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Dear Members — Rather than try to invent a new code of ethics just for boxing journalism, we’re embracing the popular Code of Ethics created by the Society of Professional Journalists. The code is here As the SPJ explains:

"The SPJ Code of Ethics is voluntarily embraced by thousands of journalists, regardless of place or platform, and is widely used in newsrooms and classrooms as a guide for ethical behavior. The code is intended not as a set of “rules” but as a resource for ethical decision-making."

Why do we want a “Code of Ethics”? Writing is a tough business; so is boxing. The BWAA’s purpose is to support its members. The old days when every journalist came up through a newspaper with a hardcore set of ethics rules to follow as a job requirement are in the past. We all work for different places, and occasionally an opportunity may come along that might make one ask “is this ok?” The SPJ code can provide guidance. We’re a professional journalists’ organization, chartered “to foster the highest professional and ethical standards in boxing journalism,” and it’s worthwhile to have a resource for members and a set of best practices to point to.

Whomever you work for, you don’t work for the BWAA, and we’re not here to be ethics police. “Embracing” this new code means, simply, pointing to it, so it’s easier to find. The BWAA has a small set of bylaws already — there’s one that says a member may dismissed for “conduct detrimental to the organization.” That move can be made only by a vote of the BWAA officers and board members, who also could use the journalistic high standards described in the SPJ code as a resource, not as a rulebook.

Don Steinberg 1st VP, BWAA


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