Two of the guiding principles of the Society of Professional Journalists are ethics and the free flow of information.
Through our code of ethics, we work to restore the public’s faith in the press by promoting the highest professional standards for journalists. For journalists struggling with an ethical dilemma on deadline, we offer an ethics hotline (317-927-8000 ext. 208). The hotline is monitored by SPJ staff members, and requests are directed to appropriate committee members. Requests for confidentiality will be honored. For more information on SPJ’s commitment to ethical journalism, visit the Ethics page of the national SPJ Web site.
Freedom of Information
The passage of the Freedom of Information Act in 1966 dramatically improved public access to records held by the federal government. Before the FOIA, as the law is commonly called, the burden was on the requester to show why the government should release a record. Now the burden is on the government to show why it should withhold a record.
Local FOIA resouces include:
- The First Amendment Coalition of Arizona‘s counsel, Phoenix attorney Dan Barr of Perkins Coie, L.L.P., provides a good explanation of the public records and open meetings laws in the Open Government Guide for Arizona.
- The coalition provides a media hotline (602-351-8000) for journalists, including student journalists, to provide advice on obtaining records.
- The Arizona Reporter’s Handbook on Media Law, principally written and edited by Barr, had its 7th edition published for the coalition in 2015. Click here for information on how to download it free.
For more information on FOIA issues, write to firstname.lastname@example.org.