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Build Your Own Ethics Code Template for Jewish Journalism Outlets
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AJPA/Shalom Hartman Institute Jewish Ethics Project in conjunction with Online News Association present 

Build Your Own Ethics Code Template for Jewish Journalism Outlets 

We are pleased to provide you with a version of the Online News Association’s newly released “Build Your Own” Ethics Code, customized for Jewish media.

Alan D. Abbey, chair of the AJPA/Shalom Hartman Institute Jewish Ethics Project, was a contributor and consultant to the ONA project. With ONA’s blessing, AJPA encourages all Jewish media outlets to undertake heshbon b’nefesh: the soul searching to better understand who we are, and what we stand for. 

In the words of ONA Ethics Code Project Leader Thomas Kent, Standards Editor of the Associated Press:, “No single ethics code can reflect the needs of everyone in our widely varied profession. We believe the best hope for convincing all journalists to adopt and live by an ethics code is to give them ownership and flexibility in creating one.”


It is our hope that this will be the first of three phases to empower real journalism of Jewish life in our local communities.

Once your media outlet has crafted its own code, please be sure to send this code to AJPA. We’ll keep all of these codes on a special page at our website, where all can view and share with each other, and learn from each other. We encourage you to post your codes with a link at your websites as well. 

Ultimately, we hope that as we craft own ethical codes, they will form the basis of dialogues in our local communities among Jewish media outlets, readers, funders, and community leaders to build a better understanding of the value of real journalism in our local communities. 

The process, we hope, will culminate in local organized Jewish communities and major donor organizations formally signing on to local Jewish media outlets’ codes of Jewish journalistic ethics. This would create buffer zones, so that at the very least, organized Jewish communities and major donors will begin to appreciate how ethical journalistic practices can lead to improved communications and trust within a community, and think twice about violating this code, and that their journalistic partners will have the independence to bring it to their attention. 

Let’s get started.

  • To begin exploring the ONA Build Your Own Ethics Code, click here.

  • To get started with the Jewish ethical components of the ONA project, click here.

  • To read AJPA/Hartman Institute working papers on Jewish ethics in Jewish Journalism, click here.

Alan D. Abbey, chair, AJPA/Shalom Hartman Institute Ethics Project, Director of Media and Internet, Shalom Hartman Institute 

Committee members: 

Maayan Jaffe, Director of International Communications, Israel Democracy Institute. 

Marshall Weiss, AJPA Immediate Past President; Editor and Publisher, The Dayton Jewish Observer

Peer review provided by Sue Fishkoff, Editor, j. the Jewish news weekly of Northern California.


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