Journalism is a field built strongly on its ethics and principles. There are a number of rules that a journalist follows in order to ensure truthfulness and objectivity. While many guidelines for journalism were created with print journalism in mind, they can also be applied to the growing area of online/multimedia journalism.
Accuracy in the truth is perhaps the most influential journalism ethic. In order for journalism to be effective it must be true and unbiased. Both the Society of Professional Journalists and NPR list accuracy as a priority. This is increasingly true in the age of the Internet. It has become tougher to confirm facts and sources in a world where anyone can post anything online. It is up to the journalist to ensure that their reporting is accurate and that they are not using false information.
Minimize harm, act independently and be accountable are three other categories of journalism ethics that the SPJ lists. These are all applicable in multimedia journalism. On the internet and through multimedia elements, it is still necessary to act as a journalist. While it may be easier to take shortcuts due to the easy accessibility of the internet, a journalist must still take all the necessary steps to ensuring that their work is the truth.
Online journalism is no different that traditional journalism. The goal remains the same–report the truth. In a time where it is easier and easier to post on the internet, it is up to the journalist to continue their duty and decipher truth from fallacy.