• Course Code:  JN07

  • Term:  Self Paced

  • Open for Enrollment

  • Self-paced

  • Course Author(s)
    Aiden White
Jn07   banner

The Ethical Journalist's Toolkit

Self Paced

  • Circles
    Thomson Foundation


Please contact journalismnow@thomsonfoundation.org if you are having difficulties enrolling into this course


This course carries 4 hours of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) credits.



With this course, you will learn how there can be no genuine journalism without ethics.  You'll be encouraged to work out your own journalistic philosophy, which you can refer to when difficult issues arise.  You'll see how important it is to treat your sources and your audience, with respect.


"I wanted to know how to handle ethically difficult situations. There's no way to be perfectly prepared for every possibility - but I think  I'm now best prepared as possible." Anne from Germany.



In this course you will learn 5 core values of journalism:

  • Accuracy - Cross-check everything, as no uncorroborated information should be broadcast. 
  • Independence - Your loyalty is to your audience and not to those in power.
  • Impartiality - There is no such thing as complete objectivity. Fairness is the key to arriving at the truth. 
  • Humanity - Remember ,you are reporting on real people with real feelings.
  • Accountability - Admit your mistakes, as this shows you are accountable to your audience.



Aidan White, your course instructor, is Director of the Ethical Journalism Network, a global coalition of major media professional groups which promotes ethics, good governance and self-regulation of journalism across all platforms of media.


An experienced team of experts is joining Aidan, including (from left to right):

  • Ewen MacAskill, formerly intelligence correspondent for The Guardian.  Ewen played a key role in reporting the revelations from whistle-blower Edward Snowden about mass surveillance by US and UK intelligence agencies.
  • Salim Amin, Chairman of Camerapix. Salim is also co-founder of Africa 24 Media, Africa's first online agency for video and stills content.
  • Dorothy Byrne, Head of News and Current Affairs at Channel Four in the UK. During her tenure, the Channel’s news and current affairs programmes have won numerous BAFTAs and RTS awards.
  • Craig Silverman, award-winning author, journalist and one of the world’s leading experts on online misinformation, fake news and content verification. Craig is also the media editor of BuzzFeed News.


  • Section 1 gives you an overview and introduces the course trainer and media experts.
  • Section 2 examines the importance of accuracy in an era of fake news.
  • Section 3 shows how journalism should never become propaganda.
  • Section 4 highlights the need for fairness and impartiality.
  • Section 5 recommends sensitivity in what we print or broadcast. 
  • Section 6 advocates a policy of transparency in your work.
  • Section 7 draws the course to a conclusion.
  • Section 8 invites your comments - we welcome your feedback!

There are several practical exercises throughout the course, which you can complete within 4 hours.


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The Ethical Journalist's Toolkit


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