Code of Conduct

National Society of Newspaper Columnists

As a newspaper columnist, I will strive to inform, educate and entertain my readers. I will work hard to provoke them to think — whether they agree or disagree with my efforts to depict truth as I see it.

I will offer my opinions and the reasons I hold them as clearly and as fairly as I can. I will never take advantage of my position to achieve unwarranted personal gain not available to others or use my column to settle personal scores. I will disclose potential conflicts to readers whenever possible.

I will never make up a quote, a source or a story when depicting true events. But I will reserve the right to engage in parody and satire.

I will work hard to earn and keep the trust my readers and editors place in me. I will never plagiarize. Whenever possible, when I make a mistake, I will correct it.

I will listen to my critics and, in person, treat them with dignity and respect because they pay me the high honor of reading me, even if they disagree. Similarly, I will treat with personal courtesy those whom I may criticize in writing before and after writing about them.

I will always remember that my job is a privilege and honor because being a columnist represents the basic American rights of free speech and open discussion.

Print Friendly