I took this from the Colonial Williamsburg magazine.
Ethical journalism should be accurate and fair. Journalists should be honest and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting information.
Ethical journalism treats sources, subjects, colleagues and members of the public as human beings deserving of respect.
The highest and primary obligation of ethical journalism is to serve the public.
Ethical journalism means taking responsibility for one's work and explaining one's decisions to the public.
The Society of Professional Journalists, once called Sigma Delta Chi, first adopted a code of ethics in 1926, borrowing from the American Society of Newspaper Editors. The latest code was adopted in 2014 and can been seen in its entirety at spj.org/pdf/spj-code-of-ethics.pdf
One has to wonder just how many journalists actually have read the code and follow it.