IFJ Declaration of Principles on the Conduct of Journalists
March 14, 2003
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 to 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 only use 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 alert to the danger of discrimination being furthered by media, and shall do the utmost to avoid facilitating such discriminations based on, among other things, race, sex, sexual orientation, language, religion, political or other opinions, and national and social origins.
- The journalist shall regard as grave professional offenses the following: plagiarism; malicious misinterpretation; calumny; libel; slander; 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 matters of professional matters the jurisdiction of colleagues only, to the exclusion of any kind of interference by governments or others.
Adopted by 1954 World Congress of the IFJ. Amended by the 1986 World Congress.