Respect truth, defend freedom, reject discrimination – the IFJ code
The International Federation of Journalists is a confederation of journalists’ unions; collectively it represents 600,000 journalists in more than 100 countries.
The IFJ believes that codes of ethics or codes of conduct must be drawn up by the professionals themselves.
The IFJ Code of Conduct, first adopted in 1954, provides a code of ethics adopted by all national representative journalists organisations in Europe. Therefore, the IFJ Code of Conduct provides the basis for a common understanding on ethical issues through voluntary adoption of journalists and publishers. In this area IFJ sees no active role for national governments.
This international Declaration is proclaimed as a standard of professional conduct for journalists engaged in gathering, transmitting, disseminating and commenting on news and information in describing events.
- Respect for truth and for the right of the public to truth is the first duty of the journalist.
- 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.
- 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.
- The journalist shall use only fair methods to obtain news, photographs and documents.
- The journalist shall do the utmost to rectify any published information which is found to be harmfully inaccurate.
- The journalist shall observe professional secrecy regarding the source of information obtained in confidence.
- 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.
- The journalist shall regard as grave professional offences the following:
- malicious misrepresentation;
- calumny, slander, libel, unfounded accusations;
- acceptance of a bribe in any form in consideration of either publication or suppression.
- Journalists worthy of the name shall deem it their duty to observe faithfully the principles stated above. Within the general law of each country the journalist shall recognise in professional matters the jurisdiction of colleagues only, to the exclusion of every kind of interference by governments or others.
(Adopted by 1954 World Congress of the IFJ. Amended by the 1986 World Congress.)