Principles of Journalism | Project for Excellence in Journalism (PEJ)

Principles of Journalism | Project for Excellence in Journalism (PEJ).

 

PRINCIPLES OF JOURNALISM

In 1997, an organization then administered by PEJ, the Committee of Concerned Journalists, began a national conversation among citizens and news people to identify and clarify the principles that underlie journalism. After four years of research, including 20 public forums around the country, a reading of journalism history, a national survey of journalists, and more, the group released a Statement of Shared Purpose that identified nine principles. These became the basis for The Elements of Journalism, the book by PEJ Director Tom Rosenstiel and CCJ Chairman and PEJ Senior Counselor Bill Kovach. Here are those principles, as outlined in the original Statement of Shared Purpose.

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The Elements of Journalism: What Newspeople Should Know and the Public Should Expect – Introduction | Project for Excellence in Journalism (PEJ)

The Elements of Journalism: What Newspeople Should Know and the Public Should Expect – Introduction | Project for Excellence in Journalism (PEJ).

The first among them is that the purpose of journalism is to provide people with the information they need to be free and self-governing.

To fulfill this task:

  1. Journalism’s first obligation is to the truth. 
  2. Its first loyalty is to citizens. 
  3. Its essence is a discipline of verification. 
  4. Its practitioners must maintain an independence from those they cover. 
  5. It must serve as an independent monitor of power. 
  6. It must provide a forum for public criticism and compromise. 
  7. It must strive to make the significant interesting and relevant. 
  8. It must keep the news comprehensive and proportional. 
  9. Its practitioners must be allowed to exercise their personal conscience.