Editorial Judgment

Course Type: In-Company | Course Category: Journalism

Course Introduction

Making responsible, ethical choices when reporting and publishing news

What's it about?

The global media industry is facing one of its biggest challenges: the rise of fake news and the reporting of opinion as fact. Simultaneously, the spread of social media increases the risks to accuracy and makes hoaxes more possible. In a world where so much information is available and not all of it trustworthy, the ethical journalist faces daily dilemmas.

 This workshop asks underlines the importance of accurate reporting, sourcing, coping with hoaxes and rumours, handling legal issues, coping with ethical problems and reviewing past journalistic problems. It reminds participants to stand back and remember their responsibility to society.

Who should attend?

Applicants for this course should have at least three years of professional experience as journalists or as regular contributors to broadcast or print media. Proficiency in written and spoken English is required.

Learning outcomes

  • Protect a media company brand by making logical ethical decisions on the use of media material
  • Commit to publishing accurate, balanced, fair and objective stories, images and video material
  • Spot potential hoaxes and handle rumours in an authoritative manner
  • Identify potential legal problems, particularly in defamation and privacy
  • Explain the provisions of the applicable contents of Code of Conduct and product guidelines
  • Develop the intuition to identify potential right-against-wrong dilemmas and solve them
  • Deploy simple philosophical arguments to try and resolve right-against-right issues


The organisation will be able to produce more accurate copy for websites, blogs, brochures, news releases, reports, manuals, etc. The copy produced should also be more active and readable so that it engages with the intended reader and achieves its purpose. There should also be a reduction in the number of errors before the proof-reader sees the copy.

Course Structure Highlights

  • The role of a journalist in society
  • Ethical dilemmas
  • Basic approach to media problems and past examples
  • Accuracy and Objectivity
  • Handling hoaxes
  • Handling rumours
  • Sourcing
  • Defamation
  • Handling privacy issues
  • Internal guidelines and Codes of Ethics
  • Ethical decision-making

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