Journalists have the opportunity for their words to be read by thousands of people, so they should be careful about what they report. They should have a code of ethical standards for print, broadcast and online journalism governing their truthfulness, accuracy, integrity and accountability when they publish or report news.
I think that Journalism Ethics Council is necessary. Any organization that might help police the field of journalism behave more responsibly can only be a good thing. I think that guidelines and principles are something that is lost on today's journalists. The JEC might help with the current problems today.
The Journalism Ethics Council is probably unncessary in that the schooling of journalists and the places of employment should be looking out for ethics violations or poor decisions made by journalists. It is not the job of some independent agency to ensure the ethics are being followed, and it is a wasste of time and money.
It is tempting to impose upon the press some restraints that can prevent them from running roughshod over liberties in the pursuit of ratings-driven ad revenues. However, giving a Journalism Ethics Council any kind of meaningful power would be the equivalent of giving up our first amendment rights to freedom of the press. Even though the ethics council may be outside of any government agency, it would still be a third party with the ability to limit what can and cannot be said in the press, and that is not a road that we should travel.
No, I do not believe that the Journalism Ethics Council is necessary, because it is very hard to impose ethics on people who are not ethical. The Journalism Ethics Council cannot really police as many ethical violations as happen. It is better just to let journalists police themselves, and people can just take journalists in the context that they are biased and unethical.