes from a unique background. These unique life experiences provide new perspectives that enhance and impact the community. Josh will put his own biases aside, practicing empathy in every community interaction. He believes treating everyone with dignity and respect is paramount to earning the public’s trust.
Strive for fairness. Josh will identify his sources clearly, carefully considering motives and extreme situations before promising anonymity. He will diligently and actively seek new perspectives that may provide context to the issue at hand or provide an opportunity to respond to allegations.
Act independently. Josh will not, under any circumstances, provide favorable treatment to advertisers, donors or any other special interests. He will not pay or otherwise reward a source for information. Likewise, Josh will avoid political and civic involvement that may compromise his journalistic integrity.
Avoid manipulation. Josh believes news stories happen organically. He will not stage or alter situations in which the story may in some way benefit. Josh will consider the language others use to trigger a certain response from him. He will respond calmly, keeping focus on the story, not himself.
Avoid temptation. Outside forces will not impede Josh’s reporting of fact-driven journalism. Deadline pressure, conflicts of interest and ambition will not alter his firm commitment to truth and accuracy. He will not accept gifts, monetary or otherwise, in exchange for news coverage.
Correct mistakes. Speed, pressure or a story’s deliverable format do not excuse inaccuracy. Inaccuracies are unacceptable and hinder personal and corporate credibility. However, should Josh make a mistake in his reporting, he will publicly make the correction himself, on-air, online and on social media platforms.