New ASBPE Ethics Code Released
The revised code is the product of a six-month review of ethical issues by an ethics committee formed for the purpose. The committee includes six ASBPE officers as well as Jeffrey Seglin, a business ethics expert who writes the New York Times Syndicate’s ethics column “The Right Thing.” The committee drew from numerous other ethics guides from journalism associations, B2B publishers, educators, and consultants. It also based the new code on the desires of ASBPE’s members, particularly as revealed in our ethics survey.
The new guidelines go into much greater detail than did the old guidelines, from November 2000. The latest guide also covers subjects not touched on by the earlier code, including graphics, research, trade shows, and contests.
Perhaps most important, the new guidelines advocate that B2B pubs publicize their ethics standards to internal staff, to readers, and to advertisers. Right now, very few business publications seem to publicize their standards outside their own companies. (As I mentioned in an earlier post, PC World is one of the few B2B pubs that does.)
The ethics committee will continue to monitor ethical issues and update the code as needed. The committee will also serve as a sounding board for editors who may raise ethical questions, and will continue ethics conversations though ASBPE’s online discussion forum (members only; login needed) and at conferences and chapter meetings. The committee’s contact information is here.