• Course Code:  JN07

  • Term:  Self Paced - Available until April 2018

  • Open for Enrollment

  • Self-paced

  • Course Author(s)
    Aidan White
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The Ethical Journalist's Toolkit - 1st version

Self Paced - Available until April 2018

  • Circles
    Thomson Foundation
  • Photo
    Aidan White




Hello. I'm Aidan White, Director of the Ethical Journalism Network (EJN), a global coalition of major media professional groups which promotes ethics, good governance and self-regulation of journalism across all platforms of media.

I have worked on numerous publications including The Guardian and the Financial Times and for 24 years was General Secretary of the International Federation of Journalists, during which time I helped create the world’s largest organisation of journalists with members in 126 countries.


About the course

There should be no journalism without ethics, particularly in a digital world, where there is a constant flow of information, much of which is false.


This course will look at:

  • How to apply ethical principles to your journalism, whether you are working in social media, in print or on TV/radio.
  • How to maintain your independence and impartiality in the face of powerful interests trying to influence your work.
  • How to maintain your humanity and the humanity of the people you are reporting about, even when other journalists fail to.
  • How to ignore fake news and discover the facts, while maintaining your principles of honesty, objectivity and accountability.


By the end of the course:


  • You will have developed your own ‘ethical toolkit’, that will help you make the correct judgement for every story.
  • You will feel more confident in maintaining your independence and sticking to your principles when dealing with false information, sensitive material or attempts from vested interests to influence your work.
  • You will understand the connection between applying your ethical toolkit and the trust which your audience places in your journalism.
  • You will discover that this trust means you can increase your sources of stories, as people - especially those who feel marginalised in society - believe in the accuracy and independence of your reporting.

Whether you are starting out on your journalistic career, or you’re an experienced reporter, you will - hopefully - find this course’s examination of ethical journalism useful in improving your skills and career.


Participating experts

Ewen MacAskill - Defence and intelligence correspondent for The Guardian

Salim Amin - Chairman of Camerapix

Dorothy Byrne - Head of News and Current Affairs at Channel Four

Craig Silverman - Media Editor of BuzzFeed News


You should be able to complete this course within two hours over multiple sessions.


Produced by Thomson Foundation

All rights reserved.

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The Ethical Journalist's Toolkit - 1st version


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