Sean King

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Knoxville, Tennessee, United States

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The Associated Press Statement of News Values and Principles

I find the AP's statement of values to be particularly ironic, for reasons that will become apparent in future posts. For now, here's a few of the more interesting portions of their values statement (I've taken the liberty editing and numbering them for ease of future reference):

[1] [W]e abhor inaccuracies, carelessness, bias or distortions.

[2] [W]e will not knowingly introduce false information into material intended for publication or broadcast; nor will we alter photo or image content. Quotations must be accurate, and precise.

[3] [W]e always strive to identify all the sources of our information, shielding them with anonymity only when they insist upon it and when they provide vital information – not opinion or speculation; when there is no other way to obtain that information; and when we know the source is knowledgeable and reliable.

[4] [W]e don't plagiarize.

[5] [W]e avoid behavior or activities that create a conflict of interest and compromise our ability to report the news fairly and accurately, uninfluenced by any person or action.

[6] [W]e don't misidentify or misrepresent ourselves to get a story. When we seek an interview, we identify ourselves as AP journalists.

[7] [W]e don’t pay newsmakers for interviews, to take their photographs or to film or record them.

[8] [W]e must be fair. Whenever we portray someone in a negative light, we must make a real effort to obtain a response from that person. When mistakes are made, they must be corrected – fully, quickly and ungrudgingly.

Stay tuned for examples of AP's values in action.

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