Category Archives: Extra Credit

Extra Credit 7 Canons

The seven canons of journalism were once created by the American Society of Newspaper editors to keep all articles under control and following the same rules. These canons are known as responsibility, freedom of the press, independence, truthfulness and accuracy, impartiality. fair play, and decency. Throughout the years, some journalist have been faithful to these rules and some have not. I would like to explain how I think these seven different canons have been used properly and where they have not been used properly. Starting with the first canon, responsibility. This canon states that all journalist should consider the public’s welfare because they will be greatly impacted by the article. I think that all journalist should be able to write about whatever they want to no matter how it will make the public feel. People get offended by things all the time so why make this so difficult for a journalist to write? The only good that I can see in this rule is by keeping the public calm. This way we see less problems on the streets when shocking news comes out. The second canon is freedom of the press. This goes with the second amendment and is to be kept as vital and unquestionable. This canon contradicts the first one in a way. The first one is saying how they should think hard before they write and the second one is saying they can write whatever they want. I think this canon is good in every way, allowing writers to say anything they want to. Before these canons were made journalist were not allowed to write whatever they wanted. If the government thought that it could hurt them in any way it would not be published. Thank goodness for the brave journalist that stepped out to get those laws changed. Now journalist have the right to speak their minds. Independence is one that I do not see much of in today’s articles. All of the time I see where there was two or more journalist that worked together to write an article. If I am understanding correctly, that would be going against the third canon. All journalist should stay clear from other sources, politics, and advertisers. Sincerity, truthfulness, and accuracy is always important when writing. If you are not sincere no one will want to listen to you. I believe that most journalist put truth into their writing and this is very important. This is said to be the foundation of journalism and it is one of the most commonly applied canons in my opinion. Even if all of the canons eventually fade out of today’s standards for journalism this one is sure to stick around. This leads us to impartiality, the fifth canon of journalism. It states that all journalist should stay free from bias and opinion when writing. It is okay to have an opinion but the goal is to inform the people, not persuade them. In the past I have read articles where I thought the writer had bias and it made me rethink what I thought but this is not what is supposed to happen. The reader is supposed to be able to form their own ideas after reading something. In the future, all journalist should keep this rule in mind. No matter what, it is always important to have no errors in your writing, especially when the entire world could be reading it. This is another important canon that is well followed by today’s writers. This is why we see so many editors getting credit for helping out the journalist. Last but not least is the seventh canon, decency. This is probably taken the lightest out off the seven and I feel like that is okay sometimes. Not everything should be straight facts. This causes for a boring read and the readers know what to expect every time. A little fun every now and then never hurts. The seventh canon suggest that all journalist should stick to writing about what really matters. In my opinion, it is good that we have journalist that write about interesting things that lead into the more important articles. These are just a few of my thoughts on where journalism stands today. There will always be things that were done better in the past and there will always be things that are done better now.