In the waning hours of Georgia’s legislative session, between votes on sex trafficking and organ procurement, Republican House Representative and lawyer Andy Welch introduced the Ethics in Journalism Act. Co-sponsored by five other Republican lawmakers, the bill would authorize a board to create new ethical standards that govern journalists’ work, and to sanction journalists who violate them.
The Journalism Ethics Board, described in the bill as an “independent body,” would be based at the University of Georgia’s Grady College of Journalism. The University System of Georgia’s chancellor would select nine journalists to appoint the board: three editors, three “news producers,” a retired journalism professor, and two digital journalists.
While not expressly required to do anything, the board could “promulgate canons of ethics for journalism,” develop a voluntary accreditation process for journalists, and handle Georgia residents’ complaints of ethics violations against journalists working in the state. The bill would also grant interview subjects the right to request any photographs, audio, and video recordings taken by a journalist, free of charge and at any time in the reporting process. Reporters that fail to respond in a timely manner would face civil penalties.
In a written statement, Richard T. Griffiths, a retired CNN vice president and former Grady College fellow who now heads the Georgia First Amendment Foundation, said the bill
Read more here: https://www.cjr.org/united_states_project/ethics-journalism-act-georgia-welch.php