Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism: The Elements of Journalism

One organization that has been active in journalism reform and newsroom training is Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism.

There you can learn more about an influential publication: The Elements of Journalism: What Newspeople Should Know and the Public Should Expect by Bill Kovach and Tom Rosenstiel. The authors summarize the purpose of journalism — “to provide people information to be free and self-governing.”

They list these ways of fulfilling that purpose:

  1. Journalism’s first obligation is to the truth.
  2. Its first loyalty is to citizens.
  3. Its essence is a discipline of verification.
  4. Its practitioners must maintain an independence from those they cover.
  5. It must serve as an independent monitor of power.
  6. It must provide a forum for public criticism and compromise.
  7. It must strive to make the significant interesting and relevant.
  8. It must keep the news comprehensive and proportional.
  9. Its practitioners must be allowed to exercise their personal conscience.