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Code of Ethics

Code of Ethics

The IPF has adopted a code of ethics in collaboration with its members, scholars and international bodies in order to provide basics and mutually accepted framework for the exercise of the profession of journalism. The subjects covered include research, personal rights, truthful reporting and the separation of editorial content and advertisements.

Preamble

The International Press Federation (IPF) is a professional society that promotes the highest standards in journalism since the credibility of our profession is of utmost importance and must be every member’s concern. The goal of this code of ethics is intended as an ethical behavior for media professional in order to foster the spirit of integrity and honesty while reporting professional and accurate news. Therefore, members of IPF must strictly adhere to these basic principles: Honesty, fairness, independence and respect for the rights of others. Our aim through this code of ethics should not be considered as an attempt to limit our members’ freedom, but to set guidelines for responsible and professional journalism.

1) Accuracy and Truth in reporting

  • A good journalist must report and interpret fairly, honestly, striving for accuracy, fairness and must disclose all essential facts.
  • You must not suppress relevant available facts, or give distorting emphasis. Do your utmost to give a fair opportunity for reply while reporting. Truth must be its guiding principles.
  • Do not allow personal interest, or any belief, commitment, payment, gift or benefit, to undermine your accuracy, fairness or independence.
  • Disclose conflicts of interest that affect, or could be seen to affect, the accuracy, fairness or independence of your journalism. Do not improperly use a journalistic position for personal gain.
  • If, despite conscientious research, a mistake is made, the journalist must point it out and do its utmost to achieve fair correction without being asked.
  • Journalist must not plagiarize.

2) Media Freedom

  • Journalists should be free of obligation to any interest other than the public's right to know.
  • Do not accept gifts, favors, or compensation from those who might seek to influence coverage.
  • Journalist must act independently by avoiding conflicts of interest, real or perceived and by remaining free of associations and activities that may compromise integrity or damage credibility.
  • As an IPF member you must guarantee informants anonymity and protect them from possible sanctions.
  • Media professionals should uphold the right of free speech and freedom of the press and should respect the individual's right to privacy. The newspaper should fight vigorously for public access to news of government through open meetings and records.

3) Research

  • Test the accuracy of information from all sources and exercise care to avoid inadvertent error. Deliberate distortion is never permissible.
  • Journalist must not allow advertising or other commercial considerations to undermine accuracy, fairness or independence.
  • 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.

4) Set standard

  • Avoid stereotyping by race, gender, age, religion, ethnicity, geography, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance or social status.
  • Produces no material likely to lead to hatred or discrimination on the grounds of a person’s age, gender, race, color, creed, legal status, disability, marital status, or sexual orientation.
  • An IPF member must strive by example and influence to maintain the spirit and high standards expressed in this code. When confronted with situations in which the proper action is not clear, seek the counsel of those who exhibit the highest standards of the profession. IPF journalists should abide by the same high standards to which they hold others.

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