Minute Ethics Quiz

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By Casey Bukro

Ethics AdviceLine for Journalists.

A reporter for a military publication contacted the Ethics AdviceLine for Journalists and asked this question in 2008:

“May I reprint information in our newspaper that is from websites if I provide proper attribution, but without permission? There is no guidance about this in the AP style book; but we have tried before to get permission and it takes too long for people to respond and we have to go to press.”

You be the ethicst. What would you say to that reporter?

AdviceLine is a free service, staffed by four university professors who are experts in ethics. AdviceLine advisors do not tell professional journalists what to do, but engage them in a discussion of benefits and harms involved in the case, leading journalists to reach decisions based on best journalism ethics practices.

AdviceLine is partnered with the Chicago Headline Club, a professional chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, and the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.

Our goal is to assist each caller make ethical decisions that:

*Are well informed by available standards of professional journalistic practice, especially the Society of Professional Journalists code of ethics.

*Take account of the perspectives of all the parties involved in the situation.

*Employ clear and careful ethical thinking in reaching a decision.


The Ethics AdviceLine for Journalists was founded in 2001 by the Chicago Headline Club (Chicago Professional Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists) and Loyola University Chicago Center for Ethics and Social Justice. It partnered with the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University in 2013. It is a free service.

Professional Journalists are invited to contact the Ethics AdviceLine for Journalists for guidance on ethics. Call 866-DILEMMA or ethicsadvicelineforjournalists.org.

Visit the Ethics AdviceLine blog for more.