Protection of sources is the essential benchmark for ethical journalism; it is critical to creating an environment for watchdog reporting. It ensures people working inside the machines of political or corporate power can feel confident that if they blow the whistle on corruption they will not be victimised.

When protection is weak media report less on the scourge of hypocrisy and double-dealing in public life. Democracy inevitably suffers: government becomes complacent; the rule of law becomes arbitrary, and inequality in society increases. Through the Ethical Journalism Network’s programmes and campaigns, we raise awareness about the importance of treating sources ethically.

The EJN’s guidelines on dealing with sources suggest questions for journalists to ask themselves when dealing with setting the ground rules, avoiding getting too close to sources, source review of content, anonymous sources and user-generated content.

Read the EJN’s guidelines on dealing with sources

The ethical challenges of covering conflict

Covering conflicts bring up many ethical dilemmas for journalists especially around what sources of information you can trust and not endangering sources. In the video, former correspondent James Rodgers tells the Ethical Journalism Network about his views on how to cover armed conflicts, including:

  • What ethical problems do journalists face when covering conflict?
  • Is objectivity possible when covering conflict?
  • How should journalists deal with sensitive subjects and interviewees when covering armed conflicts?
  • How should journalists cover armed conflicts ethically?

Main image by Pascale Amez on Unsplash 


Support the work of the Ethical Journalism Network

If you share our mission, please consider donating to the Ethical Journalism Network. Your financial contribution will help the EJN to support journalists around the world who are striving to uphold ethical practices in order to build public trust in good journalism.