Conference Director:

Dr. Kai Hafez
German Institute for Middle East Studies

Network Director:

Prof. Dr. Udo Steinbach

German Institute for Middle East Studies

The Ebelin and Gerd Bucerius Zeit Foundation

Dr. Markus Baumanns


The Ethics of Journalism

Comparison and Transformations in the Islamic-Western Context

An international conference under the auspices of the President of the Federal Republic of Germany, Johannes Rau

Bellevue Palace, Berlin, 29.-30. 3. 2001


A Conference organized by
The German Institute for Middle East Studies, Hamburg
The Ebelin and Gerd Bucerius Zeit Foundation, Hamburg

Introduction | Programme | Pictures | Organization | Codes of Ethics

Codes of Ethics

Council of Arab Information Ministers
Federation of Arab Journalists
International Federation of Journalists
Islamic Media Conference (Jakarta 1980)
Egypt (1972)
Egypt (1983) Egypt (1998)

Indonesia 1
Indonesia 2
Kyrgyzstan 1
Kyrgyzstan 2

Pakistan (1972)
Pakistan (1993)
Saudi Arabia
United Kingdom 1
United Kingdom 2

ASEAN adopted by the 1989 Seventh Assembly of the Confederation of ASEAN Journalists
Preamble The Confederation of ASEAN journalists, aware of the responsibility of journalists to the public in each country of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, with a view to achieving peace and progress in the region, hereby promulgates this Code of Ethics for ASEAN Journalists.
  1. The ASEAN journalist shall resort only to fair, open and honest means or efforts to obtain news, photographs or documents necessary to enable him/her to carry out his/her professional work, properly identifying him/herself in the process as being a representative from media.
  2. The ASEAN journalist shall no allow personal motives or interests to influence him/her or to colour his/her views in a manner that would reflect on his/her professional integrity or would undermine the dignity of his/her profession.
  3. The ASEAN journalism shall not demand or accept any payment, gift or other consideration by way of recompense for reporting what is not true, or withholding or suppressing the truth.
  4. The ASEAN journalist shall honestly report and interpret the news, making sure to the best of his/her knowledge and ability, not to suppress essential facts or distort the truth through exaggeration or through wrong or improper emphasis.
  5. The ASEAN journalist shall give any person aggrieved by his/her report or interpretation of the news the right of reply.
  6. The ASEAN journalist shall not violate confidential information or material obtained by him/her in the exercise of his/her calling.
  7. The ASEAN journalist shall not identify his/her source, and shall resist any outside attempt to make him/her do so, when specifically so enjoined by his/her informant.
  8. The ASEAN journalist shall refrain from writing reports which have the effect of destroying the honour or reputation of a private person, unless public interest justifies it.
  9. The ASEAN journalist shall pay due regard to the multi-ethnic, cultural and religious fabric of ASEAN countries.
  10. The ASEAN journalist shall not write reports, opinions or comments which would endanger the security of his/her country or foment armed confrontation between his/her country and any other ASEAN country, striving at all times, instead, to promote closer friendly relations among them.

Council of Arab Information Ministers
ARAB INFORMATION CHARTER OF HONOUR reviewed by the Council of Arab Information Ministers in Cairo (2-3 August 1978) as a prelude to Submission to the Arab Summit for approval Executing the Arab solidarity charter approved by the Arab summit held at Casablanca in 15 September 1965 and referring to the recommendation and resolutions of the Arab Summit, the Arab League councils and the Council of the Arab Information ministers, which aimed at finding a constructive information policy on both national and humanitarian levels; and also committed to the recommendations of the permanent committee of Arab information at its 30th and 31st sessions that indicated "the necessity of announcing a national Arab Information Charter of Honour", in addition to the Arab information agreements;
Believing in the great role of information in mobilizing the public opinion in the Arab countries that determines national destinies in this crucial phase of the Arab contemporary history and in achieving Arab unity; also preserving the message of information and its high patriotic, national and humanitarian goals; beside the rapid development of means of communication among countries and peoples that has facilitated the finding of facts and interchange of information and drew a new theory of information as a pioneer work of fundamental civilization message of broad affect on individual and community lives;
It has been agreed upon the declaration of the following text of the Arab Information Charter of Honour. General Principles:
  1. Information is based on two rights: the right of expression and the right of knowledge. Hence it is deeply affecting every development activity of cognition, culture and education. Thus it should emphasize religious and moral values and the accumulated supreme principles of human legacies. It should search for plain truth that could serve justice and virtue. It should strengthen relations, deepen understanding and material and moral reactions and exchange among the Arab world community.
  2. Freedom of expression is a basic condition for successful information. It is also a civilization gain that was achieved by a long human struggle and important part of fundamental liberties that was included in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
    However, responsibility is a basic condition, too, for practicing this freedom that should not limit the freedom of others.
  3. The Arab information media has got special responsibility towards the Arab human being. It should commit itself to present to him plain truth that could serve his causes, integrate his national identify and develop it culturally, socially and politically. Also, it should bring out his fundamental rights and liberties and consolidate his belief in spiritual values and true ethics. It should bring up the youth to respect the human rights and national dignity, and develop Man's sense of duty towards his society, country and the Arab nation.
  4. The Arab media should make the Arab homeland, his heritage, history and human, material and moral resources and his just causes known.
  5. The Arab media should care about Arab solidarity in all material that is presented to the public opinion inside and outside - it should contribute with all its capacity in supporting understanding and cooperation between the Arab countries. It should avoid what might harm Arab solidarity and restrain from personal campaigns.
  6. The Arab media should refuse apartheid, religious and other kinds of fundamentalism. It struggles for the just principles and the right of self-determination of the peoples, and right of individuals in freedom and dignity. It should be committed to the struggle against all kinds of colonialism, different types of aggression and should support the developing and non-aligned countries. It should coordinate with the friendly media people to influence the international public opinion for the benefit of the Arabs and their friends.
  7. The Arab journalists should commit themselves to truth and honesty while they are doing their job and should restrain from degrading other peoples directly or indirectly and should respect their national sovereignty and choices.They should not interfere in their domestic affairs. Also, they shouldn't abuse the media to propagate violence or to insult heads of states.
  8. The Arab journalists should commit themselves to truth and objectivity in publishing news and comments. They should refrain from using illegal methods in obtaining news, pictures, documents, etc. and they should keep their sources secret, as far as national security is not involved.
  9. The Arab journalists should keep the Arabic language correct and sound and expand it among the Arab nation in order to substitute dialects.
  10. The Arab media should pay special attention to Arab news and information materials in general, and to the news and materials that are supplied by the Arab and friendly newspapers.
  11. The Arab journalists should bring up individual gifts and capabilities and discover them among the new generations. The Duties of Governments and Institutions:
  12. The Arab governments guarantee the freedom of professional consciousness of the journalists. They should facilitate their work in accordance with this charter and the supreme Arab goals.
  13. The Arab governments guarantee the free movement of Arab journalists in all parts of the Arab homeland and should guarantee the freedom of work and professional organization.
  14. The Arab governments facilitate the freedom of Arab press circulation and the free flow of information. They should not confiscate or censor unless there is absolute necessity.
  15. The rights of authors are guaranteed by law and all necessary legislation for this purpose should be put to effect in all Arab countries.
Source: Nordenstreng, Kaarle (Ed.) 1989: Journalist: Status, Rights and Responsibilities. Prague: International Organization of Journalists, p.275-277

Federation of Arab Journalists
ARAB CODE OF ETHICS adopted by Third Conference of the Federation of Arab Journalists, April 1972, Baghdad. The Code is based on the following principles:
  1. Commitments to the objectives of the public and the right of the Arab nation to unity, freedom and progress.
  2. Journalists adhere to respect the right of individuals to privacy and dignity. They should abstain from publishing personal or family scandals aiming to weaken family relations.
  3. The message of the press is sacred, it should not be subjected to opportunism, dishonesty, defamation.
  4. The message of the press entails adherence to objective reality and truth. Journalists are committed to obtain information and facts by legal means and to correct any published material in case of discovering inaccuracy in it.
  5. Solidarity among Arab journalists must be based on defence of professional ethics, exposing those who behave improperly or those who seek out personal profit and give priority to personal interests by publishing unfounded news and by making statements aiming to create sensation and to encourage corruption and crime.
  6. Journalists are committed to support justice in courts not to stand by any party against the other or support any case as far as the authority concerned had not issued the sentence yet.
  7. Journalists should respect publication rights, abstain from plagiarism.
  8. Before practicing the profession the journalist - according to the statute of his own organization - should make the following oath: "I swear by professional honour to perform my work honestly and truthfully, keep professional secrets, abide by its regulations and traditions and defend its dignity."
  9. There should be a demarcation between opinions and advertisements so that no propaganda or political opinions and ideas slip into publication as edited materials. Such materials should be clearly specified as advertisements in newspapers and magazines.
Political advertisements submitted by foreign bodies are prohibited unless they are in harmony with the national policy. In that case publication should be equal to established ordinary prices in order not to turn advertisement into indirect donation from a Foreign State.
Members of affiliated unions and organizations should refrain from publishing their names under advertisements so that the reputation and moral influence of journalists are not utilized by advertizers.
Advertisement represents a social service, its essential function is to push the scale of goods which are useful to the consumer and such a function does need to be performed through lies or cheating. Newspapers, magazines and other mass media are entitled to check data and facts in advertisements in order to maintain the reputation of the press. In addition, journalists should dedicate pages for special issues on edited advertisement which spread propaganda for the benefit of imperialist states, reactionary forces and foreign monopolies which contradicts supreme Arab interests.
Source: Nordenstreng, Kaarle (Ed.) 1989: Journalist: Status, Rights and Responsibilties. Prague: International Organization of Journalists, p. 273-274

International Federation of Journalists
DECLARATION OF PRINCIPLES ON THE CONDUCT OF JOURNALISTS adopted by the Second World Congress of the International Federation of Journalists at Bordeaux on 25-28 April 1954 and amended by the 18th IFJ World Congress in Helsingör on 2-6 June 1986. This international Declaration is proclaimed as a standard of professional conduct for journalists engaged ingathering, transmitting, disseminating and commenting on news and information and in describing events.
  1. Respect for truth and for the right of the public to truth is the first duty of the journalist.
  2. In pursuance of this duty, the journalist shall at all times defend the principles of freedom in the honest collection and publication of news, and of the right of fair comment and criticism.
  3. The journalist shall report only in accordance with facts of which he/ she knows the origin. The journalist shall not suppress essential information or falsify documents.
  4. The journalist shall use only fair methods to obtain news, photographs and documents.
  5. The journalist shall do the utmost to rectify any published information which is found to be harmfully inaccurate.
  6. The journalist shall observe professional secrecy regarding the source of information obtained in confidence.
  7. The journalist shall be aware of the danger of discrimination being furthered by the media, and shall do the utmost to avoid facilitating such discrimination based on, among other things, race, sex, sexual orientation, language, religion, political or other opinions, and national or social origins.
  8. The journalist shall regard as grave professional offences the following:
      - plagiarism
      - malicious misrepresentation
      - calumny, slander, libel, unfounded accusations
      - the acceptance of a bribe in any form in consideration of either publication or suppression.
  9. Journalists worthy of that name shall deem in their duty to observe faithfully the principles stated above. Within the general law of each country the journalist shall recognize in professional matters the jurisdiction of colleagues only, to the exclusion of every kind of interference by governments or others.

Islamic Media Conference (Jakarta 1980)
ISLAMIC MASS MEDIA CHARTER adopted by the First International Islamic Mass Media Conference, Jakarta, 1.-3. September 1980.
The Islamic Mass Media Charter is an integral part of the Jakarta Declaration In keeping with our belief in Allah and Allah's Apostle; and in implementation of Islamic, Shariah; and in complete awareness of the imminent dangers besetting the Muslim Ummah and impeding its religious reawakening and in appreciation of the important role of the various forms of Mass-Media and its worthy aims, integrity of the profession and its tradition and; conscious of the goals and aspirations of the Ummah, we workers in the Islamic Media who are now gathered here at the First International Islamic Mass-Media Conference, hereby endorse this charter for Islamic Media. We solemnly pledge to conform to it and regard it a torchlight for all our endeavours as well as a source of rights and obligations. Article 1
  • Consolidation of faith of the Muslim individual in Islamic values and ethical principles.
  • Work towards achieving integration of the Muslim individual's Islamic personality.
  • Endeavour to present real facts within the frame-work of Islamic rule of conduct.
  • Endeavour to acquaint the Muslim individual with his duties towards others, his basic rights and liberties.
Article 2
  • Muslim Media-Men should strive to unite the ranks of Muslims, and to advocate resorting to wisdom, Islamic brotherhood and tolerance in solving their problems.
  • Islamic Media-men should be committed to the following: To combat all forms of colonialism, aggression, Fascism and Racism.
  • To combat Zionism and its colonialist policy of creating settlements as well as its ruthless suppression of the Palestinian people.
  • Islamic Media-men should keep vigilance against anti-Islamic ideas and trends.
Article 3
  • Islamic Media-Men should censor all material which is either broadcast or published, in order to protect the Ummah from influences which are harmful to Islamic character and values, and in order to forestall all dangers.
  • Islamic Media-workers should follow a decent style in carrying out the duties and should in preserving the integrity of the profession and Islamic traditions avoid using offensive words and refrain from publishing obscene material, nor indulge in cynicism, slander, provocation of "Fitna'' rumour-mongering and other forms of defamatory actions.
  • To refrain from either broadcasting or publishing anything that goes against public morality and the rules of decent demeanour. This also means any condoning of crime, violence, suicide or anything that arouses terror or provokes lower instincts, whether directly or indirectly, should be strictly avoided.
  • Commercial advertisements which go against morality should be stricly debarred from either broadcasts or publications.
Article 4
Islamic journalists must be committed to the propagation of Da'wah, to elucidating Islamic issues and to the defence of Muslim point of view. They should also seek to introduce Muslim peoples to one another. They should also be interested in Islamic history, Islamic civilization and the promotion of Arabic language and its dissemination among Muslims, especially Muslim minorities. They should also be committed to re-establish the dominion of Shariah, in lieu of man-made laws and principles. They must be committed to struggle for the liberation of Palestine, especially Al-Quds. They must be totally dedicated to the idea of the Islamic Ummah which must be untainted by either regional, national or tribal chauvinism. They must also strongly advocate the fight against under development in all its manifestations and support the effort towards full development which should guarantee to the Ummah its betterment and power. Source: "The Journal Rabitat Al-Alam Al-lslami", 7. 1980 (12), p. 60-61

INTERNATIONAL PRINCIPLES OF PROFESSIONAL ETHICS IN JOURNALISM issued by the Fourth Consultative Meeting of International and Regional Organizations of Journalists in Paris on 20 November 1983.
International and regional organizations of professional journalists, representing altogether 400 000 working journalists in all parts of the World, have held since 1978 consultative meetings under the auspices of UNESCO.
The second consultative meeting (Mexico City, 1980) expressed its support to the UNESCO Declaration on Fundamental Principles concerning the Contribution of the Mass Media to Strengthening Peace and International Understanding, to the Promotion of Human Rights and to Countering Racialism, Apartheid and Incitement to War. Moreover, the meeting adopted the "Mexico Declaration" with a set of principles which represent common grounds of existing national and regional codes of journalistic ethics as well as relevant provisions contained in various international instruments of a legal nature.
The fourth consultative meeting (Prague and Paris, 1983) noted the lasting value of the UNESCO Declaration in which it is stated inter alia that "the exercise of freedom of opinion, expression and information, recognized as an integral part of human rights and fundamental freedoms, is a vital factor in the strengthening of peace and international understanding". Furthermore, the meeting recognized the important role which information and communication play in the contemporary world, both in national and international spheres, with a growing social responsibility being placed upon the mass media and journalists.
The International Principles of Professional Ethics in Journalism were prepared by several consultative meetings of international and regional organizations of journalists between 19 78 and 1983. The following organizations participated. International Organization of Journalists (IOJ), International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), International Catholic Union of the Press (UCIP), Latin-American Federation of Journalists (FELAP), Latin-American Federation of Press Workers (FELATRAP), Union of African Journalists (UJA), Confederation of ASEAN Journalists (CAJ). The International Federation of Journalists did not participate in the conclusive meeting of this process in Paris, in November 1983, which agreed the document.
On this basis the following principles of professional ethics in journalism were prepared as an international common ground and as a source of inspiration for national and regional codes of ethics. This set of principles is intended to be promoted autonomously by each professional organization through ways and means most adequate to its members.Principle I: Peoples's right to true information
People and individuals have the right to acquire an objective picture of reality by means of accurate and comprehensive information as well as to express themselves freely through the various media of culture and communication. Principle II: The journalist's dedication to objective reality
The foremost task of the journalist is to serve the people's right to true and authentic information through an honest dedication to objective reality whereby facts are reported conscientiously in their proper context, pointing out their essential connections and without causing distortions, with due deployment of the creative capacity of the journalist, so that the public is provided with adequate material to facilitate the formation of an accurate and comprehensive picture of the world in which the origin, nature and essence of events, processes and states of affairs are understood as objectively as possible. Principle III: The journalist's social responsibility
Information in journalism is understood as social good and not as a commodity, which means that the journalist shares responsibility for the information transmitted and is thus accountable not only to those controlling the media but ultimately to the public at large, including various social interests. The journalist's social responsibility requires that he or she will act under all circumstances in conformity with a personal ethical consciousness. Principle IV: The journalist's professional integrity
The social role of the journalist demands that the profession maintain high standards of integrity, including the journalist's right to refrain from working against his or her conviction or from disclosing sources of information as well as the right to participate in the decision-making of the medium in which he or she is employed. The integrity of the profession does not permit the journalist to accept any form of bribe or the promotion of any private interest contrary to the general welfare. Likewise it belongs to professional ethics to respect intellectual property and, in particular, to refrain from plagiarism. Principle V: Public access and participation
The nature of the profession demands that the journalist promote access by the public to information and participation of the public in the media, including the right of correction or rectification and the right of reply. Principle VI: Respect for privacy and human dignity
An integral part of the professional standards of the journalist is respect for the right of the individual to privacy and human dignity, in conformity with provisions of international and national law concerning protection of the rights and the reputation of others, prohibiting libel, calumny, slander and defamation. Principle VII: Respect for public interest
The professional standards of the journalist prescribe due respect for the national community, its democratic institutions and public morals. Principle VIII: Respect for universal values and diversity of cultures
A true journalist stands for the universal values of humanism, above all peace, democracy, human rights, social progress and national liberation, while respecting the distinctive character, value and dignity of each culture, as well as the right of each people freely to choose and develop its political, social, economic and cultural systems. Thus, the journalist participates actively in the social transformation towards democratic betterment of society and contributes through dialogue to a climate of confidence in international relations conducive to peace and justice everywhere, to détente, disarmament and national development. It belongs to the ethics of the profession that the journalist be aware of relevant provisions contained in international conventions, declarations and resolutions. Principle IX: Elimination of war and other great evils confronting humanity
The ethical commitment to the universal values of humanism calls for the journalist to abstain from any justification for, or incitement to, wars of aggression and the arms race, especially in nuclear weapons, and all other forms of violence, hatred or discrimination, especially racialism and apartheid, oppression by tyrannic regimes, colonialism and neocolonialism, as well as other great evils which afflict humanity, such as poverty, malnutrition and diseases. By so doing, the journalist can help eliminate ignorance and misunderstanding among peoples, make nationals of a country sensitive to the needs and desires of others, ensure the respect for the rights and dignity of all nations, all peoples and all individuals without distinction of race, sex, language, nationality, religion or philosophical conviction. Principle X: Promotion of a new world information and communication order
The journalist operates in the contemporary world within the framework of a movement towards new international relations in general and a new information order in particular. This new order, understood as an integral part of the New International Economic Order, is aimed at the decolonization and democratization of the field of information and communication, both nationally and internationally, on the basis of peaceful coexistence among peoples and with full respect for their cultural identity. The journalist has a special obligation to promote the process of democratization of international relations in the field of information, in particular by safeguarding and fostering peaceful and friendly relations among States and peoples. Source:

CHARTE D'ETHIQUE ET DEONTOLOGIE DES JOURNALISTES ALGERIENS adopted by a conference of Algerian journalists and the Syndicat National des Journalistes (SNJ), Algiers, Maison de la presse, Tahar Djaout, 13 April, 2000 Le journaliste professionnel, quel que soit son statut, est celui qui a pour occupation principale, régulière et rétribuée l'exercice de sa profession dans un ou plusieurs médias et qui en tire le principal de ses ressources. Le droit à l'information, à la libre expression et à la critique est une des libertés fondamentales qui participent de la défense de la démocratie et du pluralisme médiatique. De ce droit, à connaître et faire connaître les faits et les opinions, procède l'ensemble des devoirs et des droits des journalistes.
La responsabilité du journaliste vis-à-vis du public prime toute autre responsabilité, en particulier à l'égard de son employeur et des pouvoirs publics. La mission d'information comporte nécessairement des limites que les journalistes s'imposent et s'appliquent librement. Tel est l'objet dé la déclaration des devoirs formulés ici. Mais les devoirs ne peuvent être effectivement respectés dans l'exercice de la profession que si les conditions concrètes de l'indépendance du journaliste sont réunies. Tel est l'objet de la déclaration des droits qui suit. Ni loi qui contraint et réprime ni code qui impose et astreint, cette charte de l'éthique et de la déontologie définit un ensemble de règles de conduite basées sur des principes universellement admis. Celles-ci régissent les rapports des journalistes entre eux et entre ces derniers et le public. Librement acceptées et démocratiquement adoptées, ces règles doivent servir de guide de conduite à la pratique du journalisme.
Un conseil supérieur de l'éthique et de la déontologie composé de pairs veille au respect de ces principes. DÉCLARATION DES DEVOIRS
Le journaliste se fait un devoir de:
  1. Respecter la vérité quelles qu'en puissent être les conséquences, pour lui-même et ce, en raison du droit que le publie à de la connaître.
  2. Défendre la liberté d'information, d'opinion, du commentaire et de la critique.
  3. Séparer l'information du commentaire.
  4. Respecter la vie privée des personnes et leur droit à l'image.
  5. Publier uniquement les informations vérifiées. S'interdire d'altérer l'information. S'efforcer de relater les faits en les situant dans leur contexte.
  6. S'interdire de diffuser des rumeurs.
  7. Rectifier toute information diffusée qui se révèle inexacte.
  8. Garder le secret professionnel et ne pas divulguer ses sources.
  9. S'interdire le plagiat la calomnie, la diffamation et les accusation sans fondement.
  10. Ne pas confondre le métier de journaliste avec celui de publicitaire ou de propagandiste ; n'accepter aucune consigne, directe ou indirecte, des annonceurs.
  11. N'accepter de directive rédactionnelle que des respondables de la rédaction et dans le strict respect de la clause de conscience.
  12. S'interdire de faire l'apologie, sous quelque forme que ce soit, de la violence, du terrorisme, du crime, du fanatisme, du racisme, du sexisme et de l'intolérance.
  13. Tout journaliste digne de ce nom, reconnaissant le droit en vigueur dans chaque pays, n'accepte en matière d'honneur professionnel que la juridiction de ses pairs, à l'exclusion de toute ingérence gouvernementale ou autre.
  14. S'interdire de tirer une quelconque faveur d'une situation où sa qualité de journaliste, ses influences et ses relations seraient susceptibles d'être exploitées.
  15. Ne pas solliciter la place d'un confrère, ne pas provoquer son licenciement ou sa rétrogradation en offrant de travailler à des conditions inférieures.
  16. Ne pas confondre son rôle avec celui du juge ou du policier.
  17. Respecter la présomption d'innocence.
  18. Ne pas user de méthodes déloyales, pour obtenir des informations des photographies et des documents.
Le journaliste a le droit:
  1. Au libre accès à toutes les sources d'information et le droit d'enquêter librement sur tous les faits qui conditionnent la vie publique. On ne peut lui refuser l'accès aux sources que par exception et en vertu de motifs dûment exprimés.
  2. A la clause de conscience.
  3. A l'information de toute décision importante de nature à affecter la vie de l'entreprise.
  4. A un statut professionnel.
  5. A la formation continue et au perfectionnement dans le cadre de son travail.
  6. A des conditions socioprofessionnelles nécessaires à l'exercice de son métier. A un contrat personnel dans le cadre des conventions collectives garantissant la sécurité matérielle et l'indépendance économique.
  7. A la reconnaissance et au bénéfice du droit d'auteur.
  8. Respect du produit journalistique et la fidélité de son contenu.
Source: El-Watan, April 20, 2000, p. 9

CODE OF CONDUCT adopted by Newspapers, News Agencies and Journalists of Bangladesh, 1993
  1. It is the responsibility of a journalist to keep people informed of issues which influence them or attract them. News and commentaries have to be prepared and published showing full respect to the sensitivity and individual rights of the newspaper readers as well as the people.
  2. Truth and accuracy in respect of information available shall be ensured.
  3. Information received from reliable sources may be published in public interest induced by honest intention and if facts presented therein are considered trustworthy by logical consideration, then the journalist has to be absolved of any adverse consequence for publication of such news.
  4. Reports based on rumours and not supported by facts shall be verified before publication and if these are considered not suitable for publication, one should refrain from publication of such news.
  5. News items whose contents are dishonest and baseless or whose publication hinges on breach of trust shall not be published.
  6. Newspapers and journalists have the right to express their views strongly on controversial issues but in doing so:
    • a.All true events and views shall be expressed clearly.
    • b.No event shall be distorted in order to influence the readers.
    • c.No news shall be distorted or slanted dishonestly either in the main commentary or in the headline.
    • d.Views on main news shall be presented clearly and honestly.
  7. The editor has the right to publish any advertisement in newspapers signed by proper authorities, even if it is apparently against individual interest but not slanderous or against public interest. If protest is made with regard to such advertisement, the editor shall print and publish it without any cost.
  8. Newspapers shall refrain from publishing any news which is contemptuous of or disrespectful to caste, creed, nationality and religion of any individual, community or the country.
  9. If a newspaper published any news against the interest and good name of any individual, agency institution or group of people or any special category of people, then the newspaper or journalist concerned should provide opportunity to the aggrieved persons or institutions to publish their protest or answer quickly and correctly within a reasonable period of time.
  10. If the published news is damaging or is improper, then it should immediately be withdrawn and corrigendurn or explanation (and in special cases apology) should be issued so that the impression (bad or erroneous) created by publication of such news is removed.
  11. Sensational and pulpy news shall not be published to augment the circulation of a paper if such news is deemed vulgar, improper and against public interest.
  12. Newspapers may adopt reasonable measures with a view to resisting crime and corruption even if they may not in some cases be deemed acceptable to someone.
  13. The extent and durability of the influence of newspapers is greater than other media. For this reason a journalist writing for newspapers shall be particularly cautious about the credibility and veracity of sources and shall also preserve his source material in order to avoid risks.
  14. It is the responsibility of the newspapers to publish the news of under-trial cases at all stages and to publish the final judgment of the Court in order to reveal the actual picture of issues relating to the case. But a journalist shall refrain from publishing such comment or opinion as is likely to influence an under-trial case until the final verdict is announced.
  15. Rejoinder of the aggrieved party or parties directly involved with a news item published in a newspaper shall be quickly published in the same newspaper on such a page as would easily attract the attention of the readers; the editor, while editing the rejoinder, shall not change its basic character.
  16. If an aggrieved party sends a rejoinder for the damage done to him by an editorial, it shall be the moral obligation of the editor to publish the corrigendurn in the same page and also express his/her regrets.
  17. The publication of malicious news is far more immoral than that of wrong news without malicious intent.
  18. It is the moral duty of an editor to accept full and sole responsibility for all publications in his/her newspaper.
  19. A reporter while reporting on a case of financial or other irregularity shall, to the best of his ability, ascertain the facts in his news item and must collect sufficient material to justify the truth of the matter reported. He should adopt the necessary precautions while investigating the case.
  20. A responsible publication which has not been contradicted may be the source of a news but it shall be a moral duty on the part of a journalist not to avoid responsibility regarding the news on the pretext that it has been reprinted.
  21. It is the responsibility of a journalist to highlight any news which projects degeneration of moral values in our society but it is also the moral responsibility of a journalist to maintain extra precaution in publishing any news involving man-woman relationships or any report relating to women.
  22. Respect for the law shall be highlighted.
  23. All government employees and the people in general shall be made aware of the need to preserve national resources.
  24. No programmes shall be shown containing scenes of torture to human beings or animals.
  25. The programmes shall eulogise the role of the genuine freedom fighters during the wars of liberation.
  26. All scenes of indecent kissing must be avoided while showing local and foreign films or programmes. No programmes of terrorism, violence or other contents contrary to Bangladeshi cultural values shall be put out.
  27. In the case of advertisements, no commodity shall be undermined while promoting another. Commercials shall not contain any obscene words or scenes.
Source: Communication Ethics: A South Asian Perspective, Asian Media Information and Communication Centre, Singapore. 1997

Egypt (1972)
CHARTER OF WORK AND CODE OF ETHICS IN THE PRESS adopted in 1972 We, Egyptian journalists, Believing in the positive role played by the national press throughout the long struggle of the Egyptian people, by giving expression to its aspirations, sharing its sufferings and supporting its great movement for liberation from all forms of exploitation and oppression,
Convinced that the press should continue to fulfill the constructive mission it has shouldered in its march alongside the Revolution of 23 July 1952, supporting its political and social endeavour and protecting its progressive achievements in the service of Egyptian and Arab masses and its promise of fulfilment to their legitimate hopes and aspirations,
Emphasizing the importance and the seriousness of the responsibility of the press to be a true mirror of society, and a source of guidance and leadership in the service of the basic Principles formulated by the Egyptian people in its long struggle for liberation,
Firmly believing that the press should remain, by truth alone, a weapon in the hands of the people, that its freedom can only exist with the people's support and as an extension of its freedom, and that it should serve the interests of the working masses as expressed in their solidarity within the Arab Socialist Union,
That the ethics of journalistic work are not a function of good performance alone, but derive primarily from the honourable objective served by the published word. The word which is not committed to the service of our people's progress is a word devoid of honour, and the honour of commitment in press work can only be achieved when that work is a conscious choice, independent of all kinds of tutelage, censorship, orientation and containment;
That independent undertaking by the press of its role, on its own social responsibility in the service of the people and under its sole control, is the prime condition of honourable performance and responsibility in journalistic work; and
On the basis of this statement, in fulfilment by the journalists, individually and collectively, of their responsibility, and in implementation of Article 72 of Law No. 76/1970 on the Establishment of the Press Syndicate, which makes it incumbent upon every journalist to adhere to his professional conduct to the principles of honour, honesty and impartiality, and to the ethics and traditions of the profession,
  1. Our total adherence to the basic instruments which guide the struggle of the Egyptian people, particularly the Charter of National Action (1962), the Declaration of 30 March (1968) and the Programme of National Action (1971), and to all the principles and objectives defined therein, and, within this adherence, we emphasize the following principles in particular :
    1. Preservation, free from usurpation, occupation and subservience ;
    2. Pursuit of the evolution towards socialism as a system and a way of life and social behaviour;
    3. Democracy as the only healthy and sound framework for practising political liberties, foremost among which are the freedom of the word of expression and of opinion;
    4. Spiritual values as an essential component of the cultural and intellectual heritage of the Egyptian people, and as a motive force for its struggle;
    5. Building up of Arab Egypt as a historical truth and as a necessity of its future and destiny ;
    6. Alliance with the forces of progressive revolution all over the world, given that the Arab revolution, led by the Egyptian people, is an integral part of the international struggle for freedom and socialism ;
    7. Promotion of world peace and international co-operation in line with the United Nations Charter and international conventions and agreements ;
    8. Defence of the freedom of the press against any encroachment, and the indictment of anyone who accepts such an encroachment or takes part therein ; this being in confirmation of the right of the working masses, and especially the workers, peasants and intellectuals, to know the whole truth and freely express their opinion;
  2. Our full commitment not to obtain, or try to obtain, information or facts except by legitimate means, to transmit them truthfully and honestly to the masses and to protect the press against any deviation from professional ethics and against any prejudice to the interests of the working masses, who are the real proprietors of the press. This commitment shall include abstention from publishing doubtful information, misrepresenting correct information, attributing words or deeds to any person or party without adequate verification or adding statements to those made by any person or party without his authorization ;
  3. Our full commitment to assist the administration of justice in its investigations and proceedings, by publishing all facts, information and opinions related to an open investigation or to a trial in process without any partiality to or against the accused in criminal cases or the contending parties in civil cases, without prejudice, however, to the right of the journalist to comment on the event from the viewpoint of the public. We also adhere to the obligation not to publish the names or photographs of minors accused or arraigned for trial, so as to protect their future careers and facilitate their reformation and return to the fold of society. Publication by the papers of crime news shall also avoid sensational and exaggerated reporting ;
  4. Our total commitment not to exploit the profession for the purpose of obtaining without legal right any personal benefits of any kind, or use the rights of journalists to write and publish for supporting, without clear and objective reasons, any side in any issue dealt with by the press. We also undertake not to publish the photographs of nonpublic figures on other than public occasions without their prior agreement ;
  5. Our total adherence to the principle that every journalist shall bear, jointly with the editor-in-chief, the entire responsibility for the facts, information or opinions he publishes, and our rejection of any attempt to shirk this responsibility on the pretence that publication had been in execution of instructions emanating from any party whatever outside the press ;
  6. Our full commitment to respect the reputation of the family, and of individuals, and the privacy of the citizens' personal life, except in so far as related to and bearing on public life. This shall imply the obligation to refrain from publishing personal and/or family scandals likely to weaken or sever social ties ;
  7. Our full commitment to publish, upon request from the party concerned, corrections to previously published information, without prejudice to the right of the journalist to comment thereon, in explanation of his point of view on the subject ;
  8. Our total adherence to strict objectivity in whatever we write and publish ; this being particularly applicable to criticism of anything relating to public figures, which may have an adverse effect on the discharge of their responsibilities and duties towards the Nation ;
  9. Our full commitment to see to it that all advertisements and publicity are in accordance with the general principles of society and of the mission of the press as defined in this Charter. This shall make it imperative to ensure complete dissociation of writing activities from publicity activities. We hereby state, therefore, our commitment not to engage in publicity work. We also undertake, in publicizing political information or views provided by foreign bodies for that purpose, to ensure that they do not run counter to national policy, and that the charges for publishing them are in accordance with the established rates, so as to preclude the possibility of the advertisement becoming a vehicle of indirect subsidy from foreign countries. Furthermore, we undertake to respect copyright obligations in our periodicals and other publications, and to mention the source of wathever we cite or quote.
  10. Our full commitment to guard professional secrets and reject any pressure to divulge them, it being clearly understood that the secrets kept by any journalist are an integral part of the professional secrets which cannot be revealed.
In order to enable journalists to respect all the commitments they have taken upon themselves and to play their full role free from all restrictions while accepting the responsibility imposed by such freedom, we demand :
  1. Clear definition of the relationship between press institutions and the Arab Socialist Union as an embodiment of solidarity among the working masses, and the agent through which these masses own the press institutions. This definition should be such as to allow the press to be a true instrument of expression for all the working masses, without domination or control, being obliged only to adhere to the general political line of the Arab Socialist Union. No position of leadership in the press shall be occupied by anyone against whom socialist measures have been taken in compliance with the will of the working masses or in confirmation of their rights ;
  2. Non-interference by the executive and administrative authorities in the direction, orientation or administration of the press, whether this interference be through the imposition of direct censorship on the press, issuing instructions of any kind thereto or in any other form ; such interference shall be regarded as a violation of the rights of the working masses ;
  3. Full respect of and adherence to Law 76/1970, regulating disciplinary measures for journalists. Journalists should not be discharged, transferred to non-journalistic jobs, demoted, barred from performing their work in any way or subjected to any penalty except within the framework of the Law of their Syndicate and by the authority designated to take the disciplinary measures provided for in that Law. Consequently, no outside authority shall interfere in the affairs of journalists, and regulations should be drawn up to determine the relationships between journalists within their institutions ;
  4. Definition and regulation of the role of advertising in a way which is compatible with the conditions and circumstances of a society in process of transformation into a socialist one and struggling for liberation from economic exploitation, and precludes the possibility of publicity becoming a means of pressure on the press and consequently of dominating it ;
  5. The obligation of all the responsible authorities to supply all the facts, information and data available to them to the journalists who ask for them, so as to ensure the right of the masses to know all the facts and be informed of all affairs ;
  6. Elimination of all obstacles and restrictions barring journalists from access to external sources of information, by making these sources available and removing, for the benefit of journalists, the censorship imposed on foreign papers and periodicals ;
  7. Ensuring the right of journalists to cover any event of international importance on the site of the event regardless of the nature of the State's official relations with the country where it has occured ;
  8. Recognition of the journalist's right to express his own point of view, regardless of differences in ideological orientation, provided that such expression does not run counter to the principles enunciated in the four political instruments already mentioned in this Charter ;
  9. The board of the Press Syndicate shall contact the competent authorities with a view to implementing these demands and having them officially proclaimed by the President of the Arab Socialist Union ;
  10. We also declare that any violation of the provisions of this Charter after its issue shall be considered a deviation from the ethics of the profession, and the Syndicate's Board shall take against the offender the disciplinary measures provided for in Law No. 76/1970 on the establishment of the Press Syndicate.
Source: Jones, Clement J. 1980: Mass Media Codes of Ethics and Councils. Paris: UNESCO Press, p. 67-69

Egypt (1983)
CODE OF ETHICS adopted by the Supreme Council of the Press in Egypt, 1983 We, the Egyptian Journalists, believing in the glory of the journalistic profession and the connection between journalists' consciousness and the consciousness of public opinion, are honoured to declare this Charter and to be committed to it. First
  1. The Concept of Journalism is tied to freedom of the press under the sole supervision of the people.
  2. Protecting the honour of the press is a right that cannot be separated from defending the liberties that have been granted by the constitution for the individual and the public. Defending the right of comradeship and its dignity among journalists is inseparable from the honour of the press.
  3. The activities of journalists should be based on telling the truth and on loyalty to the country, the people, the land and the country's history, freedom, honour, value, principles and interests.
  4. The truthful written word and the other kinds of press media belonging to it is the responsibility of journalists. They are entitled to defend it as they defend the honour of their profession on grounds of justice and supremacy of law. It is a trust that should respect all liberties and virtues of the Egyptian family.
  5. The protection of public opinion and public taste from harm is a journalistic sacred duty.
  6. The dignity of the journalist stems from the dignity of his country and profession.
These six fundamental points of the honour of the press require commitment to the following:
  1. Journalists, senior or junior, are prohibited from harming each other personally, depriving each other of their rights, not allowing each other to perform their professional duties or forcing them to say or do anything that might affect their journalistic and social character, including the right to keep their sources undisclosed.
  2. The journalist should be committed to the rights of the citizen, above all his right to information. He should not conceal from the citizens relevant facts he knows, nor should he exaggerate them. He should present the facts complete without distortion. This covers the citizen's right to maintain his dignity and riot to harm his reputation by a news item, drawing or picture with the aim of slandering or passing judgement oil him before being sentenced by a court of law.
  3. The journalist should not benefit from his job illegally or be biased in whatever he publishes, to the extent that he might not be objective.
  4. News and commentaries transmitted to citizens should be authentic and far from reprisals, or the sowing of unjustified doubt. Published words in any exchange of views should be honest
  5. The journalist's responsibility is complete, he should not throw it on the shoulders of the editor-in-chief, claiming that he was only obeying orders.
The journalist enjoys the following privileges:
  1. The right to express his opinion and respect the opinions of others in accordance with the law.
  2. To protect himself from any material or moral aggression.
  3. The right to obtain correct information that the nature of his job might require.
  4. The right to disclose those who may deceive him by providing false news and information and those who might deny their earlier words because of fear so that they may be called to account before the authorities.
  5. He should be insured against plagiarism.
  6. The right to enjoy in full the rights guaranteed to him by laws, stipulations and professional traditions.
The implementation of this charter depends on the consideration that the principles of this charter are a trust on the consciousness of the journalists. Source: Nordenstreng, Kaarle (Ed.) 1989: Journalist: Status, Rights and Responsibility. Prague: International Organization of Journalists, p. 169-170

Egypt (1998)
under construction

GUIDELINES FOR GOOD JOURNALIST PRACTICE adopted by the Union of Journalists in Finland in November 1991, entered into force on 1 January 1992. Introduction The basis of good journalistic practice is a citizen's right to correct and essential information by which he can form a realistic picture of the world and society around him. The professional ethics of a journalist involves the respecting of basic human values, like human rights, democracy, peace and international understanding. A journalist must recognize his responsibility for the environment and be aware of the environmental effects related to the questions he deals with. Good journalistic practice does not limit either the journalist's own or the public's freedom of expression. It aims at promoting discussion and information flow, and involves responsibility for the principles and policies of communication. The guidelines for journalists concern all journalistic work, regardless of the medium. Nevertheless, they do not cover all situations arising in practice. The decisions and statements on principle of the Council for Mass Media interpret and complement these guidelines. Good practice also involves a journalist knowing the most important laws, regulations, international agreements and resolutions related to his work. Professional Status
  1. Decisions concerning the content of communications must be made on journalistic grounds. In no way must this authority be relinquished outside the editorial office.
  2. A journalist is primarily responsible to his readers, listeners and viewers. He should not deal with subjects which might involve personal gain.
  3. A journalist has the right and obligation to reject pressure or inducement with which someone might try to direct, prevent or limit communications.
  4. A journalist must not misuse his own position or that of his medium nor accept benefits which might compromise his independence or his possibility to operate in accordance with the principles of his professional ethics.
  5. A journalist must not act against his own convictions or good journalistic practice. He can refuse assignments which are inconsistent with this principle.
  6. Good practice must be observed in using the work of another party. Although this might not involve material with copyright protection, it is good practice to mention the source when using information acquired and published largely by a second party.
  7. Textual advertising in all its forms is to be avoided. Material which can be associated with commercial interests should be viewed critically. Such material can only be published if there are strong journalistic arguments for this. The line between advertising and editorial material must be kept clear. Correct Information
  8. In his work, a journalist must aim at truthful, essential and unbiased information.
  9. Sources of information must be treated critically. This is particularly important in dealing with a controversial matter: the information source might have personal interests or the intention to cause damage.
  10. Factual information must be checked as thoroughly as possible, including cases where the information has been published previously.
  11. The public must be provided with the opportunity to distinguish facts from opinions and fictional material used to provide background. This principle does not restrict the choice of journalistic style or form.
  12. Headlines, leads, cover and picture captions, sales-promotion posters for publications and other presentation material must be justified by the body of the story.
  13. In addition, pictures and sound must be used truthfully. The recipient must be told whether the material is of a documentary or fictional nature. Acquiring Information
  14. Information must be acquired openly and by using honest means. Exceptional methods can only be resorted to if information of general public importance cannot be obtained by normal means.
  15. A person being interviewed must have the right to know in which medium and in what connection his statements will be used. It is also good practice to tell whether the conversation is intended for publication or simply as background material.
  16. If justified, a journalist should comply with an interviewee's request to check his statement before publication to ensure questions of fact are correct. However, journalistic authority cannot be relinquished outside the editorial office by such checking.
  17. Sources of information must be protected. The identity of a person providing confidential information cannot be disclosed without permission. This is also the case concerning the identity of a person employing a pseudonym or pen name in the journalist's own medium. Corrections and right of replay
  18. Incorrect information must be corrected without delay, either on a journalist's own initiative or when the person concerned requests it.
  19. Someone subjected to heavy criticism must be granted the right of reply if he has grounds for requesting this. Simply a difference of opinion does not necessarily give entitlement to the right of reply.
  20. If the request for a right of reply is justified, the reply must be published in a form desired by the person making the reply without delay and in such a manner that those receiving the original information can notice the reply easily.
  21. If the reply is not fit for publication as such, changes to it should be discussed with the writer. If he cannot be contacted within a reasonable time, it is advisable to publish the reply in amended form. However, its essential contents must not be changed.
  22. If a certain person is strongly criticized in the medium, it is good journalistic practice to make his point of view known when possible in this connection. Protection of the individual
  23. The human dignity and reputation of every individual must be protected. Skin colour, nationality, origins, religious or political convictions, sex or other personal characteristics must not be published if they are not related to the matter or in a derogatory way.
  24. Detrimental facts related to the private life of a person or his family should not be published unless these are of considerable public interest.
  25. Care must be observed in the publication of photographs. A picture cannot be used in a misleading way or in connection with something offensive to the party concerned. Particular care must be taken in publishing pictures of victims of accidents or crime.
  26. The publication of a name or other identifying facts when dealing with crime can only be justified on the grounds that considerable public interest is served by this. The identity of a person should generally not be disclosed before court proceedings unless the nature of the crime or the position of the party concerned provide strong reasons for that.
  27. No prior assumption of guilt should be made, nor should the decision of a court or an authority be anticipated.
  28. If a news item on the report of an offence, arrest, imprisonment, charge or complaint has been published, it is good journalistic practice to follow the proceedings of the case right up to the final resolution.
  29. The principles covering the protection of the individual also apply when information contained in public documents or other public sources is being used. The public availability of information does not necessarily imply that it can be freely published.

CHARTER OF THE PROFESSIONAL DUTIES OF FRENCH JOURNALISTS adopted by the National Syndicate of French Journalists in 1918 and revised and completed by the Syndicate in 1938. A journalist worthy of the name:
  • assumes responsibility of all that he writes;
  • considers the slander, unfounded accusations, alteration of documents, distortion of facts, and lying to be the most serious professional misconduct;
  • recognizes the jurisdiction of his colleagues as the only one which is sovereign in matters of professional honour;
  • accepts only such assignments that are compatible with his professional dignity;
  • renounces to invoke an imaginary title of quality, use disloyal means to get information or take advantage of the good faith of anybody;
  • does not receive money in a public service or a private enterprise where his status of journalist, his influence and his relations may be made use of;
  • does not sign articles of commercial or financial advertising;
  • does not commit any plagiarism;
  • does not claim the position held by another colleague nor does cause him to be dismissed by offering to work under inferior conditions;
  • keeps the professional secrecy;
  • does not make use of the freedom of the press with profit-seeking intentions;
  • demands the freedom to honestly publish his information;
  • respects justice and gives it top priority;
  • does not confuse his role with a policeman's.

Drawn up by the German Press Council in collaboration with the press associations and presented to Federal President Dr. Dr.Gustav W. Heinemann on 12 December 1973 in Bonn. Last updated version of 23 February 1994. Again updated in 1999 ( 4.2.). The freedom of the press guaranteed in the Basic Law of the Federal Republic of Germany embraces independence and freedom of information, expression of opinion and criticism. Publishers, editors and journalists pursuing their profession must remain constantly aware of their responsibility towards the general public and their duty to uphold the prestige of the press.They must perform their publicistic duties to the best of their ability and belief and must not allow their work to be influenced by personal interests or extraneous motives.
These publicistic principles are designed to preserve professional ethics; they do not constitute grounds for legal liability. ARTICLE 1
Respect for the truth and accurate informing of the general public are the overriding principles of the press. 1.1.Exclusive agreements
    Public information about events or developments whose significance, import and implications make them of general interest and vital for the formation of political views and public opinion must not be restricted or impeded by exclusive agreements with informants or measures which screen such informants from the public domain. Anyone seeking to monopolize information prevents other members of the press acquiring important news and thus acts contrary to the principle of the freedom of the information.
1.2. Election campaign reporting
    In the interests of journalistic fairness, freedom of information for the public and equality of opportunity for the democratic parties, newspapers and magazines covering election campaigns should also publish views which they do not share themselves. A similar policy should be adopted towards advertising matter, which is also covered by the fundamental precept of press freedom.
1.3. Press releases
    Press releases issued by government agencies, political parties, associations,organizations or other representative bodies must be identified as such if they are published unedited.
News and information accepted for text or pictorial publication mustbe checked for accuracy with all the thoroughness circumstances permit.Its meaning must not be distorted of falsified by editing, headings or captions. The content of documents must be faithfully reproduced. Unconfirmed reports, rumours and assumptions must be identifiable as such.
Where a symbolic photograph is published, it must be made clear in the caption that it is not a documentary picture. 2.1.Opinion polls
    The German Press Council recommends that news agencies, newspapers and magazines publishing findings by opinion poll institutes should indicate the number of people interviewed, the dates on which the poll was conducted and the identity of the poll's sponsor.
    Where no sponsor is involved, reports should point out that the data was collected at the instigation of the opinion poll institute itself.
2.2. Symbolic photographs
    A non-documentary illustration - especially a photograph - which the casual reader might mistake for a documentary illustration must be marked accordingly. The following must therefore be clearly identified or described in captions or accompanying text to ensure that they are not misinterpreted even by a casual reader:
    - substitute or indicative illustrations (same motif on different occasion,different motif on same occasion, etc)
    - symbolic illustrations (reconstructed scenes, graphic representations,artists' impressions of events described in text etc.)
    -photomontages or other alterations.
2.3. Advance reviews
    Newspapers and magazines publishing advance reviews which summarize the contents of forthcoming publications and may be disseminated by news agencies are legally and professionally responsible for ensuring the accuracy of those reviews. Omissions or additions must not distort the basic tenor of the previewed publication or permit incorrect conclusions which could be detrimental to the legitimate interests of third parties.
2.4. Interviews
    An interview is always within the bounds of journalistic propriety if it is authorized by the interviewee or his proxy. Under circumstances of exceptional time pressure, it is also acceptable for comments to be published in unauthorized interview form as long as interviewees are awareof the intention to publish the wording or gist of their statements. Journalists should always identify themselves as such.
    An interview orally or in written form is not mere news material buta work protected by copyright, especially if it contains critical appraisals or comments which lend it a personal stamp. When such interviews are reproduced in full or in part, the publishing newspaper or magazine must indicate thesource. Even where the essence of the thoughts expressed is paraphrased, journalistic propriety requires that the source should be indicated.
    Where interviews are announced in resume form, it must be borne in mind that interviewees, as co-authors, are protected against distortions or detractions which could jeopardise their legitimate personal or copyright interests (see also 2.3 and 11.4).
2.5. Release deadlines
    Release deadlines postponing the publication of specific news items are only justifiable if they are in the interests of objective and accuratereporting. Their observance is basically a matter for voluntary agreement between informants and media. Release deadlines should only be observed if there is a legitimate reason for doing so, as in the case of the text of a speech which has not yet been delivered, advance copies of corporate annual reports or information about events scheduled for a future date (meetings, resolutions, award ceremonies, etc.). Release deadlines imposed for mere advertising purposes should not be entertained.
2.6. Readers' letters
    (1) Periodicals should publish readers' letters - of appropriate form and content - to give readers an opportunity to air their views and help form public opinion. In this way, a newspaper can promote discussion of its own editorial line, stimulate public debate and foster personal initiative.
    (2) Correspondance addressed to publishers or editorial departments of a newspaper or magazine can be published as readers' letters if it is evident from the form and content that this is in accordance with the sender's wishes. The sender's consent can be assumed if a letter refers to articles published by the newspaper or magazine concerned or to matters of general interest. Readers have no legal right to have their letters published.
    (3) It is both proper and common practice to publish reader's names along with their letters. By the very act of sending a letter, a reader gives tacit consent to the publication of his or her name.
    (4) Only in exceptional cases can a different name be appended at the author's request.
    (5) The obligation of the press to take care not to publish material of punishable content also applies to readers' letters. Under press laws,editors are co-responsible for readers' letters which contain derogatory allegations about identifiable third part.
    (6) The publication of fictitious readers' letters represents deception of the public and is irreconcilable with the duty of the press. If there is any doubt about the origin of the letter, it is incumbent on the editor to check its authenticity.
    (7) Where a reader's letter contains factual claims about a third party,that party is entitled under press law to reply to the allegations in print.
    (8) The right of the press to refuse to give evidence also extends to the writers of reader's letters. A reader's letter published in a periodical is classified as editorial matter and privileges its author to refuse to give evidence.
    (9) The laws protecting the general right of the individual basically prohibit the alteration or abridgement of letters from named correspondents without their consent. This also applies to letters which do not bear an"individual stamp" and are thus not protected by copyright. Letters can be shortened only if the "Reader's Letters" column contains a standard reference to the publisher's right to print letters in edited form. If the author of a letter expressly forbids alteration or abridgement, the editorial department addressed must either comply with the writer's wishes or refuse publication even if it has retained the edit reader's letters.
    (10) All reader's letters arriving on an editor's desk are to be treated as confidential documents. Under no circumstances may they be passed onto third parties.
Published news reports or assertions subsequently found to be incorrect must be promptly and appropriately corrected by the publication concerned. 3.1.Editorial corrections
An editorial correction must draw the reader's attention to the fact that the preceding report was wholly or partially incorrect. It must therefore contain not only the correct facts but also a reference to the incorrect report in question. Publication of the correct facts is required even if the error has already been publicly acknowledged elsewhere.
The duty to rectify an incorrect report lies with the editorial department.This duty is not fulfilled by merely prompting and publishing readers' letters. ARTICLE 4
Dishonest methods must not be employed to acquire news, information or pictures. 4.1. Research
    Research is a legitimate tool of publicistic work but must be conducted within the bounds of the constitution, the law and respect for human dignity.As a matter of principle, a researching journalist who makes untruthful statements about his identity or the identity of the publication he represents is guilty of conduct incompatible with the dignity and role of the press.
    Covert research can be justified in individual cases if it brings to light information of special public interest which could not be obtained by other means.
    In the case of accidents and disasters, the press shall bear in mind that rescue operations for victims and persons in jeopardy take precedence over the public's right to be informed.
    Nor does the public's interest in being informed justify any unlawful acts committed by journalists to acquire news material.
4.2. Research vis-à-vis people requiring protection
    When conducting research vis-à-vis people requiring protection, particular reticence shall be called for. In particular, this concern people who are not in full possession of their mental or physical powers or who have been exposed to an extreme emotional situation, as well as children an young people. The limited strength of mind or the special situation of these people must not be deliberately exploited in order to gain information.
As a general principle, confidentiality agreed at briefings and background interviews must be observed. 5.1.Confidentiality
    Where an informant agrees to supply information for publication only on condition that he or she remains unidentified and protected as a source,that stipulation shall be respected. A bond of confidentiality may only be broken where the information in question relates to the planning of a criminal act, in which case the journalist has a duty to report the matter to the authorities. Nor need confidentiality be observed if, after careful consideration of material and other interests, important reasons of state are deemed predominant. This situation can arise, in particular, if constitutional order is likely to be affected or endangered.
    Reporting on plans and activities which are designated secret is permissable if, after careful consideration, the need to inform the public is found to outweigh the stated reasons for secrecy. This does not, however, justify the committing of unlawful acts to acquire information (see also 4.1).
All members of the press shall maintain professional confidentiality,excercise their right to refuse to give evidence and refrain from disclosing the identity of informants without their explicit consent. 6.1.Intelligence service
    Any journalist or publisher engaging in intelligence work damages the credibility of the press and undermines the trust placed in the profession.
6.2.Separation of press and government duties
    If a journalist enters the service of a government or government agency,all parties should take care to ensure that his or her press and official duties are kept strictly separate, especially where those official duties relate to media activity. The same applies to government officials who take up posts in journalism.
    The clear separation - anchored in contracts of employment - is needed to avoid any semblance of divided loyalties or professional compromise which could damage the reputation and credibility of the media.
The responsibility of the press towards the general public requires that editorial publications are not influenced by the private and business interests of third parties or by the personal commercial interests of journalists. Publisher and editors must reject any attempts of this nature and make a clear distinction between editorial texts and publications for commercial reasons.
Advertising announcements, advertising photographs and advertising drawings should be identifiable as such. 7.1. Separation of editorial material and advertising matter
    Advertisements resembling editorial material must be printed in a script, position and form which clearly distinguish them from the editorial contents of a newspaper or magazine so that they are identifiable as advertising even to the casual reader. They must be clearly marked with the word "Advertisement".
    If the sponsor is not clearly identified in the text of the advertisement, his name must be printed in clearly visible position. The same applies to advertising inserts and any other special publications financed by individuals,corporate bodies or institutions with a personal, commercial or political interest in their contents.
    Where an insert or special publication contains articles of specialists who themselves have a vested interest in its dissemination, this must be indicated by references to their respective role. PR texts, which are intrinsically connected with advertising, must be labelled accordingly or laid out in a way which distinguishes them from the editorial contents of the host publication to ensure that they do not mislead the reader.
7.2. Surreptitious advertising in editorial matter
    "The publication of editorial matter referring to companies or their product, services or activities must not overstep the boundary between editorial freedom and surreptitious advertising. This boundary is patently transgressed, in particular, where the information published does not cater to a legitimate public interest or the reader's interest in being informed.
    To maintain the credibility of the press as a source of information,editors must exercise special care when handling PR texts and phrasing editorial references. Special publications are subject to the same rules of editorial responsibility as all published editorial material."
The press shall respect the private life and personal sphere of the individual. If a person's private behaviour touches on public interests, however, it may be discussed in the press. In such cases, care must be taken to ensure that publication does not violate the personal rights of individuals who are not involved. 8.1. Publication of names/ photographs
    As a general rule, there is no justification for publishing the names and photographs of offenders or victims in reports on accidents, criminal offences, criminal investigations or court proceedings. In all such cases,care must be taken to weigh up the public's right to be informed and the personal rights of the individual concerned. Victims of accidents or crimeare entitled to special protection from disclosure of their names. The identity of the victim is irrelevant for understanding the events surrounding an accident or crime unless it involves a person of contemporary history or occurs in circumstances touching on issues of wider public interest.In the case of relatives who have nothing to do with the incident, respect for their legitimate personal rights must, as a matter of principle, take precedence over the public's right to be informed. The names of individual sconcerned and their families should also be protected in portrayals of criminal cases published after the death of the persons involved. In these cases, it is necessary to check whether the incident can be consideredpart of criminal history and the perpetrator a person of contemporary history(see also 13.2 and 13.3).
8.2. Anniversaries
    Before publishing details of anniversaries involving persons not normally in the public eye, editors must first check whether the individuals concerned agree to publication or wish to be protected from publicity.
8.3. Illness
    Physical and mental illnesses and disorders fall within the confidential sphere of the person concerned. Out of respect of the privacy for that person and his family, the press should refrain from publishing names and photographs in such cases and avoid using disparaging names for medical conditions or medical institutions even if such names are found in commonparlance. Individuals - including persons of contemporary history - have a right to be protected from discriminating revelations both during their lifetime and after their death.
8.4. Suicide
    Restraing must be exercised when reporting on cases of suicide. This applies particularly to the publication of names and detailed descriptions of circumstances. Exceptions are only justifiable where the incident inquestion is of contemporary historical significance and general public interest.
8.5. Political opposition and refugees
    When reporting on countries where opposition to the government entails a risk to life and limb, journalists must always consider whether publishing names or photos could lead to the identification and persecution of the persons concerned. The same applies to reports on refugees. The publication of details identifying refugees, their escape routes and the manner in which they prepared and executed their escape might endanger the families and friends those refugees left behind or close escape channels for other refugees.
It is contrary to journalistic decorum to publish unfounded allegations,especially allegations of a defamatory nature. ARTICLE 10
The publication of text or pictures whose form or content could deeply offend the moral or religious sensibilities of a particular group of persons is incompatible with press responsibility. ARTICLE 11
Violence and brutality should not be sensationalized. Reporting must take due account of the need to protect young people. 11.1.Threats and acts of violence
    When reporting on threats or acts of violence, the press must carefully weigh up the public's interest in information against the interests of the victims and persons concerned. Reports on such events must be unbiased and authentic but the press must not become the tool of criminals or make any unauthorized attempt to mediate between criminals and police.
11.2.Accidents and disasters
    The bounds of acceptable reporting on accidents and disasters are exceeded where the suffering of victims and the feelings of their faminies cease to be respected. Those hit by misfortune must not bebome victims for a second time because of the tactless media coverage.
11.3.Collaboration with authorities/ news blackouts
    Without neglecting its fundamental duty to inform, the press should exercise restraint in reporting on threats of violence of any kind. Collaboration between media and police should only occur if the lives and health of victims or other persons involved can be protected or saved by journalists' actions.Where requests are received from criminal prosecuton authorities for atemporary, complete or partial cessation of reporting in the interests of crime detection, the press will comply with such requests provided they are backed by cogent arguments and are not connected with news blackouts by official agencies.
11.4. Criminal memoirs
    The publication of criminal memoirs can give alleged or convicted criminals a degree of publicity which is not warranted by the need to inform the public. The detailed description of criminal acts from the exclusive viewpoint of their perpetrator, who may still be in prison, is not compatible with the publicistic responsibilities of the press. Interviews must not be held with persons who are in the process of committing a crime.
There must be no discrimination against anyone on grounds of sex, race,ethnic background, religion, social group or nationality. 12.1.Crime reporting
    In crime reports, the fact that a suspect or offender belongs to a particular religious, ethnic or other minority should only be mentioned if the information is important for understanding the reported events.
Reports on cases under criminal investigation or subjudice must be devoid of all preconceived opinion. Before and during such proceedings, therefore,the press shall avoid making any comment in the heading or body of a report which could be construed as partisan or prejudical to the issue. An accused person must not be presented as a guilty party before legal judgement has been pronounced. Wherever possible in the case of minor offences committedby juveniles, names and identifying photographs should not be published out of consideration for the young persons' future. Court rulings should not be reported prior to their official announcement without sound legal justification. 13.1. Criminal investigations and court proceedings,prejudgement of issues and follow-up reporting
    The purpose of reporting on official investigations and court proceedings is to provide the general public with a thorough and unbiased account ofthe commission, prosecution and judgement of crimes. Until a court pronounces judgement, an accused person is presumed innocent.
    Portrayals and assertions which prejudge a legal issue are in violation of the constitutional rules protecting human dignity, which also applies in full to offenders.
    In the wording of reports, a clear distinction must be made between suspicion and proven guilty.
    The portrayal of a suspect as a guilty party prior to the pronouncement of judgement is also prohibited in cases where a confession has been made.
    Even if the identity of the person responsible for a crime is obvious to the general public, the person concerned must not be presented as the guilty party until a court verdict is announced.
    Where the press reports on an appealable conviction and names or identifies the person concerned to a wide readership, it must also report on any subsequent appeal resulting in final acquittal or a significant quashing of charges, provided this does not conflict with the legitimate interests of the person concerned. This recommendation also applies to reports on criminal investigations which are subsequently discontinued.
    Critical reports and commentaries on legal proceedings should be clearly distinguished from trial reports.
13.2. Publication of names and photographs of suspects,offenders and victims
    When publishing names and photographs of suspects, offenders, victims and other persons affected by a crime, great care must be taken in weighing up the public's interest and the personal rights of the individuals concerned. Legitimate public interest, however, does not justify sensationalism.
    The publication of the full names and/or photographs of suspects charged with a capital offence is only justified if this is in the interests ofcrime detection and the requirements for issuing a warrant of arrest are satisfied.
    In any case where there are indications that the suspect may not be guilty, names and photographs should not be published.
    As a matter of principle, it is not permissible to publish names and photographs of relatives or other affected persons who have nothing to do with a crime.
    In the interests of resocialization, names and photographs must not appear in reports published after the conclusion of criminal proceedings(see also8.1).
13.3.Persons of contemporary history
    Certain exceptions to the principles stated at 13.2. apply in the case of persons of contemporary history - including public office-holders and individuals with a public mandate - who are suspected, accused or convicted of an offence.
    In the case of persons in public office or with a public mandate, the publication of names and photographs is admissible if there is a connection between their office or mandate and the offence in question.
    In the case of persons of contemporary history who do not hold a public office or mandate, the publication of names and photographs may be justified if the offence with which they are charged is in contradiction to their public image.
13.4. Juvenile crime
    When reporting on juvenile crime and juvenile court proceedings, the press should exercise restraint out of consideration for the future of the young people concerned. This recommendation also applies to reports on juvenile victims of crime.
    As a general tule, there is no objection to the publication of photographs and names of missing young persons. These should only be published, however,with the agreement of the relevant authorities.
In reports on medical issues, care must be taken to avoid undue sensationalism which could arouse baseless fears or hopes in the reader. Early research findings should not be presented as though they were conclusive or almost conclusive. 14.1. Medical or pharmaceutical research
    In reporting on alleged successes or failures of medical or pharmaceutical research aimed at controlling disease, the press exercise circumspection and responsibility. In both text and presentation, care must be taken to ensure that such reports do not convey a distorted image of the actual state of medical research and that undue hopes of a cure in the foreseeable future are not aroused in the sick and their families. Conversely, care must be taken to ensure that victims of disease are not disconcerted and the possible success of therapeutic measures called into question by criticalor one-sided reports on controversial views.
The acceptance or granting of any kind of privilege which could impinge on publishing or editorial discretion is not compatible with the concept of a respectable, independent and responsible press. Anyone accepting bribes for the dissemination or suppression of news is guilty of dishonourable and unprofessional conduct. 15.1.Invitations and gifts
    Publishing and journalistic discretion can be impaired if editors and editorial staff accept invitations or gifts whose values exceeds the bounds of social convetion and professional etiquette.
    (See also German Press Council statement of 21 February 1961 calling upon all press and business associations to take appropriate steps to uphold this principle.
    See corresponding agreements between the German Journalists' Associationand the Federal Association of German Newspaper Publishers of 17 October1961 and the association of German Magazine Publishers of 9 January 1961.)
In the interests of fair reporting, public reprimands by the German Press Council should normally be published in the publication concerned. 16.1. Publication of reprimands
    The publication concerned must ensure that:
    the reader is informed of the circumstances which gave rise to the reprimand and the publicistic principle they violated.


Indonesia 1
CODE OF ETHICS The Alliance of Independent Journalists adopted in Jakarta, 12th Juli 1998
  1. A journalist respects the right of society to obtain correct information
  2. A journalist always defends the principles of free and balanced coverage reporting, critique and comments
  3. A journalist gives a place to groups who do not have the strength or opportunity to voice their aspirations
  4. A journalist only reports those facts and opinion that have a clear source
  5. A journalist does not hide important information that must be known by society
  6. A journalist obtain news, photographs and documents in an ethical manner
  7. A journalist respects the right of a source to give background information, off the record and embargo
  8. A journalist immediately corrects any news they know to be inaccurate
  9. A journalist maintains the secrecy of the source of confidential information, identity of victims of sexual abuse and underage criminal offenders
  10. A journalist avoids hatred, prejudice, derogatory attitudes and discrimination in the areas of: ethnicity, race, gender, sexual orientation, language, religion, political views, physical disabilities/illnesses, mental disabilities/illnesses or other matters of social background
  11. A journalist respects the privacy of the individual, except where this is to the detriment of society
  12. A journalist does not present news which graphically portrays indecency, cruelty, physical or sexual violence
  13. A journalist does not use their position or the information they possess to pursue personal gain
  14. A journalist is forbidden to receive bribes
    Notation: the bribery is all forms of presents and gifts, such as money, goods and/or other facilities which can directly or indirectly influence the journalists in the their jobs.
  15. A journalist is not permitted to plagiarize
  16. A journalist avoids slander and slighting reputations
  17. A journalist avoids intervention from other parties which seek to obstruct the application of the above principles
  18. Cases related to the Code of Ethics will be handled by the Council for the Code of Ethics

Indonesia 2

under construction

RULES OF PROFESSIONAL ETHICS The Iraqi Syndicate Law 178 of 1969 has included rules of professional ethics inspired by the resolutions of the Second Congress of the Federation of Arab Journalists, convened in Cairo, February 1968. Article 25 of the law says that the member should not
  1. Violate or hinder the implementation of the Syndicate Law, its bylaws or the orders issued in accordance with them.
  2. Practice the profession without renewal of his membership in the Syndicate in accordance with the law.
  3. Use any ways or means to gain illegal profit.
  4. Discredit the profession or disclose his sources.
  5. Harm the senior or junior members of the media, block their lawful moral or material rights or assign them to private or public tasks that might lead them to break this law.
  6. Threaten citizens by methods using the press.
  7. Make any declaration or suggestion that might benefit an enemy at the expense of the country.
  8. Undermine the confidence of the country, directly or indirectly.
  9. Misuse the press media for gossip, slander or accusation of citizens without any right or patriotic and legal justification.
  10. Abuse the print press media and illustrations for personal gains that harm others and claim other's identity, ideas or work.
  11. Instigate the instincts of the public by any means that contradict the journalistic art and the interests of society.
  12. Violate legal, private and public liberties guaranteed by law, through the use of the press.
  13. Misguide public opinion by publishing wrong and distorted information.
  14. Publish unconfirmed reports.
  15. Take sides in a case where the verdict was not announced by the authorities concerned.
  16. Publish wrong information and statements and omit to correct them as soon as the facts are known. The right of reply is sacred.
  17. Use others' excerpts without mentioning the writer or the source.
Source: Nordenstreng, Kaarle (Ed.) 1989: Journalist: Status, Rights and Responsibility. Prague: International Organization of Journalists, p.176

CHARTER OF DUTIES OF JOURNALISTS adopted by the National Federation of the Italian Press and National Council Order of Journalists in Rome on8 July 1993. Introduction
Journalists job is inspired on principles of freedom of information and of opinions, it is confirmed by the Italian Constitution and governed by the second article of the Italian law n. 1969 dated on 3 February 1963.
"Freedom of information and of expression are insuppressible rights of all journalists, they are limited by the observance of the rules of law and suggested to the protection of other people's personality, they always follow all duties set by lealty and good faith, the respect of the truth of facts is an unbreakable duty. All news, that will be inexact, must be rectified, and eventual mistakes must be correct. Journalists and publishers are obliged to respect the professional secrecy on the sources of a piece of information, when it is required by the fiduciary character of them; they have to promote the spirit of collaboration between colleagues, the cooperation between journalists and publishers, and the trust in press and in readers."
Trust relationship between information organs and people is the foundation for every journalists' job. To promote and make settlement of this relationship all Italian journalists undersign the following Ethic Code (Carta de Doveri). Principles
  • A journalist has to respect, cultivate and defend the right of information of all people; for these reasons he researches and diffuses every piece of information that he considers of public interest in observance of truth and with a wide accuracy of it.
  • A journalist researches and spreads news of public interest in spite of the obstacles which can arise in his work; he makes any effort to guarantee to people knowledge and control of all public documents.
  • Journalist's responsibility towards people always prevails on any other thing. A journalist can never subordinate his responsibility to other people's interest and particularly to the publishers' interest, governments' interest or of the other organizations of the State.
  • A journalist has to respect people, his dignity and his right of secrecy and he never discriminate between everyone according to his race, his religion, his sex, his mental and physical condition, his political views.
  • A journalist rectifies, tempestively and with accuracy, his mistakes or his imprecisions in conformity with the duty to rectify and with what is established by law, he favours his possibility of rectify.
  • A journalist always respects the right of presumption of innocence.
  • A journalist has to observe the professional secrecy, when it is required by the fiduciary character of his sources. In any other cases a journalist has to respect the transparency or the sources.
  • A journalist can not adhere to secret associations or anyway in contrast with the eighteen article of the Italian Constitution.
  • A journalist cannot accept benefits, favours or tasks that make dependent his autonomy and his professional credibility. A journalist cannot omit facts or essential details for a complete reconstruction of events. Titles, summaries, photos and subtitles must not either distort reality or force contents of all articles and news.
  • A journalist must not publish images and photos of people involved in daily episodes particularly terrifying or, however, prejudical to people's dignity, he must neither dwell upon details of violence or brutality, unless it prevails preminent reason of social interest. He has not to intervene on reality to create artificial images.
  • Comments, opinions belong to the right of speech and of critic and, therefore, they have to be absolutely free from any obligation, except for the constraint set by law against offence, dematory and violence of people.
Journalist's Responsibilites
  • A journalist is responsible of his job towards people, he has to favour their dialogue with ombudsman. He has to create idoneus instruments (reader's guarantee, pages for readers, spaces for reply etc.), giving a wide diffusion to their activity.
  • A journalist only accept suggestions and instructions from the editorial hierarchy of his newspaper name, as long as the dispositions are not against the professional law, against the national Italian journalist's work contract (CNLG) and to the Ethic Code (Carta dei Doveri).
  • A journalist cannot discriminate between people according to his race, his religion, his mental and physical conditions, his political opinions.
  • Circumstances that are not extenuating, referiments that are not insulting or denigratory concerning people and their privacy are only accepted when they are of relevant public's interest.
  • A journalist respects the right of secrecy of every people and he cannot publish news on his private life, unless they are transparent and of relevant public's interest, however, he makes always known his own identity and profession when he collects such news.
  • Relation's names of people involved in such daily events cannot be published, unless they are of relevant public's interest; they can be neither made known in case of danger of people's safety, nor they can publish other elements, that can make clear people's identy (photos, images).
  • Victims' names of sexual violence can be neither published, nor he can give details that can lead to their identification, unless it is required by the victims themselves for relevant general interest.
  • A journalist has to proceed with great caution publishing names or elements that can lead to the identification of members of the legal team or of the police, when they can provoke the risk of incolumnity for themselves or of his family.
Rectification and reply
  • A journalist respects the inviolable people's right to the rectification of incorrect news or that are wrongly considered prejudical to people's interests.
  • A journalist makes rectification, therefore, with timeliness and appropriate emphasis, also in case of a lack of a specific required of all news that, after their wide diffusion (spreading), seem to be incorrect or erroneous, especially when the mistakes can damage people, organizations, categories, associations and communities.
  • A journalist makes charge against people, he has not spreads news damaging person's reputation or person's dignity without giving the opportunity of reply to the charged people. The case in which it is impossible (because the person is impossible to find or he doesn't want reply) he has to inform the readers and the public. In any case, before publishing a piece of news concerning the investigations' warning by a judge, he has to controll if the charged person is aware of it.
Presumption of Innocence
  • In all the process and investigations, a journalist has always to remember that every person charged of an offence is innocent until the final judgement, he has not to spread news in order to introduce him as guilty person when he has not been judged guilty in such a process.
  • A journalist has not to publish images that present deliberately or artificially as offenders people that have not been judged as guilty persons in a process.
  • In case of the accused's acquittance or of the accused acquittal a journalist has always to give an appropriate journalistic emphasis to the piece of news, also giving a referiment to all news and articles previously published.
  • A journalist has to observe the maximum caution in spreading news, names and images of charged people for habitual offences of guilty accused to a slight detention (punishment), except in case of particular social interest.
  • A journalist has to check all informations obtained by his sources, he must accept the reliability and control the origins of what he says, he must always safeguard the substancial truth of facts.
  • The case in which the sources require to keep secret, a journalist has to respect the professional secret and has to be able to inform the reader of such circumstance.
  • In any other case a journalist must always respect principle of more transparency of the sources of information, giving the readers or the audience the maximum and possible attention to them. The fulfilment of an obligation to the quotation of a source is particularly important when a journalist uses a piece of news from a press agency or from any other source of information, unless the piece of news is not correct or widely spread with own means, or unless it is modified as far as concern the meaning and the content.
  • In all the other cases a journalist accept conditioning derived from the sources for the publication or the abolition of a piece of information.
Information and advertising
  • All people have the right to receive a correct information, always distinct from an advertising message and not prejudicial to everyone's interests. The advertising message must be always and in any cases recognisible from journalistic documents through clear indications.
  • A journalist has to observe all principles signed in the Protocol's Agreement on Transparency of Information and of the national Italian journalists' work contract (CNLG); he has to make known the advertisement, however, he has to enable people to recognize journalistic job from promotional message.
  • A journalist can not subordinate in any case economic or financial informations that he knows to his personal benefits, he can not disturb moreover the state of the stock market, spreading news and events that are referable to his own's advantage.
  • A journalist cannot write articles or news concerning actions on which the trend of the market has a direct or indirect financial interest, he can not sell or buy stock of which he is professionally involved or he is going to be concerned with in short time.
  • A journalist refuses payments, refund of expenses, donations, free holidays, duty travels, pleasure trip gifts, facilities, that can make depend his job and his activity or damage his credibility and professional dignity.
  • A journalist can neither accept tasks and responsibility in contrast with the autonomy discharge of his own's duties, nor lend his name, voice or image for advertising enterprise that are incompatible with the safeguarding of professional journalists' autonomy.
  • It is allowed, instead, free of charge same services for advertising enterprises, for a social, humanitarian, cultural, religious or artistical task for a trade union one too, or, however, without a speculative character.
Children or weak people
  • A journalist respects all principles confirmed in the ONU Convetion dated 1989 on the right of children and their rules undersigned by the "Treviso Ethic Code" (Carta di Treviso) to protect children, their character and their personality, both as an active protagonist both as a victim of a common-law offence and particularly:
    • a) a journalist doesn't publish a name or any other element that can lead to the identification of people involved in the daily episodes or events;
    • b) he has to avoid eventual instrumentalizations by all adults that brings to represent and make exclusively his own interest;
    • c) however, he values if the spread of the news concerning children brings effectively to the interest of the minor himself.
  • A journalist protects rights and dignity of people with mental or physical handicap in analogy with what is confirmed by the Treviso Ethic Code (Carta di treviso) about children.
  • A journalist protects the rights of the invalids avoiding sensational publication of news on medical arguments that can bring fear and groundless hopes.
    • a) he doesn't spread news that are not controlled with important scientific sources
    • b) he doesn't quote the name of commercial drugs and products in the hambit that it can favour the product of consume.
    • c) he spreads tempestively the commercial names of pharmaceutical products that are withdrawled or suspended from his circulation because they damage the health of people.
  • A journalist pledges, however, to use the maximum respect towards subjects of daily life that for social, economical or cultural reasons have a minor instruments of self protection.

CODE OF ETHICS FOR JOURNALISTS IN ADDRESSING ETHNIC RELATIONS IN THE REPUBLIC OF KAZAKHSTAN The code was published in Kazakhstanskaya Pravda, a government newspaper with a circulation of over 40,000, on June 7, 1997. It was endorsed by 36 other government and nongovernmental newspapers, and six broadcast stations: TAKING INTO ACCOUNT that freedom of speech is a fundamental right of man, and considering Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which proclaims the right to seek, obtain and distribute information, and following from Article 20 of the Constitution of the Republic of Kazakhstan, in which it is declared that freedom of speech and freedom to obtain and distribute information by any nonprohibited means is guaranteed, censorship is forbidden. Propaganda and agitation for changing the constitutional order by force, violations of the integrity of the Republic, undermining the security of the state, war, social and racial, national, religious, class and ancestral superiority, and factions supporting cruelty and violence are not permitted;
EMPHASIZING the important role of information in implementing human rights and freedoms, building a civil society in a democratic and lawful state;
CONSIDERING that the multi-ethnic population of Kazakhstan has been formed over several decades, organically absorbing into itself the complete spectrum of people, languages, religions, customs and traditions;
BEING CONSCIOUS of the responsibility for preserving and strengthening inter-ethnic peace, we subscribe to the following code, and declare our desire to observe the following principles:
  • Consolidating the multi-ethnic people of Kazakhstan as a society whose citizens are equal in their rights;
  • Respecting human rights and freedoms regardless of ethnicity;
  • Creating an atmosphere of friendship, peace and accord;
  • Respecting the dignity of each individual;
  • Abstaining from any form of instigation which incites inter-ethnic violence, hatred and discrimination;
  • Preventing political, ideological passions and propaganda which kindle racial and ethnic hostility;
  • Assisting in the formation of civil responsibility, state identity and Kazakhstani patriotism;
  • Putting the interests of the people of Kazakhstan in first place;
  • Promoting mutual respect and trust among the various ethnic groups of the Republic;
  • Strengthening the long-standing traditions of inter-ethnic accord in Kazakhstan.

Kyrgyzstan 1
PROFESSIONAL ETHICS CODE OF JOURNALISTS OF THE KYRGYZ REPUBLIC adopted in June 1997 by the editors of all government newspapers, the president of state radio and television and the editors of some nongovernmental newspapers TAKING INTO ACCOUNT that freedom of speech is a fundamental right of an individual;
ADMITTING the Declaration of Human Rights, article 19, declaring the right of an individual to seek, obtain and disseminate information;
BEING GUIDED by the Constitution of the Kyrgyz Republic, article 16, and the Law of the Kyrgyz Republic on Mass Media, which state that every individual has a right to free expression and dissemination of ideas and opinions, to freedom of printing, broadcasting and dissemination of information, censorship, disclosure of state and commercial secrets, calls for the violent overthrow or change of the existing constitutional system, violation of sovereignty and encroachment upon the territory of the Kyrgyz Republic or any other state; propaganda for war and violence, national or religious superiority, and intolerance towards other nations; and dissemination of pornography are prohibited;
EMPHASIZING the important role of information in implementing human rights and freedoms, building a civil society in a democratic and lawful state;
RECOGNIZING the responsibility for maintaining national security and mutual understanding, social and political stability in the Republic before the people of Kyrgyzstan;
WE SIGN this Code and declare our willingness and readiness to observe the following principles:
  • to respect the honor and dignity of an individual, rights and freedoms, regardless of nationality, race or sex;
  • not to use information to persecute unpopular persons and to settle personal accounts;
  • to be guided, above all, by the interests of a person, the presumption of innocence and the fact that only a court is authorized to charge a person;
  • not to interfere with the private life of a person unless the action seeks to protect the interests of society, and the rights and lawful interests of citizens;
  • not to disseminate false information and rumors undermining the reputation of an individual or discrediting his honor;
  • to care for the prestige of the profession, respect the honor and dignity of colleagues, and promote a balance between fair competition and professional solidarity;
  • to present reality through actual and detailed information, to operate using facts which can be verified;
  • to promote the process of democratization of society, and consolidation of the peoples of the Kyrgyz Republic represented by different nationalities, while implementing economic and social reforms in the country.

Kyrgyzstan 2
PROFESSIONAL CODE OF ETHICS OF TELEVISION AND RADIO JOURNALISTS OF KYRGYZ REPUBLIC adopted by the Association of Independent Electronic Mass Media of Central Asia at its conference in Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic, September 8-9, 1997
  1. Television and radio journalists should distribute and comment on only that information which has been confirmed as true and which comes from a reliable source. Journalists should avoid concealing information which is important to the public and distributing wittingly false information. Television and radio journalists should avoid using offensive language that may physically or mentally hurt people.
  2. While fulfilling their professional responsibilities, journalists may use all means to obtain information. However, they should respect the rights of physical and juridical persons not to give information (or to refuse to be videotaped) and not to answer questions, except in those cases where the duty to provide information is stipulated by the law on mass media.
  3. Television and radio journalists must make a clear distinction between facts and opinion, but at the same time they should not be neutral.
  4. Television and radio journalists have no right to cover the details of the personal life of an individual without his or her permission.
  5. The religious beliefs of journalists should not influence the objectivity of television and radio news stories.
  6. Journalists must respect the rights of others to freedom of choice in religion, must not discriminate on the basis of religious beliefs, and must not criticize religions, religious denominations or groups, except in cases where religious issues cause conflicts in society.
  7. Television and radio journalists must provide accurate and balanced information because objectivity is the main goal of the journalist. All mistakes should be corrected immediately and completely.
  8. Journalists should serve no other interest except the right of the public to be informed. Journalists should not accept any gifts or favors which could influence the objectivity of their stories.
  9. Plagiarism is prohibited. Journalists should observe copyright.
  10. Television and radio j ournalists should maintain solidarity to protect colleagues from persecution for criticism.

CHARTER OF PROFESSIONAL HONOUR The General Assembly of the Press Syndicate in The Lebanon has approved this legacy at the extraordinary meeting of the 4 February 1974 The Lebanese press, being proud of its glorious history which is rich with struggle and martyrdom for the cause of the country and the citizen, a history, that is intertwined with the history of free thought and national and popular struggle, is pleased to declare - as part of the ethics of the profession - the overall principles of behaviour that were set forth by its pioneers; the pioneers who established the ethics, customs and tradition of the profession. The profession has been committed, since its establishment, to these principles which have become stronger than laws and resolutions. The Lebanese press would like to reiterate these principles in order to end disputes concerning the grounds for practising the profession:
  1. The newspaper is an institution that renders a cultural, social, patriotic, national and humanitarian public service. However, it also has a commercial and industrial character. Through practicing its own freedom it is also committed to defend this freedom and civil liberties.
  2. The responsibility of the periodical is not confined to respecting the law alone, but also to respecting professional conscience and the reader
  3. The newspaper should be committed to truth, honesty, accuracy and the principle of not disclosing sources.
  4. The periodical is a forum belonging to the readers, who enjoy the right to express their views and the right to reply.
  5. The newspaper has to mobilize public opinion in defence of the country, right and justice, and resist aggression and unjust force.
  6. Periodicals should avoid fanaticism and inciting sentiments and differences as well as slanders and insults.
  7. Distorted news are not fit to be published.
  8. Groundless accusations and lies degrade the press.
  9. The paper should avoid publishing unconfirmed news, unless stated as such.
  10. The periodical should avoid publishing materials that can encourage vice or crime.
  11. The press respects the reputation of the individual and preserves his dignity. It should not pry into his private life.
  12. Defamation, exaggeration and black-mail are characteristics of a 'yellow press', unknown to the Lebanese profession.
  13. Campaigns of character assination degrade the profession.
  14. A paper should not use illegal methods to get news and secrets.
  15. Public interests is paramount and comes before the success or continuation of the paper.

The Lebanese press, which is proud of these ethical bases, is proud that it has presented this Charter of Honour and which the Arab journalists have adopted. It is, also, proud that it contributes towards recording the history of its time, shaping public opinion and volunteering to perform a message or a role in the practice of democracy and the defence of public interests.Source: Nordenstreng, Kaarle (Ed.) 1989: Journalist: Status, Rights and Responsibility. Prague: International Organization of Journalists, p.174-175

CANON OF JOURNALISM origin unknown

Whereas the Malaysian Press reiterates its belief in the principles of Rukunegara and the national aspirations contained therein;
  1. It acknowledges its role in contributing to the process of nation-building.
  2. It recognises its duty to contribute fully to the promotion of racial harmony and national unity.
  3. It recognises communism, racialism and religious extremism as grave threats to national well-being and security.
  4. It believes in a liberal, tolerant, democratic society and in the traditional role of a free and responsible Press serving the people by faithfully reporting facts without fear or favour.
  5. It believes that a credible press is an asset to the nation.
  6. It believes in upholding standards of social morality.
  7. It believes that there must be no restrictions on the entry of Malaysians into the profession.
  8. It believes that the Press has a duty to contribute to the formation of public policy.
Whereas the Malaysian Press does hereby adhere to the following Canons of Journalism:
  1. The primary responsibility of the Malaysian journalist is to report facts accurately and faithfully and to respect the right of the public to the truth.
  2. In pursuant of this duty he shall uphold the fundamental freedom in the honest collection of news and the right to fair comment and criticism.
  3. He shall use only proper methods to obtain news, photographs/films and documents.
  4. It shall be his duty to rectify and publish information found to be incorrect.
  5. He shall respect the confidentiality of the source of information.
  6. He shall uphold standards of morality in the performance of his duties and shall avoid plagiarism, calumny or slander, libel, sedition, unfounded accusations or acceptance of bribe in any form.
  7. He shall avoid publication of news or reports, communal or extremist in nature, or contrary to the moral value of multiracial Malaysia.
  8. It shall be incumbent upon him to understand public and national policies pertaining to the profession.
Source: Morocco
LA CHARTE DÉONTOLOGIQUE adopted by Syndicat National de la Presse Marocaine (SNPM) Dans le but de consolider la profession des journalistes, et pour préserver sa dignité, le Syndicat National de la Presse Marocaine a adopté une charte déontologique qui engage les directeurs et les journalistes, et l'adhésion au S.N.P.M. implique le respect de cette charte.
  1. Le journaliste puise ses fondements de l'honneur de la profession, des principes de la liberté d'expression et des droits de l'homme.
  2. Il s'engage de rechercher la vérité, à en informer fidèlement l'opinion publique, par respect au droit du citoyen à l'information.
  3. Il s'engage de respecter les sources d'information et de ne pas plagier les articles et travaux des confrères.
  4. Il ne doit jamais confondre un travail journalistique et un travail, publicitaire.
  5. Il évite la diffamation et les allègations mensongères
  6. Il respecte la pluralité des idées.
  7. Il refuse toute intervention non professionnelle et repousse toute convoitise à même de porter atteinte à l'honneur de la profession.
  8. Il se solidarise avec ses confrères et les soutient en cas de poursuite ou persécution conséquente à l'exercice honorable de la profession.
  9. Il défend la dignité de la profession contre toute forme d'exploitation.
Source: Organisation Marocaine des Droits del 'Homme (OMDM) / Article 19, Rabat, London. 1995, p. 296-297

CODES OF ETHICS OR THE NORWEGIAN PRESS Ethical Code of Practice for the Press (printed press, radio and television). Adopted by the Norwegian Press Association on 14 December 1994. Each editor and editorial staff is required to be familiar with these ethical standards of the press, and to base their practice on this code.
  1. The role of the press in society
    1. Freedom of speech, freedom of information, and freedom of the press are basic elements of a democracy. A free, independent press is among the most important institutions in a democratic society.
    2. As a social institution, the press looks after important tasks in that it carries information, debates and critical comments on society. The press therefore is particularly responsible for allowing different views to be expressed.
    3. The press shall protect the freedom of the speech, the freedom of the press and the principle of access to official documents. It cannot yield to any pressure from anybody who might want to prevent the free flow of information, free access to sources and open debate on any matter of importance to society as a whole.
    4. It is the right of the press to carry information on what goes on in society and to uncover and disclose matters which ought to be subjected to criticism.
    5. It is the task of the press to protect individuals and groups against injustices or neglect, committed by public authorities and institutions, private concerns, or others.
  2. Integrity and responsibility
    1. The editor responsible according to law, carries personal and full responsibility for the material contained in the newspaper, the magazine or radio and television transmissions.
    2. Each editorial desk and each employee must guard of their own integrity and credibility in order to be free to act independently of any persons or groups who - for ideological, economic or other reasons - might want to exercise an influence over editorial matters.
    3. Members of the editorial staff must not accept commissions or offices creating conflicts of interest in relation to their editorial tasks. They must avoid dual roles that may reduce their credibility.
    4. Members of the editorial staff should not use their position to achieve personal gains.
    5. A member of the editorial staff cannot be ordered to write or do anything which is contrary to his or her own convictions.
    6. Reject any attempt to break down the clear distinction between advertisements and editorial copy. Advertisements intended to imitate or exploit an editorial product, should be turned down, as should advertisements undermining trust in the editorial integrity and the independence of the press.
    7. Never promise editorial favours in return for advertisements. The material is published as a result of editorial considerations.
    8. It is a breach of good press conduct to let sponsorship affect editorial activity, contents and presentation.
    9. Members of the editorial staff may not accept assignments from anyone but the heads of the editorial staff.
  3. Relations with the sources
    1. The credibility of the press is strenghtened by the use of identifiable sources, as long as identification does not come into conflict with the need to protect the sources.
    2. Be critical in the choice of sources and make sure that the information is correct. The use of anonymous sources implies a special need for a critical evaluation of the sources.
    3. Good press conduct presupposes that the premises for interviews and similar relations with sources and contacts are clearly stated.
    4. Protect the sources of the press. The protection of sources is a basic principle in a free society and is a prerequisite for the ability of the press to fulfil its duties towards society and ensure the access to essential information.
    5. Do not divulge the name of a person who has provided information on a confidential basis, unless consent has been explicitly given by the person concerned.
    6. In consideration of the sources and the independence of the press, unpublished material as a main rule should not be divulged to third parties.
    7. It is the duty of the press to report the intended meaning in quotes from an interview. Direct quotes must be accurate.
    8. Changes of a given statement should be limited to corrections of factual errors. No one without editorial authority may intervene in the editing or presentation of editorial material.
    9. In particular show consideration for people who cannot be expected to be aware of the effect that their statements may have. Never abuse the emotions or feelings of other people, their ignorance or their lack of judgement.
    10. Hidden cameras / microphones or false identity may only be used under special circumstances. The condition must be such a method is the only possible way to uncover cases of essential importance to society.
  4. Publication rules
    1. Make a point of fairness and thoughtfulness in contents and presentation.
    2. Make plain what is factual information and what is comment.
    3. Always respect a person's character and identity, privacy, race, nationality or belief. Never draw attention to personal or private aspects if they are irrelevant.
    4. Make sure that headlines, introductions and leads do not go beyond what is being related in the text.
    5. In particular avoid presumption of guilt in crime and court reporting. Make it evident that the question of guilt, whether relating to somebody under suspicion, reported, accused or charged, has not been decided until the sentence has legal efficacy. It is a part of good press conduct to report the final result of court proceedings which have been reported earlier.
    6. Always consider how reports on accidents and crime may affect the victims and next-of-kin. Do not identify victims or missing persons unless next-to-kin have been informed. Show consideration towards people in grif or imbalance.
    7. Be cautious in the use of names and pictures and other items of definite identification in court and crime reporting. Particular consideration should be shown when writing about cases still being investigated, and cases involving young offenders. Refrain from indentification unless this is necessary to meet just and fair demands for information.
    8. As a general rule the identity of children should not be disclosed in reports on family disputes or cases under consideration by the child care authorities or by the courts.
    9. Suicide and attempted suicide should in general never be given any mention.
    10. Exercise caution when using photos in any other connection than the original.
    11. Protect the credibility of the journalistic photograph. Photos used as documentation must not be altered in a way that creates a false impression. Manipulated photos can only be accepted as illustrations if it is evident that it in actual fact is a picture collage.
    12. The use of pictures must comply with the same requirements of caution as for a written or oral presentation.
    13. Incorrect information must be corrrected and, when called for, an apology given, as soon as possible.
    14. Those who have been subjected to strong accusations shall, if possible, have the opportunity to simultaneous reply as regards factual information. Debates, criticism and dissemination of news must not be hampered by parties being unwilling to make comments or take part in the debate.
    15. Those who have been subjected to attacks shall, as soon as possible, have the opportunity to reply, unless the attack or criticism are parts of a running exhange of views. Such responses should never be accompanied by an editorial, polemical comment, but any response should be within reasonable length, be pertinent to the matter, and seemly in its form.

Pakistan (1972)
CODE OF ETHICS OF THE PAKISTAN PRESS adopted by The General Assembly of the Committee of the Press, 1972 Conforming to the preamble in the United Nations International Code of Ethics wherein it is stated:
Freedom of information and of the Press is it fundamental human right and is the touchstone of all the freedoms consecrated in the Charter of the United Nations and proclaimed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; and it is essential to the promotion and to the preservation of peace:
And believing that it is necessary to observe a voluntary Code of Conduct to ensure its functioning in freedom in the most beneficial manner to society this general meeting of the Press Consultative Committee, held at Karachi on March 17, 1972, decides to adopt the principles of the Codes as herein set forth.
  1. The profession of journalism, which is a public institution should not be used as an instrument to serve anti-social ends, or interests which are not compatible with this profession, nor should it be used to the detriment of national and public interest.
  2. The following are to be avoided in any form of publication, such as articles, news items, photographs and advertisements:
    1. Immorality or obscenity.
    2. Vulgar and derogatory expressions against individuals, institutions or groups.
    3. Libelous or false allegations against individuals, institutions, groups or newspapers or publications.
    4. Religious sectarianism; arousing one sect against another.
    5. Glamorization of crime.
  3. The right of the individual to protection of his reputation and integrity must be respected and exposure of and comment on the private lives of individuals must be avoided unless this is imperatively in the public interest.
  4. Presentation of news items and comments on events should be fair and objective and there should be no willful departure from facts.
  5. Headlines should not materially distort the contents of the news.
  6. Off-the-record briefings should not be published.
  7. The journalist should be entitled to protect his sources of information and respect confidence placed in him
  8. Embargos on release dates of news, articles and pictures, should be rigorously observed.
  9. All paid commercial announcements or advertisements should be published in such a way as to leave no doubt that they actually are paid commercial announcements or advertisements.
  10. Justified corrections or denials sent as a result of any incorrect information published by newspapers, periodicals or news agencies should be published within the shortest possible period of time so as to effectively eliminate the impression created by the original publication which necessitated the issuance of a correction or denial.
  11. The press shall not publish news or comment, photographs or advertisements which may undermine the security of the State or solidarity of the nation.
  12. The press shall refrain from publishing anything likely to undermine the loyalty and allegiance of the Armed Forces of Pakistan.
  13. The press shall not publish anything apt to create ill-will between different sections of the people, but it shall not be construed to preclude legitimate airing of grievances.
  14. In reporting proceedings of the National and Provincial Assemblies, such portions of the proceedings as the Speaker may have ordered to be expunged from the records of the Assembly shall not be published and every effort shall be made to give the readers a fair report of what has been said by all sections of the House.
  15. In dealing with any situation, the press shall restrict itself to factual reporting of events without in any way encouraging or providing any form of disturbance.
  16. No newspaper shall accept in any form or shape any financial and pecuniary advantage or obligations from or on behalf of any foreign country or concern.
  17. The personnel of the Press must never accept any form of bribe or permit personal interest to influence their sense of justice and impartiality.
Method of Implementation. The following arrangements for the implementation of the Press Code of Ethics should be adopted:
  1. A press Court of Honor shall be set up by the Standing Committee of tile Council of Pakistan Newspaper Editors, comprising a retired High Court Judge as Chairman; and six members from among themselves; one of whom shall act as Secretary to the Court. Provided that half tile members would retire each year, first retirement will be by drawing of lots. The retiring member will not be eligible for re-election before the expiry of twelve calendar months from the date of retirements. A member of the Court will not participate in cases in which his own paper is involved.
  2. The Secretary shall:
    1. Receive complaints in writing from any party that may be aggrieved by an alleged breach of Code by any newspaper which is a signatory to the Code.
    2. Submit the complaint to the Court and at the instance of the Court ask for a report on the complaint from the Editor of the newspaper complained against.
    3. On the receipt of such a report, or if no reporter is received within 30 days, shall convene, under instructions of the Chairman of the Court, a meeting of it at which representatives of the aggrieved party and the Editor concerned shall be invited to be present.
    4. The finding of the Court of Honor on any such complaint shall be issued in the form of a communique which it will be obligatory for all signatory newspapers and periodicals to publish. Failure by any signatory to publish such a communique will be deemed a violation of the Code and dealt with accordingly.
  3. The Court may warn or condemn the newspaper which is deemed to have contravened the Code, or it may seek to reconcile the parties.
  4. In cases where a serious offense is found to have been committed, the Court can ask the competent organization to consider the expulsion of the newspaper from the press organization to which the newspaper belongs or withdraw its protection from the party concerned.
  5. The Chairman of the Court shall have the power to initiate proceedings suo moto in connection with any breach of the Code by any signatory.
  6. The aggrieved party-whether it be Government or a private individual-will refrain from taking any other action when it has forwarded a complaint to the Press Court of Honor whose findings shall be accepted.
  7. These provisions shall be applicable to all newspapers, periodicals and news agencies which become signatories to the Code.
  8. Newspapers or periodicals who are not members of the Council of Pakistan Newspaper Editors shall also be entitled to become signatories to the Code.
Source: Cooper, Thomas W. 1989. Communication Ethics and Global Change. New York: Longman, p.306-308

Pakistan (1993)
DECLARATION OF OBJECTIVES adopted by the Newspaper Editors' Council of Pakistan (NECP) The Newspaper Editors Council of Pakistan was formed on May 22, 1993. Its aims and objects include safeguarding the freedom of the press and working ceaselessly for healthy growth of Journalism in the country.
The Council believes that the duty of Editors/journalists is to serve the truth. It also believes that the agencies of mass communication are carriers of public discussion and information, acting on their Constitutional mandate and freedom to learn and report the facts.
Article 19 of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan which guarantees the freedom of the press also places some obligations on it. The article reads 'Every citizen shall have the right to freedom of speech and expression, and there shall be Freedom of the Press, subject to any reasonable restrictions imposed by law in the interest of the glory of Islam, of the integrity, security or defence of Pakistan or any part thereof, friendly relations with foreign states, public order, decency or moralitv, or in relation to contempt of court, defamation or incitement to an offence'.
In order to fulfill the afore-mentioned constitutional obligations without inviting government interference and to adhere strictly to the Canons of Journalism i.e. Responsibility; Freedom of the Press; Independence; Sincerity; Accuracy; Impartiality, Fairplay and Decency and to realise the goals expounded in the 'Declaration of Objectives' adopted by the NECP, we, the members of the Council declare acceptance of the code of ethics here set forth:
  1. The following are to be avoided in any form of publication such as news items, editorials, articles, photographs and advertisements:
    • a.Immorality or obscenity;
    • b.Vulgar and derogatory expressions against individuals, institutions or groups;
    • c.Allegations known to be false and malicious against individuals, institutions, groups, newspapers and other publications;
    • d.Arousing of sectarian, parochial or provincial passions and prejudices and class hatred;
    • e.Glamourization of crimes and vice;
    • f.Incitement to violence.
  2. Editors/Journalists must be free of obligation to any interest other than the public's right to know the truth.
  3. Will make constant efforts to assure that the public's business is conducted in public and that public records are open to public inspection.
  4. The right of the individual to protection of his reputation and integrity must be respected and exposure of and comment on the private lives of individuals must be avoided except where it affects the public interest.
  5. Presentation of news items and comments on events and airing of legitimate grievances should be fair and objective and there should be no wilful departure from facts. Headlines should be fully warranted by the contents of the items they accompany and photographs should give an accurate picture of an event and not highlight a minor incident out of context; off the record briefings should not be published and embargoes on release dates of news, articles and pictures should be rigorously observed.
  6. The journalist should be entitled to protect his source of information revealed in confidence.
  7. All paid commercial announcements, articles or advertisements should be specified as such.
  8. No newspaper shall accept in any form or shape any financial and pecuniary advantage or obligation from or on behalf of any foreign country, concern, or agency. This does not apply to paid advertisements appearing as such.
  9. Gifts, favours, free travel, special treatment or privileges can compromise the integrity of Editors and influence their sense of justice and impartiality. Nothing of value should be accepted.
  10. Secondary employment, political involvement, holding public office, and service in community organisations should be avoided if it compromises the integrity of Editors. The Editors should conduct their personal lives in a manner which protects them from conflict of interest, real or apparent.
  11. Justified corrections or denials sent as a result of any incorrect information published by newspapers, periodicals or news agencies should be published within the shortest possible period of time so as to effectively eliminate the impression created by the original publication, which necessitated the issuance of a correction or denial.
  12. The Press shall refrain from publishing anything derogatory to religion or which may hurt religious feeling of any sect/minority.
  13. The Press shall refrain from publishing anything likely to bring into hatred or contempt the head of any friendly state.
  14. The Press shall not publish news or comments, photographs or advertisements which may undermine the security of the state or solidarity of the nation and its ideology.
  15. The Press shall refrain from publishing anything likely to undermine the loyalty and allegiance of the defence forces and the civil armed forces.
  16. The Press shall refrain from involving the defence forces in politics and offer only fair comment on its performance and conduct.
  17. In reporting proceedings of Parliament and Provincial Assemblies, such portions of the proceedings as the Chairman/Speaker may have ordered to be expunged from the records of the House shall not be published and every effort shall be made to give the readers a fair report of what has been said by all sections of Parliament and Provincial Assemblies.
  18. In reporting the proceedings of courts of law, care will be taken not to suppress the version or arguments of the contending parties.

Saudi Arabia
MEDIA CHARTER adopted by Council of Ministers in 1982 (Excerpt)
  • According to the guidelines in the information charter, the mass media in Saudi Arabia oppose destructive, trends, atheistic tendencies, materialistic philosophies and attempts to divert Muslims from their faith.
  • Freedom of expression is guaranteed within the framework of Islamic and national objectives and values.
  • Facts should be presented to the public objectively, without exaggeration or polemics. Likewise, pressmen should observe their code of ethics, work with honor and stay away from whatever may sow dissension or create, hatred and spite.
  • The Saudi information's foreign policy adopts a humane attitude and fully respects the right of man to live in freedom on his national soil. It denounces every assault of whatever kind on the rights of peoples and individuals and combats expansionist designs. It also promotes right and justice, champions the cause of peace and stands against injustice and racial discrimination.
  • Other guidelines include the promotion of the idea of obedience to God, His Messenger, parents and guardians and the preservation of the established order. The media will also work to push forward the wheel of development by cooperating with specialized institutions in this field.
  • Saudi mass media will protect the higher interests of Arabs and Muslims, in general, and the country's nationals in particular, backing facts with documentary evidence and reliable references.
  • They will highlight, at home and abroad, Saudi Arabia's unique and characteristic personality and show that the security and stability enjoyed by the country's citizens have no other reason but the adoption of Islam and Sharia as the Kingdom's sole constitution. Equally highlighted will be the burden willingly shouldered by Saudi Arabia as the custodian and servant of the Islamic shrines.
  • The state, information policy also, aims at acquainting Saudis with their country and their brothers who live in this vast land to inject in thew a sense of cohesion and integration. Programs will have to be based on scientific and well-studied principles presented by specialists.
  • While recognizing that women are men's sisters, the media will observe in their programs the nature of women and the role she is called to play in society without that role conflicting with such nature. Special attention will also be devoted to the youths, especiaIly during the precarious teenage period. Their problems will be dealt with in a way as to avoid their deviation from the right path.
  • The press, radio and television will also lay stress on the Kingdom's rich heritage and, in cooperation, with educational and social institutions, promote the use of correct and pure literary Arabic language. Plays will have to be presented in literary Arabic and gradually popular programs will also be conducted in literary Arabic. Special care will be taken of the eradication of illiteracy and the teaching of Arabic to non-Arabic speaking people.
Source: Arab News (19.10.1982)

DEONTOLOGICAL CODE FOR THE JOURNALISTIC PROFESSION adopted by the Federation of the Spanish Press in Sevilla on 28 November 1993. Preamble In the framework of the civil rights, which are established in the Constitution and which form the basis of the wholly democratic society, journalism is an important social tool which puts into effect the free and efficient development of the fundamental rights of all citizens to freedom of information and the freedom to express one's opinions.
As a subject and an instrument of the freedom of expression, journalists acknowledge and guarantee that journalism is the basis from which the public opinion manifests itself freely in the pluralism of a democratic state governed by law.
However, journalists also take into consideration that when in their profession use their constitutional rights to the freedom of the expression and the right to information, their conduct is subject to limitations, which prevent the violation of other fundamental rights.
Therefore, when taking on these obligations, and as a true guarantee which a journalist offers to the Spanish society, whichhe/she serves, journalists understand that they must maintain, collectively or individually, uncensurable conduct when it comesto the ethics and deontology of the information.
In this sense, the journalists which form part of the Federation of The Press Associations of Spain (Federacion de Asociaciones de la Prensa de Espana - FAPE) commit themselves to maintain the binding ethic principles when exercising their profession. The general assembly of the FAPE declares the following principles and binding norms for the journalistic profession: I. General Principles
  1. A journalist shall always act keeping in mind the principles of professionality and ethic of this Code. A journalist must express his/her approval of these principles to be able to join the professional register of journalists and the federal associations of the press.
    Those, who after joining the register and the corresponding association, act in a way which is not compatible with theseprinciples, shall incur to the assumptions contemplated in these regulations.
  2. The first obligation of a journalist is to respect the truth.
  3. In agreement with this principle a journalist shall always defend the principle of the freedom to investigate and honestly disseminate information as well as the freedom to comment and to critizise.
  4. Without violating the right of the citizens to be informed, the journalist shall respect the right of individuals to privacy keeping in mind that:
    • Only the defence of public interest justifies interferring with or investigating the private life of a person without his/her prior consent.
    • When dealing with issues which may cause or imply pain or sorrow in the persons in question, a journalist shall avoid rude interference and unnecessary speculations about their feelings and circumstances.
    • The restrictions concerning privacy must be taken into special consideration when dealing with persons in hospitals or in similar institutions.
    • Special attention shall be paid to the treatment of issues which concern children and youth. The right of privacy of minors shall be respected
  5. A journalist must take on the principle that a person is presumed innocent until otherwise proved and he/she must avoid,as much as possible, to cause any harm in practicing his profession. This kind of criteria is especially important when dealingwith issues which are brought on to the knowledge of the courts of law.
    • A journalist must avoid mentioning the names of relatives and friends of persons accused or sentenced of crime, unless it is absolutely necessary in order to make the information complete and equal.
    • Mentioning of the names of the victims of crime, as well as publishing material which may contribute to the indentification of the victim, shall be avoided. The journalist shall act with special care handling issues which deal with sexual crime.
  6. The criteria indicated in the two former principles shall be applied with extreme severeness when the information concerns minors. Particularly, a journalist must refrain from interviewing, photographing or taping minors on themes related which criminal activities or on private matters.
  7. A journalist carries to its extremes his/ her professional contiousness in respecting the rights of the weakest and discriminated. Therefore, discriminating information or opinions or such information or opionions which spur on to violence or to inhuman or humiliating practices, must be dealt with special sensitivity.
    • One must, therefore, avoid, in a pejorative manner or with prejudice alluding to race, colour, religion, social class orsex of a person, nor to the whatever sickness, physical or mental handicap he/she might have.
    • One must also avoid publishing such data, unless it is directly related to the issue being published.
    • Finally, one must generally avoid ill-treating or hurting expressions or statements on the personal condition of individuals or on their physical or moral integrity.
  8. To guarantee the necessary independence and fairness in carrying out his/her profession, the journalist must claim for himself and for the people working for him/her:
    • The right to appropriate working conditions, as it refers to earnings, as well as to the material and professional circumstances in which he/ she must carry out his/her tasks.
    • The obligation and right to oppose to any evident intension to monopolize or oligopolize information, which might hinderpolitical and social pluralism.
    • The obligation and right to participate in matters of the journalistic enterprise in order to guarantee his/her freedom of information in a way which is compatible with the rights of the media in which he/she is expressing this freedom.
    • The right to call on to the clause of conscience, when the media on which he/she depends on proposes a moral attitude which harms his/her professional dignity or which modifies substantially the editorial policy.
    • The right and obligation to professsional training which is up to date and complete.
  9. A journalist has the right to be protected by his or her own institution as well as by the associative or institutional organizations against those who, by any kind of pressure, try to divert him/her from the standard way of conduct defined in this Code.
  10. The right to keep professional secrecy is a right of a journalist, but it is also an obligation which guarantess the confidentiality of the sources of information.
    Therefore, a journalist shall guarantee the right of the sources of information to stay anonyme, if so has been requested.However, this professional obligation shall exceptionally not be applied, if it has been proved that the source has consciously falsified information or if revealing the source is the only way to avoid serious and instant damage to people.
  11. A journalist scrupulously sees that the public administration fulfils its duty to the transparency of information. In particular, he/she always shall defend the free access to information which comes from or is produced by public administration,and the free access to public archives and administrative registers.
  12. A journalist shall respect and shall make respect the rights of the author which derive from all creative activity. III. Principles of action
  13. The commitment to seek the truth means that a journalist always informs about facts whose origins he/she knows, he/shedoes not falsify documents nor does he/she leave out essential information, he/she does not publish information which is false, misleading or distorted. Consequently:
    • The foundations of the information to be disseminated must be diligently laid, which means that a a journalist must contrast the sources and he/she must give a person affected an opportunity to tell his/her own version of the facts.
    • When known to have spread information which is false, misleading or distorted, a journalist shall be obliged to correct the error as quickly as possible and by using the same typographic and/or audiovisual form which was used to publish it.He/she shall also broadcast apologies through his/her media, when proper.
    • Consequently, a journalist must facilitate physical or legal persons an opportunity to correct inaccuracies in the way indicated in the former parragraph, without them having to turn to jurisdiction.
  14. In practising his/her profession, a journalist must use appropriate means to obtain information, which excludes illegal procedures.
  15. A journalist acknowledges and respects the right of physical and legal persons not to give out information and not to answer the questions which are asked, without violating the right of the citizens to be informed.
  16. With the same exceptions which apply to the professional secrecy, a journalist shall respect the "off the record" whenit has been explicitly called for or it is thought that such was the will of the informant.
  17. A journalist shall allways establish a clear and unmistakable disctinction between the facts which he/she tells and what can be opinions, interpretations or surmises, although, in his/her professional activities he/she is not obliged to be neutral.
  18. In order not to cause mistakes or confusion among the users of information, a journalist is obliged to make a formal and rigorous distinction between information and advertising.
    Therefore, it is considered ethically incompatible simultaneosly practice journalism and advertising business.
    Equally, this incompatibility applies to all activities related to social communication which may imply a conflict of interests with the journalistic profession and its principles and norms.
  19. A journalist shall not accept, directly or indirectly, payments or rewards of other persons to promote, direct, affector to publish information or opinions of any kind.
  20. A journalist shall never make advantage of the information to which he/she is privileged as a consequence of his/her profession. In particular, a journalist who regularly or occasionally deals with financial issues is subject to the following regulations:
    • He/she may not make economical advantage of financial data of which he/she has knowledge of before it has been published,nor can he/she transmit such data to other persons.
    • He/she may not write of such bonds or shares in which he/she or his/her family has significant economic interest.
    • He/she may not buy or sell such bonds or shares, of which he/she intends to write about in the near future. Source:

CODE OF ETHICS adopted by the Association of Tunisian Journalists, 1975 The journalist pledges to act to seek the truth and to make it known to public opinion, within the limits of information available to him/her.
  • The journalist pledges to defend the freedom of the press and to refuse any assignment contrary to the deontology and the honour of the profession.
  • The journalist shall refrain from signing articles of an advertising character. He also refrains from writing advertising articles in the form of news information.
  • The journalist shall accept no gifts or special favours when on professional assignment.
  • The journalist shall refrain from taking advantage of his/her capacity as journalist or of his/her attributions to serve private interests.
  • The journalist is obliged to quote the authors of passages he/she reprints in his/her writings and shall not resort to plagiarism.
  • The journalist shall refrain from communicating any fictitious address, quality or information.
  • The journalist shall respect the views of his/her colleagues and shall refrain from slandering them. He/she shall behave in a spirit of tolerance towards those who do not share his/her views.
  • The journalist shall abstain from being responsible, as a result of his/her conduct of any kind, for professional prejudices to his/her colleagues. He/she shall also abstain from causing his/her colleagues, as a result of his/her conduct, to be deprived of the possibility to practice their profession.
  • The journalist shall pledge to act so as to implement effective solidarity among the members of the professional community. He/she is bound to refuse to take over any professional position refused by a colleague of his/her by accepting worse conditions and lower wages than those proposed to his/her colleague.
  • The journalist shall assume the responsibility of all that is published under his/her signature and with his/her consent. He/she shall refrain from claiming the authorship or from signing the articles he/she has not written.
  • The journalist shall refuse any partial or total alteration of his/her views and writings.
  • The journalist shall respect professional secrecy and shall refuse to divulge his/her sources of information.
Source: Nordenstreng, Kaarle (Ed.) 1989: Journalist: Status, Rights and Responsibility. Prague: International Organization of Journalists, p.177-178

CODE OF PROFESSIONAL PRINCIPLES OF THE PRESS adopted by the Press Council (Basin Konseyi). Preamble
Considering the Freedom of Communication in our country as the basic precondition of achieving human dignity, open government and democracy;
Pledging with our own free will that we shall struggle whenever and wherever necessary against all restrictions concerning Freedom of Communication generating from law makers or other organizations and persons;
Accepting the Freedom of Communication as an instrument of public's right to learn the truth;
Assessing that the main function of journalism is to discover the facts and communicate them to the public without distortion or exaggeration;
Reiterating our rejection of any external interference over the activities of the Press Council;
We, journalists, declare to the public to observe the following Code of Professional Principles of the Press, as a corollary of our above mentioned fundamental beliefs:
  1. No person shall be denounced or ridiculed in publications on accounts of his/her race, sex, social status or religious beliefs.
  2. Nothing that restrics freedom of thought, conscience or expression or is damaging or offensive to public morals, religious sentiments or the foundations of the institution of family shall be published.
  3. Journalism, being a public function, shall not be used as a vehicle of immoral private pursuits and interests,
  4. Nothing that humiliates, ridicules or defames private or public persons beyond the limits of fair criticism shall be published.
  5. Private lives of individuals shall not be reported, except when made necessary by public interest.
  6. Every effort shall be made to ensure that news stories that can be verified through normal journalistic channels shall not be published before investigation or shall not be put in print before a thorough assesment of its validity.
  7. Information given on condition of confidentiality shall not be published, except when made earnestly necessary by public interest.
  8. A media product produced by a medium of communication shall not be presented to the public by another medium of communication as its own, until its distribution process finalized. Attention shall be paid to cite the source of media products received from news agencies.
  9. No person shall be declared "guilty" until he/she has been tried and convicted by independent judicial authorities.
  10. Those actions deemed criminal by laws shall not be atributed to individuals without reasonable and persuasive evidence to that effect.
  11. Journalists shall protect the confidentiality of their sources, except in the circumstances where the source is deliberately trying to mislead the public for personal, political, economic, etc. reasons.
  12. Journalists shall refrain from doing their duty with methods and manners that may be detrimental to the food name of the profession.
  13. Publication of material that is conducive to violence and use of force shall be avoided.
  14. Paid announcements and advertisements shall be presented in such a way that leaves no room for doubt regarding their true nature.
  15. Embargoes on publication dates shall be respected.
  16. The press shall respect the right of reply and correction arising from inaccurate information.

United Kingdom 1
CODE OF CONDUCT adopted on 29 June 1994 by British National Union of Journalists (NUJ).
  1. A journalist has a duty to maintain the highest professional and ethical standards.
  2. A journalist shall at all times defend the principle of the freedom of the press and other media in relation to the collection of information and the expression of comment and criticism. He/she shall strive to eliminate distortion, news suppression and censorship.
  3. A journalist shall strive to ensure that the information he/ she disseminates is fair and accurate, avoid the expression of comment and conjecture as established fact and falsification by distortion, selection or misrepresentation.
  4. A journalist shall rectify promptly any harmful inaccuracies, ensure that correction and apologies receive due prominence and afford the right of reply to persons criticised when the issue is of sufficient importance.
  5. A journalist shall obtain information, photographs and illustrations only by straight- forward means. The use of other means can be justified only by over-riding considerations of the public interest. The journalist is entitled to exercise a personal conscientious objection to the use of such means.
  6. Subject to the justification by over-riding considerations of the public interest, a journalist shall do nothing which entails entrusion into private grief and distress.
  7. A journalist shall protect confidential sources of information.
  8. A journalist shall not accept bribes nor shall he/ she allow other inducements to influence the performance of his/ her professional duties.
  9. A journalist shall not lend himself/ herself to the distortion or suppression of the truth because of advertising or other considerations.
  10. A journalist shall only mention a person's age, race, colour, creed, illegitimacy, disability, marital status (or lack of it), gender or sexual orientation if this information is strictly relevant. A journalist shall neither originate nor process material which encourages discrimination, ridicule, prejudice or hatred on any of the above-mentioned grounds.
  11. A journalist shall not take private advantage of information gained in the course of his/ her duties, before the information is public knowledge.
  12. A journalist shall not by way of statement, voice or appearance endorse by advertisement any commercial product or service save for the promotion of of his/ her own work or of the medium by which he/ she is employed.

United Kingdom 2
CODE OF PRACTICE Ratified by the Press Complaints Commission - 26th November 1997.

All members of the press have a duty to maintain the highest professional and ethical standards. This code sets the benchmarks for those standards. It both protects the rights of the individual and upholds the public's right to know.
The code is the cornerstone of the system of self-regulation to which the industry has made a binding commitment. Editors and publishers must ensure that the code is observed rigorously not only by their staff but also by anyone who contributes to their publications.
It is essential to the workings of an agreed code that it be honoured not only to the letter but in the full spirit. The code should not be interpreted so narrowly as to compromise its commitment to respect the rights of the individual, nor so broadly that it prevents publication in the public interest.
It is the responsibility of editors to co-operate with the PCC as swiftly as possible in the resolution of complaints.
Any publication which is criticised by the PCC. under one of the following clauses must print the adjudication which follows in full and with due prominence
  1. The public interest There may be exceptions to the clauses marked * where they can be demonstrated to be in the public interest.
    1. The public interest includes:
      1. Detecting or exposing crime or a serious misdemeanour.
      2. Protecting public health and safety.
      3. Preventing the public from being misled by some statement or action of an individual or organisation.
    2. In any case where the public interest is invoked, the Press Complaints Commission will require a full explanation by the editor demonstrating how the public interest was served.
    3. In cases involving children, editors must demonstrate an exceptional public interest to over-ride the normally paramount interests of the child.
  2. Accuracy
    1. Newspapers and periodicals should take care not to publish inaccurate, misleading or distorted material including pictures.
    2. Whenever it is recognised that a significant inaccuracy, misleading statement or distorted report has been published, it should be corrected promptly and with due prominence.
    3. An apology must be published whenever appropriate.
    4. Newspapers, whilst free to be partisan, must distinguish clearly between comment, conjecture and fact
    5. A newspaper or periodical must report fairly and accurately the outcome of an action for defamation to which it has been a party.
  3. Opportunity to reply
    1. A fair opportunity for reply to inaccuracies must be given to individuals or organisations when reasonably called for.
  4. Privacy*
    1. Everyone is entitled to respect for his or her private and family life, home, health and correspondence. A publication will be expected to justify intrusions into any individual's private life without consent
    2. The use of long lens photography to take pictures of people in private places without their consent is unacceptable.
    3. Note - Private places are public or private property where there is a reasonable expectation of privacy.
  5. Harassment*
    1. Journalists and photographers must neither obtain nor seek to obtain information or pictures through intimidation, harassment or persistent pursuit
    2. They must not photograph individuals in private places (as defined by the note to clause 3) without their consent; must not persist in telephoning, questioning, pursuing or photographing individuals after having been asked to desist; must not remain on their property after having been asked to leave and must not follow them.
    3. Editors must ensure that those working for them comply with these requirements and must not publish material from other sources which does not meet these requirements.
  6. Intrusion into grief or shock
    1. In cases involving personal grief or shock, enquiries should be carried out and approaches made with sympathy and discretion. Publication must be handled sensitively at such times but this should not be interpreted as restricting the right to report judicial proceedings.
  7. Children*
    1. Young people should be free to complete their time at school without unnecessary intrusion.
    2. Journalists must not interview or photograph a child under the age of 16 on subjects involving the welfare of the child or any other child in the absence of or without the consent of a parent or other adult who is responsible for the children.
    3. Pupils must not be approached or photographed while at school without the permission of the school authorities.
    4. There must be no payment to minors for material involving the welfare of children nor payments to parents or guardians for material about their children or wards unless it is demonstrably in the child's interest.
    5. Where material about the private life of a child is published, there must be justification for publication other than the fame, notoriety or position of his or her parents or guardian.
  8. Children in sex cases
    1. The press must not, even where the law does not prohibit it, identify children under the age of 16 who are involved in cases concerning sexual offences, whether as victims or as witnesses.
    2. In any press report of a case involving a sexual offence against a child.
    3. The child must not be identified.
    4. the adult may be identified.
    5. The word "incest" must not be used where a child victim might be identified.
    6. Care must be taken that nothing in the report implies the relationship between the accused and the child.
  9. Listening Devices*
    1. Journalists must not obtain or publish material obtained by using clandestine listening devices or by intercepting private telephone conversations.
  10. Hospitals*
    1. Journalists or photographers making enquiries at hospitals or similar institutions should identify themselves to a responsible executive and obtain permission before entering non-public areas.
    2. The restrictions on intruding into privacy are particularly relevant to enquiries about individuals in hospitals or similar institutions.
  11. Innocent relatives and friends*
    1. The press must avoid identifying relatives or friends of persons convicted or accused of crime without their consent.
  12. Misrepresentation*
    1. Journalists must not generally obtain or seek to obtain information or pictures through misrepresentation or subterfuge.
    2. Documents or photographs should be removed only with the consent of the owner.
    3. Subterfuge can be justified only in the public interest and only when material cannot be obtained by any other means.
  13. Victims of sexual assault
    1. The press must not identify victims of sexual assault or publish material likely to contribute to such identification unless there is adequate justification and, by law, they are free to do so.
  14. Discrimination
    1. The press must avoid prejudicial or pejorative reference to a person's race, colour, religion, sex or sexual orientation or to any physical or mental illness or disability.
    2. It must avoid publishing details of a person's race, colour, religion, sexual orientation, physical or mental illness or disability unless these are directly relevant to the story.
  15. Financial journalism
    1. Even where the law does not prohibit it, journalists must not use for their own profit financial information they receive in advance of its general publication, nor should they pass such information to others.
    2. They must not write about shares or securities in whose performance they know that they or their close families have a significant financial interest without disclosing the interest to the editor or financial editor.
    3. They must not buy or sell, either directly or through nominees or agents, shares or securities about which they have written recently or about which they intend to write in the near future.
  16. Confidential sources
    1. Journalists have a moral obligation to protect confidential sources of information.
  17. Payment for articles*
    1. Payment or offers of payment for stories or information must not be made directly or through agents to witnesses or potential witnesses in current criminal proceedings except where the material concerned ought to be published in the public interest and there is an overriding need to make or promise to make a payment for this to be done. Journalists must take every possible step to ensure that no financial dealings have influence on the evidence that those witnesses may give. (An editor authorising such a payment must be prepared to demonstrate that there is a legitimate public interest at stake involving matters that the public has a right to know. The payment or, where accepted, the offer of payment to any witness who is actually cited to give evidence should be disclosed to the prosecution and the defence and the witness should be advised of this).
    2. Payment or offers of payment for stories, pictures or information, must not be made directly or through agents to convicted or confessed criminals or to their associates - who may include family, friends and colleagues - except where the material concerned ought to be published in the public interest and payment is necessary for this to be done.

CODE OF ETHICS adopted by the Society of Professional Journalists September 21, 1996 Preamble
Members of the Society of Professional Journalists believe that public enlightenment is the forerunner of justice and the foundation of democracy. The duty of the journalist is to further those ends by seeking truth and providing a fair and comprehensive account of events and issues. Conscientious journalists from all media and specialties strive to serve the public with thoroughness and honesty. Professional integrity is the cornerstone of a journalist's credibility. Members of the Society share a dedication to ethical behavior and adopt this code to declare the Society's principles and standards of practice. Seek Truth and Report It Journalists should be honest, fair and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting information. Journalists should:
  • Test the accuracy of information from all sources and exercise care to avoid inadvertent error. Deliberate distortion is never permissible.
  • Diligently seek out subjects of news stories to give them the opportunity to respond to allegations of wrongdoing.
  • Identify sources whenever feasible. The public is entitled to as much information as possible on sources' reliability.
  • Always question sources' motives before promising anonymity. Clarify conditions attached to any promise made in exchange for information. Keep promises.
  • Make certain that headlines, news teases and promotional material, photos, video, audio, graphics, sound bites and quotations do not misrepresent. They should not oversimplify or highlight incidents out of context.
  • Never distort the content of news photos or video. Image enhancement for technical clarity is always permissible. Label montages and photo illustrations.
  • Avoid misleading re-enactments or staged news events. If re-enactment is necessary to tell a story, label it.
  • Avoid undercover or other surreptitious methods of gathering information except when traditional open methods will not yield information vital to the public. Use of such methods should be explained as part of the story.
  • Never plagiarize.
  • Tell the story of the diversity and magnitude of the human experience boldly, even when it is unpopular to do so.
  • Examine their own cultural values and avoid imposing those values on others. Avoid stereotyping by race, gender, age, religion, ethnicity, geography, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance or social status.
  • Support the open exchange of views, even views they find repugnant.
  • Give voice to the voiceless; official and unofficial sources of information can be equally valid.
  • Distinguish between advocacy and news reporting. Analysis and commentary should be labeled and not misrepresent fact or context.
  • Distinguish news from advertising and shun hybrids that blur the lines between the two.
  • Recognize a special obligation to ensure that the public's business is conducted in the open and that government records are open to inspection.
Minimize Harm Ethical journalists treat sources, subjects and colleagues as human beings deserving of respect. Journalists should:
  • Show compassion for those who may be affected adversely by news coverage. Use special sensitivity when dealing with children and inexperienced sources or subjects.
  • Be sensitive when seeking or using interviews or photographs of those affected by tragedy or grief.
  • Recognize that gathering and reporting information may cause harm or discomfort. Pursuit of the news is not a license for arrogance.
  • Recognize that private people have a greater right to control information about themselves than do public officials and others who seek power, influence or attention. Only an overriding public need can justify intrusion into anyone's privacy. Show good taste. Avoid pandering to lurid curiosity.
  • Be cautious about identifying juvenile suspects or victims of sex crimes.
  • Be judicious about naming criminal suspects before the formal filing of charges.
  • Balance a criminal suspect's fair trial rights with the public's right to be informed. Act Independently Journalists should be free of obligation to any interest other than the public's right to know. Journalists should:
  • Avoid conflicts of interest, real or perceived.
  • Remain free of associations and activities that may compromise integrity or damage credibility.
  • Refuse gifts, favors, fees, free travel and special treatment, and shun secondary employment, political involvement, public office and service in community organizations if they compromise journalistic integrity.
  • Disclose unavoidable conflicts.
  • Be vigilant and courageous about holding those with power accountable.
  • Deny favored treatment to advertisers and special interests and resist their pressure to influence news coverage.
  • Be wary of sources offering information for favors or money; avoid bidding for news. Be Accountable Journalists are accountable to their readers, listeners, viewers and each other. Journalists should:
  • Clarify and explain news coverage and invite dialogue with the public over journalistic conduct.
  • Encourage the public to voice grievances against the news media.
  • Admit mistakes and correct them promptly.
  • Expose unethical practices of journalists and the news media.
  • Abide by the same high standards to which they hold others. Source: Moore, Roy L.: Mass Communication Law and Ethics, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates: London, p. 599-601