FWAA ETHICS AND PRESS RELATIONS COMMITTEE
The Football Writers Association of America takes very seriously the
conduct of its members involved in the process of news gathering and how
they interact with news sources which include, coaches, athletes, administrators
and other athletic officials involved in allied fields.
To that end, the FWAA has an Ethics and Press Relations Committee which
will review all cases brought before it by news sources in regards to complaints
about the actions or conduct of FWAA members in the field.
The FWAA Ethics and Press Relations Committee can make recommendations
for membership exclusion of those who do not abide by the standards below
or take steps to remediate members who have violated the policy.
FWAA ETHICS POLICY
As adopted from portions of the Society of Professional Journalists Code
of Ethics. The FWAA Ethics and Press Relations Committee believes FWAA members
who are part of the news media should strive to do the following:
SEEK TRUTH AND REPORT IT
- Test the accuracy of information from all sources and exercise care
to avoid inadvertent error. Deliberate distortion is never permissible.
- Diligently seek out subjects of news stories to give them the opportunity
to respond to allegations of wrong-doing.
- Identify sources whenever feasible and always question sources'
motives before granting anonymity.
- Avoid undercover or other surreptitious methods of news gathering,
except when traditional open methods will not yield information vital
to the public.
- Never plagiarize.
- Avoid stereotyping by race, gender, age, religion, ethnicity, geography,
sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance or social status.
- Analysis and commentary should be labeled and not misrepresent fact
- Distinguish news from advertising and shun hybrids that blur the
lines between the two.
- Show compassion for those who may be affected adversely by news
coverage. Use special sensitivity with children or inexperienced sources
- Be sensitive when seeking or using photographs of those affected
by tragedy or grief.
- Recognize that gathering and reporting information may cause harm
or discomfort. Pursuit of the news is not a license for arrogance.
- Be cautious about identifying juvenile suspects or victims of sex
- Be judicious about naming criminal suspects before the formal filing
- Balance a criminal suspect's fair trial rights with the public's
right to be informed.
- Avoid conflicts of interest, real or perceived.
- Refuse large gifts, favors, free travel and special treatment from
news sources and shun involvements that might compromise journalistic
- Be wary of sources offering information for favors of money; avoid
bidding for the news.
- Clarify and explain news coverage and invite dialogue with the public
over journalist conduct.
- Admit mistakes and correct them promptly.
- Abide by the high standards in which they hold others.
KEY FWAA CONTACTS
• Bert McGrane Award nominees: Mark Blaudshun (email@example.com)
• Volney Meece Scholarship nominees: Dave Sittler (firstname.lastname@example.org)
• Website, Tostitos Fiesta Bowl National Team of the Week: Ted Gangi
• Membership Directory: Charlie Fiss, AT&T Cotton Bowl (email@example.com)
• Ethics/Press Relations Committee: Kirk Bohls (firstname.lastname@example.org)
• College Football Playoff Liaison: Gina Lehe, College Football Playoff
• Eddie Robinson Award: Steve Richardson (email@example.com)
• Fifth Down Blog/FWAA Best Writing Contest: Ken Stephens (firstname.lastname@example.org)
• Bronko Nagurski Award: John Rocco, Charlotte Touchdown Club (email@example.com)
• Outland Trophy, All-America Team: Steve Richardson (firstname.lastname@example.org)
• Grantland Rice Super 16 Poll: Phil Marwill, National Football Foundation
• Discover Orange Bowl/FWAA Courage Award: George Schroeder, USA
TODAY (email@example.com), Ron
Higgins, Nola.com (firstname.lastname@example.org)
• Freshman All-America Team: Mike Griffith, MLive Media Group (email@example.com)
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