Collaborating with instructors, students, programs and community partners, the Institute for Ethics and Integrity in Journalism strives to rebuild trust in journalism and news media amid a national and global climate in which trust is lacking and challenging.

Our Fellows serve as a resource for students and faculty to cultivate best practices that support fair and accurate local and national journalism. Together, we coordinate special programming, guest lectures, networking opportunities and curriculum enhancements. We seek out high quality paid internships at various media outlets so students can put into practice what they’ve learned in the classroom.

We also are dedicated to nurturing an ongoing conversation with the public to promote a greater understanding of the decision-making practices that ethical journalists employ in pursuit of a good story. Along the way, we recognize outstanding journalism practitioners and underwrite awards to students doing research in journalism ethics.

Clearly, a well-reported story requires an outlet. To that end, we’ve partnered with Duquesne’s Center for Emerging and Innovative Media and its three state-of-the-art media studios so students can produce professional broadcasts, podcasts, livestreams and pre-recorded content.

Our Code of Ethics

We strive to promote trust in journalism and news media by creating an ongoing dialogue with the public and regional partners to foster best practices to support local and national journalism that is fair and accurate, to recognize outstanding journalism practitioners, and to offer enhanced educational and professional learning experiences for Duquesne students.

Write the truth—verifying all information before releasing it—and provide context and attribution for the facts. Do not plagiarize, omit critical facts or pay for access to news.
Strive for fairness and balance, avoid conflicts of interest and maintain independence from the people you cover.
Identify sources unless they face retribution or danger for cooperating.
Seek feedback about your work; admit and promptly correct mistakes.
Serve as a watchdog for the public, yet balance the public's need to know against potential harm.
Treat those you deal with in your work with respect and courtesy; avoid imposing your cultural values on others.

Research: How Consumers Value News & Journalism Ethics

In conjunction with the Institute, three media department faculty members, including Institute Fellow Dr. Pamela E. Walck, are conducting a first-of-its-kind study titled "Trust in Local News Media: How Consumers Value News and Journalism Ethics." Through a county-wide survey and focus group discussions, this multi-faceted project examines the views of Allegheny County residents regarding local, national and international news sources.

Driving this research project is the idea that while the public's need for accurate information has never been greater, it comes at a time when trust in news media has steadily deteriorated both locally and nationally.

Questions include the following: How do local media habits influence audience perceptions? How do citizens define "news" and "information" and are these concepts the same thing? And how do those personal definitions influence the way individuals view media?

The survey launched in June 2022 with a new round of focus groups scheduled for fall 2023.

Lending Our Support

The Institute sponsors annual awards to the top undergraduate and graduate research symposium paper that tackles a current issue in local or national journalism ethics. The winning entry should identify and elaborate on an ethical issue in journalism today, create an avenue for discourse about journalism ethics and offer possible solutions.

Meet Our Fellows

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Tara Bradley-Steck

Tara Bradley-Steck, Directing Fellow

Tara was a newswoman and correspondent for the Pittsburgh bureau of The Associated Press for 15 years after starting her career as an investigative reporter for the Beaver County Times and founding a small newspaper on the Crow Reservation in Montana. Her many professional accomplishments include Pennsylvania AP staffer of the year and awards for news and investigative reporting from the Pennsylvania Newspaper Publishers Association, Pennsylvania Women's Press Association, Women in Communications, American Bar Association, American Cancer Society and National Society of Professional Engineers. After leaving the AP, Bradley-Steck taught journalism at the University of Pittsburgh, worked as a media consultant and editor, and most recently served as senior adviser for communications to President Ken Gormley.

Pamela E. Walck

Pamela E. Walck, Faculty Fellow

Pam is an associate professor of journalism in the Media Department at Duquesne University and the editor of American Journalism. She is currently working on her first book, Voices of the Pittsburgh Courier: Mrs. Robert Vann and the Men and Women of America’s ‘Best’ Weekly. A sixteen-year veteran of the newsroom, she has been teaching journalism ethics, newswriting and editing for the last ten years. Her research focuses on the innovation of social media and technology in newsrooms, historic journalism, and the Black press during World War II.

Lynne Hayes-Freeland

Lynne Hayes-Freeland, Professional Fellow

Lynne’s career as a broadcast journalist spans more than 40 years on both radio and television. A graduate of Duquesne University, Lynne’s on-air experience was first cultivated at the school’s WDUQ radio station. Best known as a reporter and talk show host for KDKA-TV, Lynne’s work has been recognized both locally and nationally. She broke barriers in becoming the first full-time African American talk show host on KDKA-Radio, the country’s first radio station, in 2019. Although retired from a full-time career, Lynne continues working on special projects for both radio and television.

Paula Reed Ward

Paula Reed Ward, Professional Fellow

Paula is a reporter at The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, teaches courses in journalism at Duquesne and is the faculty advisor to the University’s award-winning student newspaper, The Duquesne Duke. She previously worked for The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, where she was a member of the team that won the Pulitzer Prize for breaking news reporting in 2019. She also was a reporter at The Savannah (GA) Morning News and the Pottsville (PA) Republican and Evening Herald. Ward is the author of Death by Cyanide: The Murder of Dr. Autumn Klein.

Thanks to Our Donor

Throughout Patricia Doherty Yoder's decades-long career holding senior positions in public relations and public affairs, her experiences as a communications professional taught her that trust among the public, journalists and organizations requires deep engagement among all parties.

With Pat's support, and through the University's national and global connections, we have been given an incredible opportunity for our students, teachers and community to restore an ethical and trustworthy landscape in journalism today.

"In my professional life, I strove for integrity alongside many respected journalists and communications professionals and understand just how crucial it is to have people of integrity shaping how we understand the world," Pat says. "At the same time, it also is more critical than ever that we restore the public's trust in journalism, and I know Duquesne has the people and the institutional will to pursue this work. I am glad to provide some of the support to get it moving."

Pat Yoder

Pat's generous gift will drive our work to re-establish public trust in journalism and media in the United States.

Media Education at Duquesne

The study of ethics is embedded in Duquesne's DNA. In the media department alone, at least six courses feature ethics instruction, including one devoted exclusively to media ethics. Together, students and teachers examine ethical trends and practices in mass media, navigate issues involved in investigative reporting, and discuss considerations surrounding user manipulation and data tracking in user experience design. This foundation and prioritization of ethics complements active learning through a hands-on curriculum that explores the role media and interactive technologies play in communication, storytelling, public relations and advertising, and design and how they are impacting our world.

The Institute for Ethics and Integrity in Journalism collaborates closely with instructors and programs to provide students opportunities to enhance their education and experience.

Our Fellows assist with special programming, guest lectures, internships, networking opportunities and curriculum enhancements to round out students' horizon-expanding education. 

The Institute also partners with the University's Center for Emerging and Innovation Media, launched in 2020, which offers students real-world experience producing and presenting state-of-the-art digital content with high-quality technological tools used in professional video production facilities around the world. Together, we work with academic and public communities to create innovative and engaging content, bound within the ethics and integrity that are embedded in our campus-wide curriculum.

Explore Our Media Majors & Minors