The world of journalism has many different laws and ethics surrounding it, but this field has been changing dramatically with the introduction of social media and the internet. Chapters 8-10 in Social Media for Journalists discusses this in more detail, along with so much more.

“…The ways in which private life is increasingly on display on the internet has meant that journalists have a greater resource of material to gather and use in stories, but also a far greater obligation to ensure that they use this material both fairly and ethically.” Pg. 132, Social Media for Journalists. This is saying that journalists have easier access and an abundance in potential sources, but with this comes a lot of risk and some gray lines. Good judgment plays a huge role in this because as the book says, people may be good material, but they are still people.


Things that journalists need to be aware of are people’s privacy and using people as a source without necessarily getting permission. It is up to the journalists to keep the laws of ethics because the public isn’t going to hold them accountable. The overuse of the internet and social media are forcing journalists to think before they act.

Examples where journalism has become more interactive through the publication of online stories:

The limitations that have been created with the fast production of content alongside a distracted news audience are that journalists need to watch who they claim as their sources and they need to be aware of copyrights and people’s privacy.

Journalism has changed forever in the way of publishing with social media because stories and sources are so open with accessibility and with that comes a strong practice of ethics. Journalists aren’t just about face to face anymore, rarely are they with the internet making things so easy anymore. Making sure sources are credible are a challenge and editing almost goes out the window as they can just post their findings online instead of in a newspaper because those will soon be extinct.

Some principles that will always remain constant, regardless of posted online or put into a newspaper, copyrights and credible sourcing will always be relevant. Those are two things that can never change because if they do, then journalists won’t even be relevant.

'Moral principles' highlighted in green
‘Moral principles’ highlighted in green, under the heading ‘Ethics’