International – Association of Food Journalists

Code of ethics of the Association of Food Journalists.

The Association of Food Journalists recognizes that its members, like all journalists, should meet accepted standards of professional responsibility.

The Association subscribes to the traditional Canons of Journalism of the American Society of Newspaper Editors and to the Code of Ethics of the Society of Professional Journalists, Sigma Delta Chi.

The Association believes that the primary responsibility of food journalists is to serve the public interest by reporting the news accurately and as objectively as possible.

The Association further believes that essential to this commitment is the absolute separation of editorial responsibilities from the influence of a media?s advertising departments.

To assure their integrity and preserve their credibility, members therefore accept the following standards:

(1) Gifts, favors, free travel or lodging, special treatment or privileges can compromise the integrity and diminish the credibility of food journalists, as well as that of their employers. This includes commercially sponsored contests. Such offers should be avoided. An example is a contest promoting specific food products that is open to food journalists only.

(2) Similarly, food journalists should not use their positions to win favors for themselves or for others.

(3) Secondary employment, political involvement, holding public office or serving in organizations should be avoided if it compromises the integrity of a food journalist.

(4) Because the editorial space allotted to food journalism is not an extension of advertising, brand names or names of specific companies or interest groups should be used only in a newsworthy context or for purposes of clarification.

(5) Food journalists should use their bylines only in conjunction with material that they have written. Material from other sources incorporated in a story should be credited.

(6) To assure accuracy, so-called news communications or press releases should be substantiated.

(7) Expression of opinions, editorials or special articles devoted to the writer?s own views should be clearly labeled as such and thus easily distinguished from the news reports.

(8) Because of the controversial nature of many food-related topics, food journalists accept the obligation to acknowledge opposing views on such issues.

PLEDGE: The Association of Food Journalists encourages observation of these standards by all newspeople. The Association further urges news media managements to support the decision by food journalists to uphold this code.

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