To encourage the study and understanding of media ethics, the Center for Ethics in Journalism provides some brief lesson plans in the following topics:

Accuracy and Fairness

Accuracy and fairness relate to the ethical concepts of independence, transparency and seeking the truth.

Codes of Ethics

Every branch of journalism has its own code of ethics from print to broadcast and advertising.

Conflict of Interest

Sometimes in the media business conflict of interest will arise.

Diversity in Media

Arguments have been made that newsrooms and ad agencies should reflect the diverse public they serve in order to fully cover all stories from an unbiased point of view. 

Offensive Images and Language

Sometimes in pursuit of the truth graphic images and explicit language can surface in a story.

Plagiarism, Misrepresentation and Fabrication

In an industry built on the trust readers and viewers have with reporters and advertisers it is important to highlight and understand plagiarism, misrepresentation and fabrication.


Although media is included in almost every aspect of our lives, journalists and advertisers should respect the privacy of individuals.


Protecting sources is often a part of every journalist’s job, but so is the assessment of good and bad sources of information.