Principles of Conduct

Country:

Freedom of the media is undeniable.

The main duty of the journalist is to respect the truth and the right of the public to be informed, in accordance with Article 16 of the Constitution of the Republic of Macedonia.

Journalists have the role of transmitters of information, ideas and opinions, and have a right to comment. By respecting the ethical virtues and professional standards regarding the presentation of information, the journalists shall be honest, objective and will report promptly.

The right and obligation of the journalists is to strive to prevent censorship and distortion of news.

Having in mind their role in the building of democracy and civic society, journalists shall defend human rights, dignity and freedom, shall respect the pluralism of ideas and opinions, shall contribute to the strengthening of the legal state and shall participate in the control over the government and other subjects in public life.

 

BASED ON THESE PRINCIPLES AND ETHICAL VALUES:

1.

The journalists have the right to free access to all sources of information that are of public interest.

The journalists shall publish correct, verified information and will not conceal essential information or falsify documents.

If the given information cannot be confirmed or if it is a matter of assumption, i.e. speculation, this should be noted and published.

The correctness of information ought to be verified as much as possible.

2.

If the journalist is denied access to information, he/she has the right to inform the public of this.

3.

The journalist shall strive for the publication of corrections, denials or rejoinders in cases when the given information is found to be incorrect.

4.

The journalist shall point out the source of information, but if the source demands to remain anonymous the journalist shall protect him.

5.

The journalist shall respect the rule of law and will publish nothing that is contrary to the public interest.

6.

The journalist must not use the media he/she works in for publication or concealing of information in order to gain personal benefit.

Bribes, corruption and racketeering are not compatible with the journalistic profession.

Influence from advertising and other commercial motives on the freedom of information must not be allowed.

There should be a distinction between advertising and journalistic texts with illustrations.

7.

The journalist shall respect the privacy of every person, except in cases when this is contrary to public interest.

The journalist is obliged to respect the personal pain and grief.

8.

The manner of informing in case of accident, natural disaster, war, family tragedy, sickness, court proceedings must be free from sensationalism.

The principle of presumption of innocence, reporting for all involved parties in the legal dispute without pre-empting a verdict, will be applied when reporting on court proceedings.

9.

The journalist must not interview or photograph children under 16 years of age without the agreement of the parents or legal guardians, unless that is in accordance with the children's rights.

The same applies to people with special needs, who are not able to decide rationally.

10.

The journalists shall not consciously create or process information that jeopardizes human rights and freedoms, shall not use invective and shall not encourage discrimination of any sort (nationality, religion, sex, social class, language, sexual orientation, political orientation...)

11.

The journalist shall observe the general social standards of decency and shall respect the ethnic, cultural and religious differences in the Republic of Macedonia.

12.

Plagiarism is unacceptable.

Quotes must not be used if the author or the source is not specified.

13.

The journalist ought to make a distinction between facts and opinions, news and comments.

14.

Reporting on political processes, especially elections, must be impartial, balanced and fair.

The journalist must take professional distance from political subjects.

15.

The journalist must maintain the culture of speech and ethics.

Impolite manner of communicating with the public is contrary to the journalistic profession.

16.

The journalist shall defend the reputation and dignity of his/hers profession, shall urge mutual solidarity and plurality of opinions and will not misuse the media he/she works in for personal vendetta against other persons, including his colleagues.

17.

The journalist has the right to refuse a given task if this is contrary to the principles of this code.

FINAL PROVISIONS

Journalists who work in accordance with this code will enjoy support from their media outlets and professional organizations.

In accordance to the Laws of the Republic of Macedonia, journalists shall accept only the judgements of their colleagues regarding the profession and shall be free from political and other influence.

The Council of Honour is responsible for observing the principles of this code.

Skopje 14.11. 2001 Journalists of the Republic of Macedonia