Evolving Collective Intelligence by Tom Atlee

Exploring how to generate the collective wisdom we need

Exploring how to generate the collective wisdom we need

Evolving Collective Intelligence

News Blog

Site Map

CII - Co-intelligence Institute


Collective Intelligence

Democracy / Politics

Dialogue & Deliberation





Make a Difference


Odds and Ends

People & Organizations

Process & Participation

Real Possibilities







Articles Archive


This blog is made possible and hosted by Robin Good of Masternewmedia.org to help promote ideas and memes neglected by the mainstream media. Other blogs supported by Robin Good include:

Communication Agents:


Robin Good's
Web sites:

Candida International

What Does MHRA Stand For??

Bono and Bush Party without Koch: AIDS Industry Makes a Mockery of Medical Science

Profit as Usual and to Hell with the Risks: Media Urge that Young Girls Receive Mandatory Cervical Cancer Vaccine


Health Supreme

Multiple sclerosis is Lyme disease: Anatomy of a cover-up

Chromotherapy in Cancer

Inclined Bed Therapy: Tilt your bed for healthful sleep


Share The Wealth

Artificial Water Fluoridation: Off To A Poor Start / Fluoride Injures The Newborn

Drinking Water Fluoridation is Genotoxic & Teratogenic

Democracy At Work? - PPM On Fluoride

"Evidence Be Damned...Patient Outcome Is Irrelevant" - From Helke

Why Remove Fluoride From Phosphate Rock To Make Fertilizer



Islanda, quando il popolo sconfigge l'economia globale.

Il Giorno Fuori dal Tempo, Il significato energetico del 25 luglio

Rinaldo Lampis: L'uso Cosciente delle Energie

Attivazione nei Colli Euganei (PD) della Piramide di Luce

Contatti con gli Abitanti Invisibili della Natura


Diary of a Knowledge Broker

Giving It Away, Making Money

Greenhouses That Change the World

Cycles of Communication and Collaboration

What Is an "Integrated Solution"?

Thoughts about Value-Add

April 28, 2005

Principles of Journalism

I got a call from a Bruce Wilson of ePluribusMedia, a budding community journalism movement. My answering machine didn't record his phone number well, so I checked out their website (which Bruce had said would be up in a couple of weeks). The bare-bones homepage redirected me to some fascinating statements of journalistic principles and expectations.

The journalists who created these statements don't quite see that journalists (including citizen journalists) could
collectively produce organized full-spectrum reportage on events and framings of public issues (as hinted at in Open Source Journalism and Public Framing of Issues) that would be even more valuable than individual stories which try (impossibly) to be neutral.

But the principles that follow are rubbing elbows with that realization, which is very exciting to me. At the very least, they are an excellent description of the role of journalism in a democracy -- at this stage of its evolution.

The following is quoted from
journalism.org -- the website of the Project for Excellence in Journalism and the Committee of Concerned Journalists -- which seems to have a lot of juicy materials on improving journalism...

* * *

A Statement of Shared Purpose

After extended examination by journalists themselves of the character of journalism at the end of the twentieth century, we offer this common understanding of what defines our work.

The central purpose of journalism is to provide citizens with accurate and reliable information they need to function in a free society.

This encompasses myriad roles--helping define community, creating common language and common knowledge, identifying a community's goals, heros and villains, and pushing people beyond complacency. This purpose also involves other requirements, such as being entertaining, serving as watchdog and offering voice to the voiceless.

Over time journalists have developed nine core principles to meet the task. They comprise what might be described as the theory of journalism
(Note: each of these is described in fascinating detail on the website):

  1. Journalism's first obligation is to the truth
  2. Its first loyalty is to citizens.
  3. Its essence is a discipline of verification.
  4. Its practitioners must maintain an independence from those they cover
  5. It must serve as an independent monitor of power.
  6. It must provide a forum for public criticism and compromise.
  7. It must strive to make the significant interesting and relevant.
  8. It must keep the news comprehensive and proportional.
  9. Its practitioners must be allowed to exercise their personal conscience.


What to Expect from the Press

What do we as citizens have a right to expect from journalists? Based on five years of research--what we believe is the most comprehensive and systematic effort ever by journalists to define the common principles of the profession--the following constitute a consensus about what journalists must offer and what citizens should expect.

Citizens Bill of Journalism Rights (click on each for further info)

  1. Truthfulness
  2. Proof that the journalists' first loyalty is to citizens
  3. That journalists maintain independence from those they cover
  4. That journalists will monitor power and give voice to the voiceless
  5. A forum for public criticism and problem solving
  6. News that is proportional and relevant


posted by Tom Atlee on Thursday April 28 2005
updated on Saturday September 24 2005

URL of this article:




Related Articles

Whole System Learning and Evolution -- and the New Journalism
A few days ago I stumbled on a new model for whole-system intelligence inspired by some work my friend Peggy Holman is doing with Journalism that Matters. These journalists are reexamining the kinds of stories they tell and their role in democracy, especially in light of how the rise of bloggers and other citizen journalists challenges mainstream media. Journalism that Matters is trying to revision that challenge into a create... [read more]
May 08, 2008 - Tom Atlee

Protect Sources or Not? - More Complex than It Seems
Should the media and the legal system protect unethical powerholders who illegally leak information as part of their power manipulations? If they are protected, doesn't that degrade democracy? If they are exposed, wouldn't that make ethical whistleblowers less likely to leak vital information to the public, also degrading democracy? The answers to these questions play out differently in a polarized adversarial political environment and in a culture of dialogue... [read more]
July 16, 2005 - Tom Atlee

Blog Power vs Media's Breathless Irrelevancies
The Downing Street Memo story provides an object lesson in (a) skewed media coverage -- especially when compared with the Michael Jackson story -- and (b) the competitive dynamics between blogs and mass media.... [read more]
June 27, 2005 - Tom Atlee


Readers' Comments

Post a comment

Security code:

Please enter the security code displayed on the above grid

Due to our anti-spamming policy the comments you are posting will show up online within few hours from the posting time.


Diversity is possibility waiting to be born. So how can we use our differences most creatively?


Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

These articles are brought to you strictly for educational and informational purposes. Be sure to consult your health practitioner of choice before utilizing any of the information to cure or mitigate disease. Any copyrighted material cited is used strictly in a non commercial way and in accordance with the "fair use" doctrine.