Albania – Code of Journalistic Ethics

Albanian Code of Journalistic Ethics.

The respect towards the truth and the right of the truth publication is the journalist’s first duty.

1. Accuracy
a) Newspapers and magazines have to be cautious in not allowing the publication of inaccurate, confusing materials or those materials that may be misinterpreted.
b) The news publication and the photo captions must be carefully checked for their true content. It is not allowed the distortion or the counterfeit of the material while it is elaborated, edited or when the photography captions are put.
c) In case of a photomontage it must be noted in the caption that is a montage.
d) The source must be quoted if it is not the newspaper.
e) If inaccuracy is published in the newspaper, its necessary correction must be published immediately.
f) A public apology must be done, if it is thought to be necessary. The newspaper or the magazine must honestly make known to the reader the consequences of the inaccuracy publication.
g) The journalists must apply the rules of the Albanian language orthography and they should avoid  foreign words, whenever possible.

2. The right of reply
According to the newspaper rules, a space must be left to the individuals or institutions that take offence directly or indirectly by the articles published in the newspaper, in order that they can reply.

3. Private life
a) The press must respect the private life and the intimate sphere of the person. The observations and investigations on the private life are not allowed. It is not ethical to use telephoto lens in order to take photographs of the private life.
b) Its publication must be done only if it is in the public interest.
c) The photographing of the private environment must not be done without the person’s permission.

4. Secret records
The journalists are not allowed to record secretly or to register the phone calls without the permission of the speaker.

5. The journalist’s identification
a) The journalist must not take or ask for photos by cheating.
b) If it is not in the public interest, the journalist must acquire information or photos only with the person’s approval.
c) The violation of the above points may be accepted only if it is in the public interest and if the materials cannot be acquired in any other way.

6. Pressure
a) The journalists must not take or ask for information through threat.
b) The journalists must not insist in receiving information through telephone or any other way if their request is previously refused.

7. Personal matters
In case the journalists’ encounters a problem that directly or indirectly hurts him, the problem should be treated carefully and coldly. The respective editor should be informed for this. In this case it is advisable for the editor to charge another journalist in treating this problem.

8. Hospitals
The journalists or photographers, who want to receive information about the sick persons, must introduce themselves to the patient’s responsible person and they must ask for permission before entering the hospital.

9. Law courts
The news on the un-concluded investigation and legal proceedings must not be treated with hypothesis or prejudices. The arrested, the accused must not appearing guilty until the verdict is given.

10. The innocent friends and relatives
The press, in general, must avoid the identification of the relatives and friends of crime accused person. It can be done only in those cases that contradict the public interest.

11. Crime victims
The press must not identify the victims of violent sexual acts (rape) and must not publish materials that may help in the identification.

12. Cases of sexual violence on children
a) The press must not identify the children under 15 involved in cases of sexual abuse as victims, witnesses or as defenders.
b) When the press informs of sexual abuse towards the children, it is allowed to identify the adults, but it has to be prudent in describing the event and in using the words.

13. The interviewing and photographing of the children
Normally, the journalists must not interview the children under 14, for personal matters, in the absence or disapproval of their parents or their responsible persons.

14. Discrimination
The journalist must avoid, by all means, the discrimination based on race, sex, language, religion, political views, physical handicap, social or national origins.

15. Journalist’s financing
a) The journalists must not take bribe.
b) The press responsibility towards the public requires the articles not to be influenced by the private or job interests of the thirds.
c) The publishers and the editors must prohibit these kinds of attempts and they must be cautions to clearly separate the articles and publications for advertising purpose.

16. Confidential sources
The journalist must keep the professional secret in reference to the source of information received in confidence.

17. Public interest
a) Matters treated in point III; IV allows interpretation gaps through the word-group “public interest”. For this reason we want to clarify that through these words we mean:
b) Finding out and exposing a crime or a scandal
c) Protecting the public health and ensuring its security
d) Protecting the public from the distortion done by individual declarations or actions of somebody, the organizations, institutions etc.

The journalists must be cautions to fulfil the above-mentioned principles. Acting within the country low framework, the journalist, for professional matters, may allow the intervention of the colleagues or of the competent persons and not that of the government.

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