The Elements of Journalism, by Kovach and Rosenstiel

1. Journalism’ first obligation is to the truth.

2. Its first loyalty is to citizens.

3. Its essence is a discipline of verification.

4. Its practitioners must maintain an independence from those they cover.

5. It must serve as an independent monitor of power.

6. It must provide a forum for public criticism and compromise.

7. It must strive to make the significant interesting and relevant.

8. It must keep the news comprehensive and in proportion.

9. Its practitioners have an obligation to exercise their personal conscience.

10. Citizens, too, have rights and responsibilities when it comes to the news.

Kovach & Rosenstiel wrote the book The Elements of Journalism in 2001, and updated it in 2014. It remains the clearest explanation of the instincts of journalists, not alway well articulated, in the Western tradition. These 10 commandments have not aged.

Leave a Reply