1.1. Freedom of communication is the basic premise for a working
democratic society, and the free press the means and prerequisite
for attaining it.
1.2. The press and other media shall serve the right of the public
to receive true, fair and comprehensive information. The critical
observation of the implementation of political and economic power
is the main obligation of the press.
1.3. Provided it remains within the limits of the law, the free
press and other media may not be restricted or obstructed in the
gathering and publication of information.
1.4. A journalist shall be responsible for his or her own statements
and work. Media organizations shall undertake to prevent the publication
of inaccurate, distorted or misleading information.
1.5. The reputation of any individual shall not be unduly harmed
without there being sufficient evidence that the information regarding
that person is in the public interest.
1.6. Individuals in possession of political and economic power
and information important to the public shall be considered as public
figures; and their activities shall be subject to closer scrutiny
and criticism. The media shall also consider as public figures individuals
who earn their living through publicly promoting their persona or
2.1. Journalists shall not accept posts, bribes, or other inducements
which may cause a conflict of interest in connection with their
journalistic activity and which may compromise their credibility.
2.2. Journalists working with financial and economic information
shall not distribute it privately or use it in their personal interests.
2.3. Journalists may not work for an institution whose activities
2.4. Editorial staff members may not be obliged by their employer
to write or perform any like activity contradicting their personal
3.1. When conducting interviews, journalists must always identify
themselves and the media outlet they represent. It is also recommended
that the journalist specify the intended use of the information
3.2. Journalists may not take advantage of people lacking experience
in relating to the media. The possible consequences of their statements
shall be explained prior to the conversation.
3.3. Journalists must strictly keep any promises made to their
sources and must avoid making promises they may not be able to keep.
3.4. Media outlets have a moral obligation to safeguard the identity
of confidential sources of information.
3.5. The editors shall, especially in the case of controversial
materials, confirm the accuracy of the information and the reliability
of the sources. The editors shall also verify the accuracy of all
significant facts if the author of the material to be disseminated
is not a member of the regular editorial staff.
3.6. Minors shall be interviewed, as a general rule, only in the
presence of or with the consent of the parent or guardian. Exceptions
can be made to this rule if the interview is intended to protect
the interests of the child or if the child is already under close
3.7. A journalist shall use honest means of obtaining audio or
video recordings and information, with the exception of cases where
the public has a right to know information that cannot be obtained
in an honest way.
4.1. News, opinion and speculation shall be clearly distinguishable.
News material shall be based on verifiable factual evidence.
4.2. In the case of materials concerning a controversy, the journalist
shall hear all sides of the conflict.
4.3. It is not recommended to emphasize nationality, race, religious
or political persuasion and gender, unless it has news value.
4.4. The media shall not treat any individual as a criminal prior
to a court sentence to that effect.
The news value of a suicide or attempted suicide is to be questioned
4.6. Information and speculation about an individual’s mental or
physical health shall not be disseminated unless the individual
is willing or the information is in the public interest.
4.7. As a rule, child custody battles should not be covered.
4.8. When covering crime, court cases and accidents, the journalist
shall consider whether the identification of the parties involved
is necessary and what suffering it may cause to them. Victims and
juvenile offenders shall not be identified as a general rule.
4.9. Materials violating the privacy of an individual can only
be disseminated if public interest outweighs the right to privacy.
4.10. Care should be taken in the use of quotes, photographs, audio
and video materials in a context different from the original. Editing
likely to mislead, as well as distortion of sound shall be identified
by a corresponding subtitle or announcement.
4.11. Photographs, captions, headlines, leads and broadcast lead-ins
may not mislead the audience.
The content, context and intended time of release of materials
submitted by an outside contributor should not be altered without
the author’s knowledge and consent.
5.1. Individuals subjected to serious accusations should be offered
an opportunity for immediate rebuttal in the same edition or programme.
5.2. The objection should correct any factual errors and misquotations.
The space/time taken up by the objection may not exceed the space/time
for the offending statement. The objection shall be published immediately
and prominently, without any editorial comment.
5.3. A correction shall be issued in the event of any inaccuracies.
6.1. Advertisements and promotional materials shall be clearly
differentiated from editorial material.
6.2. Journalists and regular outside contributors should not air
commercials within their programme, or write promotional articles
under their own name in the same publication.
6.3. A product or trademark shall be mentioned or displayed in
news and other editorial material only if relevant and justified.
6.4. In the case of consumer-oriented journalistic material, the
audience must be informed how the selection of the products was
made and how the products were tested.