Ethics Policy

The HawkEye adheres to the ethics policies of the Society of Professional Journalists [http://www.spj.org/ethicscode.asp]. SPJ borrowed the code from the American Society of Newspaper Editors in 1926 and revised it in 1973, 1984, 1987, 1996 and 2014. The HawkEye will update its ethics policies as SPJ and other news media adapt their ethics policies and as changes in media and their delivery systems evolve.

Here is a summary of the SPJ ethics code:

Preamble: Public enlightenment is the forerunner of justice and the foundation of democracy. The duty of the journalist is to further those ends by seeking truth and providing a fair and comprehensive account of events and issues. Conscientious journalists from all media and specialties strive to serve the public with thoroughness and honesty. Professional integrity is the cornerstone of a journalist’s credibility.

Seek Truth and Report It: Journalists should be honest, fair and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting information.

Minimize Harm: Ethical journalists treat sources, subjects and colleagues as human beings deserving of respect.

Act Independently: Journalists should be free of obligation to any interest other than the public’s right to know.

Be Accountable: Journalists are accountable to their readers, listeners, viewers and each other.

In addition, The HawkEye strives for transparency, which means disclosing to readers how we did our work. Thus, readers will know how we gathered information and from whom we got it so that so that readers may accurately judge the credibility and reliability of our reporting.

Finally, The HawkEye enlarges on the principles of minimizing harm and being accountable by practicing civic journalism. This reformist variant of traditional journalism practice aims for civic engagement by an informed citizenry, a foundation of self-governing society and polity. This form of journalism is rooted in the Social Responsibility Theory of Journalism, first expressed in 1947. It states that news media should serve the public – broadly defined in all its diversity — and should remain free of interference by government or other powerful interests.


Published materials, reader comments

The HawkEye reflects the pedagogy of the Indiana University of Pennsylvania Department of Journalism, including its News Reporting, Opinion Writing and  Journalism Law & Ethics courses, from which much of The HawkEye’s published journalism is drawn.

Our reporting draws from the university’s journalism curriculum. But it is independent of the university’s administrative authority. In pursuit of that independence, The HawkEye’s digital online journalism since 2013 has been published on servers that are removed from the university’s computer system.

However, The HawkEye also recognizes its obligations to accountability and transparency. Reader comments are welcome and published, unless comments contain potentially libelous content or obscene language. Commenters may be contacted by the editor to negotiate revisions appropriate for publication. Contact editor David Loomis, Ph.D., at doloomis@iup.edu, or phone the university’s Department of Journalism at 724-357-4411.

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