Friday, June 22, 2012

Livestock Publications Council :: Code of Ethics

RHD, along with many other professionals in the livestock advertising business, is a member of the Livestock Publications Council, better known as LPC. LPC is a professional organization for livestock communications professionals, both as service professionals and publications. Businesses like RHD fall under the "Service" division and then magazines like "Drive" or "Angus Journal" fall under the publication division. Dues are $150 per year.

You can see a full list of members here:
It's interesting to me to notice what individuals / magazines ARE members....and which ones are not. To me it is very important to be part of this organization because it sets the standards that professionals like me should follow. Also, I feel it is important for producers to do business with those who are members of LPC, because these are the true professionals of the business.

Enough background on LPC.

This morning I got an email asking me to participate in a survey for LPC regarding an update to their Code of Ethics. As I got into the survey, I noticed that photo editing was a major point of the survey. The survey asked very specific questions about what is ethical and what is not. For example, is lightening or darkening a photo ethical? How about cropping? What about removing dirt and manure? How about combining two photos into one?

One of the suggestions brought out in the survey was that photos that are edited should be labelled as a "livestock illustration" in fine print.

Another big part of the survey was the role that publications play. Here were some of the statements we had to evaluate either agree or disagree:

  • Any personal opinions reported in a livestock publication should be labeled as such to avoid connection with the publication as a whole.
  • Livestock publications should avoid publishing editorial content based on the wishes or benefits of advertisers.
  • A responsible livestock publication should present several sides of an issue and provide objective reporting when disseminating information.   
  • Livestock publications should consider the potential impacts on privacy and rights of all persons before publishing material. 
  • Livestock publications should not publish any details that serve no useful purpose or may harm individuals. 
  • If harmful material is reported, a livestock publication should seek and publish responses from those individuals involved.

Other changes addressed in the survey discussed ethics in social media. Again, applauding LPC for being so proactive in this.

I was so happy to see LPC addressing some of these issues that are negative plagues to the industry. I'm excited to see what they have in store for updating and revising the Code of Ethics. 

You can view the current LPC Code of Ethics here:

And if you are a professional in livestock publications and aren't a member, I highly recommend joining. It's a great organization.

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