Photojournalism, Ethics of

“Photojournalism” refers to visual reporting: deciding what to photograph and when, recording the images, choosing which photos to share with the world, and preparing those images for use. “Ethics” refers to what is morally right to do, what humans should do. So “photojournalism ethics” refers to morally right conduct in visual reporting.

Determining what conduct is morally right in photojournalism—or any pursuit—involves reflection and analysis, which can be based on ideas from moral philosophy, ethical decision-making frameworks, or on the purest expressions of religious traditions, most of which emphasize honesty and benevolence. Principals of photojournalism ethics—as stated in news outlet and professional organization codes of ethics, as well as in photojournalism textbooks and scholarly volumes—generally encourage visual journalists to be truth-tellers who avoid harming others. ...

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