Many have pointed to the lack of ethics in journalism these days. Many times I have bemoaned the fact that ethics has been replaced by bias, leftist agenda pushing, and the active hiding of any story that might be harmful to Democrats, the left, and the government.

Most members of the mainstream media will argue to the death that their profession has not become a tool of the left, but the evidence to the contrary is overwhelming.

I urge anyone with any doubt to read the website for a week. Yes, it’s a conservative site, but what it reports are real-world actual journalistic sins.

When I was in J-school, we talked about “journalistic ethics” a lot. I know, I know, many say that’s a contradiction in terms, but we took the issue seriously.

Imagine my surprise when I learned recently that ethics literally had been expunged from journalism. Below are two graphics depicting the “Pyramid of Journalism.” The top one was reconstructed by me from a description in a recent story on the website of the Poynter Institute for Media Studies, sort of a liberal think tank on the media based in St. Petersburg, Fla. It depicts the pyramid as envisioned in 1997 by the Poynter faculty.

Below it is Poynter’s updated version designed for the much-changed landscape of journalism.

Notice what’s missing? Ethics, which used to be at the apex, is no longer one of the building blocks in the “Pyramid of Journalism.”

I’m not surprised. At least give them credit for honesty.

I don’t know what prompted the excision of ethics from the pyramid, but I know it can’t be a good thing for journalism.

Ethics are the moral code by which a person or a profession operates. It involves standards, ideals, values, and behavior. That’s a lot of baggage to toss overboard.

Without those things to live up to, what, exactly, is it that will keep journalism and journalists honest? Absent those things, to what will they aspire?

Jon Ham (@rivlax) is Vice President for Communications at the John Locke Foundation and publisher of Carolina Journal.