Mission Statement

Adopted March 8, 2014

The Society for News Design invents, makes, promotes and teaches the world’s best visual journalism.

We seek to:
* Promote the highest ethical standards in all of our crafts
* Champion visual journalism as an integral discipline
* Educate journalists on a continuing basis
* Celebrate excellence in all aspects of journalism
* Encourage innovation throughout our industry
* Provide a forum for critical review and discussion of issues
* Value our unique and diverse international and multicultural character.

Code of Ethics

The Society for News Design’s Code of Ethical Standards — Adopted Aug. 30, 2006

Preamble: As members of the Society for News Design, we have an obligation to promote the highest ethical standards for visual journalism — for all journalism — as they apply to the values of accuracy, fairness, honesty, inclusiveness, and courage.


Accuracy is the indispensable value in journalism and must not be compromised. We must deliver error-free content, across all our media platforms. We must ensure that our content is a verifiable representation of the news and of our subjects. We promise never intentionally to mislead those who depend upon us for public service. We will correct errors promptly and prominently. We must be as accurate with our colleagues as we are with our audiences.


We value original thought and expression. Our work will be free from fraud and deception — that includes plagiarism and fabrication. We will attribute content and honor copyrights. We will strive to keep news content free of special interests, inside or outside the news organization. We embrace the value of transparency, disclosing the thinking behind key decisions — from a credit line up to an editor’s note on the front page.


We must be scrupulously fair. We recognize that our work can have great impact on the subjects we cover and therefore we must respectfully balance that against the public’s need to know. Even when it is impossible to avoid harm in the pursuit of truth telling, we will work hard to minimize that harm. We will listen to our critics. Our judgment in these matters must be based on our sense of right and wrong in a manner consistent with our professional values.


We will remain vigilant in our quest to combat prejudice and lead needed reforms. We will avoid stereotypes in reporting, editing, presentation, and hiring. Diversity, broadly defined, will be a hallmark of our work.

We accept the responsibility to understand our communities and to overcome bias with coverage that is representative of the constituent groups in the community. Over time, many groups, lifestyles, and backgrounds should see themselves and their values represented in the news.


Journalists need moral and, at times, physical courage to fulfill their responsibility to serve the public. It takes courage to stand behind values such as accuracy, honesty, fairness and inclusiveness. Such courage is necessary to achieve personal integrity and build credibility. This includes the courage to step beyond rigid boundaries. We must test conventional thinking explore innovative story-telling to help changing audiences understand an increasingly complex world.

Logic and literalness, objectivity and traditional thinking have their important place, but so must imagination and intuition, responsible creativity and empathy.