At long last we’ve got funding, and the go-ahead, for Wikinewsies to have press IDs. They won’t look like the business card design to the left, but that will be a starting point.
As highlighted by Wikimedia UK, a code of conduct for those issued credentials by Wikinews is our final prerequisite.
In the modern world, where the UK’s Lord Leveson is dragging the country’s tabloid press across hot coals, it may seem archaic or strange that a code of conduct or ethics applies anywhere in journalism. But, it does.
Reporters and photojournalists are a publication’s “ambassadors”. We most certainly will not have people camping out in the bushes, with long lenses, trying to catch celebrities enjoying otherwise-private moments. Our guidelines for Original Reporting already cover a fair amount of ground on what is, and is not, appropriate behaviour.
There are a slew of documents to go over. I am of the opinion that a code of conduct should be combined with a code of ethics to provide a “Principles of Wikinewsies“. At the moment I am reviewing the following documents with a view to working to produce a base document which is workable globally, not just within the English-speaking world. Those documents are:
- NUJ Code of Conduct
- SPJ Code of Ethics
- BBC Editorial Guidelines
- CBC – Radio Canada – Code of Conduct
- Sydney Morning Herald Code of Ethics
That is probably quite enough reading for anyone going forward. However, if you know of any other important publications with English-language versions of their codes of ethics/conduct, I’d be delighted to add them to the list.
For those with an interest in the minutiae, the Wikimedia UK discussion granting us funding for ID cards is here.