This chapter provides an overview of the traditional norms and standards for journalists. Consideration is given to the basic assumptions underlying media coverage, including the need for objectivity and truthfulness in writing, reporting and editing news for public consumption. The chapter delineates central approaches to ethical behavior, including those of teleological and deontological origin, as well as established codes of ethics. It enumerates areas in which journalists face special challenges as a means of avoiding favoritism, lack of adequate sourcing, stealing ideas from others through plagiarism, taking gifts in exchange for positive coverage or paying for information by engaging in checkbook journalism. The chapter considers mass media performance in relation to areas in which ethical behavior is most often challenged, such as reporting on law enforcement and politics. And it reviews lapses within the context of historic benchmarks of ethical behavior, considering errors and omissions in which ethical mistakes have been made more recently in response to charges of false or “fake news.”