Young journalists must continue to uphold standards, Sky News editor tells NCTJ conference

“What I expect to see in young journalists is commitment to the standards we uphold and an understanding of fairness and morality,” Peter Lowe, managing editor at Sky News told delegates at the Journalism Skills Conference on Friday.

He was speaking as part of a panel discussion on managing ethics and regulation in the newsroom, chaired by Mark Hanna, senior lecturer, University of Sheffield and chair of the NCTJ media law and regulation examinations board.

Peter added that the “explosion” of social media had prompted more ethical issues, such as authenticating news on Twitter and issues when using shared photographs.

He was joined on the panel by Doug Wills, managing editor, Evening Standard and The Independent titles and Gary Shipton, deputy chairman, Johnston Press editorial board, and editor-in-chief of Sussex Newspapers.

Referring to a YouGov poll, Doug, who is also the new president of the Society of Editors, said that the public trust in journalism was at an all-time low. He cautioned that not all journalists should be tarnished with the same brush, but said print could learn from their broadcast journalism counterparts.

Gary Shipton said that the regional press have always been committed to “honesty, strength and accuracy” but since joining IPSO, processes have become more formalised to ensure journalists are acting ethically. Journalists and editors are now receiving more formal training on IPSO and plan to provide training on the emerging editors’ code and how to enforce it.

The NCTJ reacted to concerns raised by the Leveson inquiry by creating an ethics module to be taught as part of the Diploma in Journalism.