B2B Journalist Ethics: An ASBPE Guide to Best Practices
View our guide to journalistic ethics best practices for B2B editors.
ASBPE Ethics Advisories
ASBPE Ethics Advisories are opinions issued by ASBPE’s ethics committee on ethical questions submitted by members. They are based on ASBPE’s Guide to B2B Journalist Ethics Best Practices. They are available only to ASBPE members.
When I assumed the ethics committee chair position four years ago, I had one reservation: would I be able to respond to a flood of inquiries from editors besieged with imposing integrity concerns. Not to worry, I soon learned. Reason? For the most part, most members fell into either the “silent majority” or “forever swamped” category . . . or both.
Silent majority, of course, has been a popular political issue. It refers to the thousands of citizens besieged with multiple problems who elect to keep mum rather than speaking out because nothing will come of it. “Forever swamped” is a category I devised to explain the mood of many B2B editors. The groups often have two things in common:
- Those who would love to speak out, but are in fear of repercussions from above.
- Those who would love to speak out, but are so swamped by their day jobs that there is never time to take advantage of opportunities to improve their lot . . . ethical or otherwise.
Over the past few years, those folks willing to discuss concerns insisted that their names never be connected to any articles appearing in Ethics News Updates. I thank them for their trust in agreeing to share experiences.
As for the swamped folks, time is obviously at a premium. So whenever I post a LinkedIn group discussion addressing an ethical concern, it’s no surprise that responding traffic is very light. But the very next day, if somebody posts an inquiry, say, about whether or not every word in a headline should be upper case, this lofty subject draws dozens of responses.
No matter which group you are in, know that ethics committee members constantly consider ways to provide programs with high take-away value. Thus . . . we launched this newsletter in 2013. Soon after, we introduced B2B virtual roundtable conferences as well as a Town Hall program at our National Conference. And this year, we started work on a Facts Management Guide. A first step in that direction was posting a list of excellent URL resources, like the group you’ll find in this issue.
In the coming year, what else can we do to help you, and in the process, convert members of the silent or swamped majority into at least more of a vocal minority?
Let me know what you think!
Read all stories from the latest update:
- ONA, Turnitin software site, offer aids for catching the most common plagiarism Whether in the B2B world or academic publishing, editors have their hands full battling plagiarists.
- Try this starter list of 18 URLs when drafting your next fact-checking guide This collection of resources was assembled for the Ethics Town Hall session at ASBPE’S recent National Conference.
- Existing editorial ethics standards deserve top management support, says Knudsen “I have always believed in standards as a business plan, not a moral position. Integrity is the stock-in-trade of communication,” says Kerry Knudsen.
- Marketers need content guidance from savvy editors, says Giordano Have discussions about increased editorial staff involvement in marketing activity reflect agreement on teamwork rather than the two-party church and state wall? Or is this allegedly new relationship more imaginary ...
- ONA ethics code committee invites comments pertaining to interviewing, social media issues How many online news ethical practices can you think of that merit revision? The correct answer is 40, according to the Online News Association.
- Getting it right: Why fact checking is more important now than ever As part of ASBPE’s July 24 National Conference in New York, Roy Harris, Howard Rauch and I led a town hall session on fact checking. Our introductory remarks attacked the ...
- Canadian ethicists turn thumbs down on sponsored content guidelines Toronto, Canada – Writing ethics code guidelines for editors concerned about handling sponsored content issues is a waste of time. So says the Canadian Association of Journalists Ethics Advisory Committee. ...
Read past Ethics News Updates:
- October 2015 Ethics News Update ‘Silent majority’ or ‘forever swamped’: which condition explains ethics dilemma?
- May 2015 Ethics News Update Upcoming native ad webinar definitely is timely event “Making native content work for your publication” – ASBPE’s May 13 webinar – couldn’t have come at a better time. The emergence of ...
- January 2015 Ethics News Update Fact-checking’s challenge: Can B2B editors do more with less? Seeking ways to expand B2B fact-checking practices requires successful navigation through a sea of contradictions. Several publishing industry organizations agree efforts must ...
- September 2014 Ethics News Update Can 2014’s biggest ethical snafu be resolved?
- May 2014 Ethics News Update Does editorial integrity have a bright future?
- January 2014 Ethics News Update Native advertising: B2B editorial and sales teams often wrestle with how sponsored content should be labeled.
- October 2013 Ethics News Update Welcome to the world of digital ethics!