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Analysis of professional perceptions relating to the effectiveness of codes of ethics for journalists in Spain

Marcel Mauri-Ríos (Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona, Spain)
Silvia Marcos-García (Universitat Jaume I, Castellón, Spain)
Aitor Zuberogoitia-Espilla (Mondragon Unibertsitatea, Mondragon, Spain)

Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society

ISSN: 1477-996X

Article publication date: 20 May 2020

Issue publication date: 20 October 2020




Codes of ethics are important instruments in journalism, as they promote transparency and self-regulation of media, in addition to monitoring the quality of information. The purpose of this paper is to analyse the perceptions that Spanish journalists have of the effectiveness of codes of ethics and to evaluate the different personal and professional variables which condition this vision.


The methodology used in the present study is based on quantitative content analysis using the survey technique. This technique makes it possible to obtain empirical data on various key aspects of the profession that are determining factors in ascertaining Spanish journalists’ views of one of the instruments of accountability that is external to the media: general ethical codes.


The results show that Spanish journalists are largely confident in the effectiveness of ethical codes in their profession. Likewise, it was seen that variables such as age, professional experience or the media with which they work influence the perceptions that professionals have of such instruments.


If understanding journalism as a profession whose mission is to guarantee the citizens their right to information, then it is essential to be familiar with the tools provided by the profession itself to be accountable to the public regarding this professional mission. Hence the importance of instruments of accountability and the perceptions of the professionals themselves regarding their effectiveness.



It is the first time that the data published in this article is used.

All the data collected in this manuscript are results obtained in the project “MediaAces, Accountability and Journalistic Cultures in Spain, Impact and Proposal of Good Practices in the Spanish Media (MediaACES)”, financed by the Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness (MINECO/FEDER, EU, ref: CSO2015-66404-P).


Mauri-Ríos, M., Marcos-García, S. and Zuberogoitia-Espilla, A. (2020), "Analysis of professional perceptions relating to the effectiveness of codes of ethics for journalists in Spain", Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society, Vol. 18 No. 4, pp. 511-528.



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