The right of a newspaper to attract and hold readers is restricted by
nothing but consideration of public welfare. The use of a newspaper makes
of the share of public attention it gains serves to determine its sense
of responsibility, which it shares with ever member of its staff. A journalist
who uses his power for any selfish or otherwise unworthy purpose is faithless
to a high trust.
of the Press
Freedom of the press is to be guarded as a vital right of mankind. It
is the unquestionable right to discuss whatever is not explicitly forbidden
by law, including the wisdom of any restrictive statute.
Freedom from all obligations except that of fidelity to the public interest
Promotion of any private interest contract to the general welfare,
for whatever reason, is not compatible with honest journalism. So-called
news communications from private sources should not be published without
public notice of their source or else substantiation of their claims
to value as news, both in form and substance.
Partianship in editorial comment which knowingly departs from the
truth does violence to the best spirit of American journalism; in
the news columns it is subversive to a fundamental principle of the
Good faith is the foundation of all journalism worthy of the name.
By every consideration of good faith, a newspaper is constrained to
be truthful. It is not to be excused for lack of thoroughness or accuracy
within its control or failure to obtain command of these essential
Headlines should be fully warranted by the content of the articles
which they surmount.
Sound practice makes clear distinction between news reports and expressions
of opinion. News reports should be free from opinion or bias of any kind.
This rule does not apply to so-called special articles unmistakenly devoted
to advocacy or characterized by a signature authorizing the writer's own
conclusions and interpretations.
A newspaper should not publish unofficial charges affecting reputation
or moral character without opportunity given to the persons involved;
right practice demands the giving of such opportunity in all cases of
serious accusation outside judicial proceedings.
A newspaper should not invade private rights or feelings without sure
warrant of public right as distinguished from public curiosity.
It is the privilege, as it is the duty, of a newspaper to make prompt
and complete correction of its own serious mistakes of fact or opinion,
whatever their origin.
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