Photojournalism and Ethics
The ethics in photojournalism really surrounds the general function and definition of photojournalism: which is to capture the real world as it is happening. Though the concept of the real world can be debated, it is up to the photojournalist to capture the image as clearly and honestly as they see it. What this means in a specific sense of ethics in photojournalism is to avoid altering the photo as much as possible.
This form of abstinence starts by non-participation in the image where the photojournalist avoids inspiring or activating the image as much as possible. Though the very presence of the photojournalist will likely change the situation, like draw the attention of the subjects, they should not be actively posing them in any way. Likewise, they should not be an actor in the given situation that they are photographing. For example, if there is a conflict between military forces and protesters and the photographer comes in and aids a protester while taking photos then this could break the code of ethics in photojournalism. This can create a paradox for many photojournalists as they are ethically bound from interfering in a situation, but a more broad sense of ethics may call them to act. If you are photographing a person who is dying of hunger and you give them food it could violate the ethics of your photo, but is humane.
Beyond the active construction in the creation of the image in front of the camera, photo editing in programs like Adobe Photoshop are almost roundly rejected by ethics in photojournalism. This issue can be debated, but standard photo post-production elements such as smoothing out wrinkles on a person's face, enhancing the colors of a location, or changing the contrast could all be considered clear violations of ethics in photojournalism. There have been many major cases in recent years of photojournalists being let go from major publications for the most minor alterations during photo editing. An example of this could be a color alteration to a photo where the sky color could be changed. This change in sky color could indicate or diminish the appearance of pollution, it could change the interpretation of the season, and it could even shift the perspective of the subjects. All of these changes would be the anti-thesis of the structure of the photojournalist project and would violate it on a critical level. Photo editing can be used in certain situations, but it should remain incredibly minor if it wants to fit the strict ethical standards that have been associated with photojournalism. These restrictions will usually never apply to the negotiation of the aperture, ISO, and shutter speed.