AEJMC Code of Ethics PF&R

Recommended Ethical Professional Freedom & Responsibility Guidelines


Professional freedom and responsibility encompasses research, teaching and service and is related to AEJMC members’ interaction with the media professions through preparation of students for media careers, research examining media roles and responsibilities, and service to the professions through engagement and training. Service in support of professional freedom and responsibility is an essential expectation of every member of AEJMC. Members should work in support of the principles of professional freedom and responsibility within this organization, at their home institutions, and in society at large.

I. Free expression should be nurtured and protected at all levels.
AEJMC members should promote and protect free expression, particularly freedom of speech and freedom of the press. AEJMC members should work to improve the understanding of free expression intellectually, historically and legally. They should also work to implement this freedom in the broadest sense: within the organization, on their campuses, in their communities, and nationally. Free expression is a fundamental right and responsibility; AEJMC members should serve as the voice and support of free expression on their campuses and in their communities whenever that right is threatened. AEJMC as an organization should establish and maintain a position as an advocate of free expression with regional and national authorities that seek to limit this right.

II. Ethical behavior should be supported and promoted at all times.
AEJMC members should seek the highest ethical standards possible through education, research and service. Ethical concerns include such topics as individual privacy, confidentiality, conflict of interest, sensationalism, truthtelling, deception and social justice. AEJMC members should also act ethically with regard to their dealings with students and colleagues, avoiding any appearance of impropriety or unfair treatment.

III. Media criticism and accountability should be fostered.
AEJMC members should conduct and/or encourage their students to conduct constructive evaluation of the professional marketplace. AEJMC members should work with practitioners and industry watchdog groups to inspire media analysis and foster media accountability. AEJMC members should act as media critics on their campuses and within their communities. AEJMC as an organization should promote the recognition and reward of effective media criticism, and should provide a voice in regional and national discussions of media accountability.

IV. Racial, gender and cultural inclusiveness should be encouraged and recognized.
AEJMC members should work to make certain that racial, gender and cultural inclusiveness are included in curricula and focused on in institutional hiring decisions. The work of women and minorities should be represented in the curriculum; efforts should be made to include segments of the population historically excluded from public communication because of lack of opportunity. Within AEJMC, divisions and interest groups that show marked success in embracing racial, gender and cultural inclusiveness should be identified and, whenever possible, rewarded. AEJMC as an organization should collaborate with other media organizations that promote diversity and should provide a voice in regional and national discussions in this area.

V. Public service contributions should be expected of all AEJMC members.
AEJMC members have a mandate to serve society beyond their teaching and research. AEJMC members should offer services related to their appropriate professional fields, particularly activities that enhance understanding among media educators, professionals and the general public. AEJMC members should assist the organization, other media organizations, and media practitioners.

VI. AEJMC programs and faculty should make every effort to insure equal opportunity for students to enter student contests.
Preference and special coaching should not be offered to individuals singled out by faculty. The effort to win contests should not have undo influence over curriculum or the way in which student publications of broadcasts are staffed or structured.

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