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Week 9 – Moral Minefield: Legal and Ethical Dilemma

July 6, 2011

From today seminar about legal practices and ethics in Journalism, I found a point that really catches my attention – that there is no such thing as “Journalism law”, but there is principles of journalistic codes of ethics which are designed to assist journalists in dealing with ethical dilemmas (for example when dealing with crime committed by a relative or from a higher status, juveniles crime, or freedom of political expression ). The code of ethics are there to provide journalists with a framework for self monitoring and self correction, which is very true and fair.

Journalism Code of Ethics in Singapore

Because laws and legal defences are different between nations, journalists shall hold to their code of ethics (or integrity) strongly to avoid them to fall into a problem. Further since ethics are planted in within individual, it also aids them to not to breach the legal system (such as; law of defamation, or the Copyright law).

However, I’m not saying that that there are no laws concerning of journalist. In fact there are about 5 laws that hinder or help the work of a journalist, for example: the law of Defamation, Court reporting, contempt of court and parliament, freedom of information, intellectual property.


Code of Ethics of Various Journalists’ Unions in Asia, n.d., medialaw, viewed 5 July 2011, <;


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