Pompeu Fabra University. Research group about Journalism


Subjects related to ethics and journalistic ethics given by group members:

M.A. Programme: Advanced studies in communication

Subject: Journalism and Communication Ethics
Professor: Dr. Salvador Alsius

This subject approaches communication ethics from various perspectives. It's not based on any ethics fundamentation of absolute kind. It has not a basis on a monolithic system of beliefs. It tries to explain and to take into account the various ways of backing up the communication professionals' behaviors.

It is also opened in the sense of not looking only at one kind of professionals. It looks at the deontological heritage of the various modalities of communication: Journalism, Advertising and Entertaining. Even so, most of the attention is payed to information ethics for two reasons. First, it's the most fundamented from a doctrinal perspective. And second, it's the one who usually allows more vivid and socially oriented discussions.


  1. Communication ethics and information ethics. Fundamentation of professional deontologies.
  2. Ethics and law. Information as a human right. The concept of common good.
  3. Historical evolution of Communication Ethics.
  4. Regulation vs. Autoregulation.
  5. Main autoregulation devices. Deontological codes. Professional councils. Ombudsmen. Newsroom rules.
  6. Principis i normes de la deontologia de les professions relacionades amb la comunicació. Veracitat, justícia, llibertat, responsabilitat. Principles and regulations of communication professions deontology: Truth, Justice, Freedom, Responsability.
  7. Case studies.



Degree in Journalism

Subject: Deontology and current affairs analysis
Professors: Dr. Josep Maria Casasús, Dr. Marcel Mauri, Dr. Carles Singla
ECTS: 4,5

Journalistic Deontology and Current Affairs Analysis is a subject of reflection and critical analysis of the media role from an ethical and deontological perspective. On the basis that Journalism has a responsibility mission towards society, this subject allows to deal with different questions like these ones: What is deontology? What differences are there between ethics amd moral? Which are the limits or the meeting points beetwen deontology and communications law? Which are the ethical principles that rule journalism?

First part of the subject consist on master sessions that allow students to comprehend the theoretical frame. With these in hand, they can analyze in depth the case studies that they have to work with in the second part.

PART 1: Theoretical frame
Basical notions. Fundamental concepts and definitions. Ethics, Moral and Deontology. Relations with Law. General System of Journalistic Deontology.

  • 1. Doctrinal Deontology.
    • 1.1 Classical schools in Journalistic Deontology (Lambeth).
    • 1.2 New tendencies in different journalistic cultures.
    • 1.3 Integral journalism theory. The Ethics of the sources, of the journalists and of the audience.
  • 2. Positive Deontology.
    • 2.1 Index and priority of General and Special Journalistic Deontology sources.
    • 2.2 Institutions and devices for the autoregulations.
    • 2.3 Procedures for autoregulation and deontological practices.

PART 2: Practical Seminars

  • 1. Principle of Truth.
    • 1.1 Teleological or Deontological Ethics.
    • 1.2 Free Opinions and sacred Facts: Information precision.
    • 1.3 Information neutrality.
  • 2. Principle of Justice.
    • 2.1 Access for disadvantaged groups.
    • 2.2 Neutrality.
    • 2.3 Pressumption of innocence.
  • 3. Principle of Freedom.
    • 3.1 Limits to Freedom of Information.
    • 3.2 External influences: political and other forms of control.
    • 3.3 Relationships with sources.
  • 4. Principle of Responsibility.
    • 4.1 Privacy.
    • 4.2 Protection of minors.
  • 5. Journalism 2.0 and journalistic ethics.
  • 6. Autoregulation devices and journalism practice

Subject: News analysis seminar
Professors: Dr. Jaume Guillamet, Dr. Carles Pont, Sra. Llúcia Oliva
ECTS: 4,5

This subject analyzes and discusses the events presented as news by the media. It has three parallel aims.

First one is to allow students to know and to apply the models used in social sciences to study media contents.

Second one is to analyze the criteria used for the media to select and to elaborate events for newsmaking. Focus are aimed to different fases: How are facts gathered? How are them selected, priorized and printed or broadcasted? How media ownership or ideology influences this work process?

Third and last aim is tho develop a critical attitude towards current affairs news with special attention payed to ethical and deontological issues.


  • 1. Introduction to media analysis.
    • Schools and tendencies on media analysis.
    • Content analysis.
  • 2. News and current affairs analysis.
    • Critical analysis of newspaper front pages.
    • Critical analysis of TV news summaries.
    • Writing a blog on current affairs news.
  • 3. Professional practice and structures of media.
    • Control of media.
    • Public opinion and published opinion.
    • Deontological and čthical aspects of newsmaking.

Assignatura: Fonaments del periodisme
Professors: Dr. Carles Singla, Dr. Christopher Tulloch

This subject aim is to introduce the students into the basic knowledge and skills required for the journalistic work. It's placed on the first trimester of the first course and its contents are the first basis for other subjects that will be developed further.

First part, "Introduction to Writing and Reporting", is the theoretical basis for other subjects oriented at the writing of informative, interpretative or opinion texts. This based is also of use in the newswriting process in different workshops.

Second part, "Journalism Theory Principles", introduces essencial issues in Journalism, as newsgathering, news values, production of newspapers and newscasts, and studies on the reception and effects of news.

Third part, "Principles of professional culture and practice", briefly introduces some basic elements for the journalistic work that will be developed in depth in further subjects: newsgathering, sources of information, journalistic ethics and deontology, newsroom organisation and information business.


  • 1. Introduction to news writing and reporting
    • Definition of journalism
    • The style of informative journalistic discourse.
    • Information genres: news.
    • Interpretation genres: Classification and characteristics.
    • Argumentative genres: Classification and characteristics.
  • 2. Principles of Journalism Theory
    • Principles of journalistic ephemerology
    • Structure and elements of the events of journalistic interest
    • Criteria and rules for newstgathering and news values.
    • Composition of journalistic text.
    • Reception and message alterations: Rumor theory.
  • 3. Elements of professional culture and practice
    • Profile and characteristics of journalist
    • Journalistic skills
    • Information sources system
    • Journalistic Business
    • Newsrooms organisation and work
    • Ethics and Deontology in Journalism
    • New channels, tools and tendencies: the future of journalism.