Armenia – Internews (1996)

Journalists’ Code of Ethics of Internews, an international NGO that supports independent mass media – particularly television and Radio; its Armenian branch was registered in 1996.

Internews contributes to Armenia’s development into a democratic and stable society by creating the conditions for the existence of a free, independent and pluralistic media. We bear responsibility for the universal mission of establishing and maintaining peace. We support human rights protection and target our professional skills at improving the society.

Here, Internews adopts the following principles of journalists’ work.

1. Freedom
1.1 We protect freedom of speech. Any restriction to make unimpeded use of information sources endangers our mission to serve the society.

1.2 We denounce all the obstacles to providing and obtaining information, considering it violation of free information.

1.3 We accept the freedom of comments and criticism if it is based on checked facts and is clearly differentiated from suppositions and versions.

2. Justice
2.1 Pressures during carrying out professional responsibilities shall not affect presentation of multisided, accurate, complete, high-quality and relevant information. It is not permissible to present information for indirect payment, or for the purpose of advertising, nor is it permissible to be an interested party while presenting any kind of information.

2.2 Personal life privacy, copyright, secrecy of the source of information, the right not to convey data to natural persons and legal entities, are always respected. However, they can be put aside if the man and the society face serious and inevitable danger.

2.3 On the way to revealing the reality, unfair ways of finding documents and materials, as well as getting interviews, should be avoided. Data obtained in an indirect way should be checked with special care.

3. Dignity
3.1 The facts shall not serve the purpose of compromising, insulting, or humiliating a person or an organisation. The nationality, race, religion, physical and intellectual conditions of a person shall not be labelled.

3.2 For showing victims of violation, people with incurable or severe diseases, criminals, as well as for publishing their relatives’ names, it is necessary to obtain their consent. Persons that suffer from a severe grief or a psychological shock, as well as people under legal age, should be free from inappropriate pursuits of journalists.

3.3 Significant mistakes, misleading or distorted messages should be immediately checked. The refutations of people and organisations that have suffered from damaged reputation or dignity should be published without major semantic changes.

4. Equality
4.1 We serve all the groups of the society regardless of their political, economic and ideological aspirations. Ties of kinship, family ties, friendship and other relations cannot change the principles of equality that we have adopted.

4.2 We encourage versatile information, not being restricted by obvious, entertaining or superficial information.

4.3 We constantly support and assist all our colleagues and people who are in sympathy with us. We help everybody who, based on their purposes, vocations, jobs and professions, applies to us.

5. Tolerance
5.1 Tolerance is the supreme factor of our activities. We consider persons belonging to different religions, nationalities, races and political parties to be full members of the society that have the right to inform and to be informed.

5.2 We consistently do our best to create guarantees for information independence. However, we understand that we shouldn’t split the society by our activities, nor should we condemn any public, political and civil initiatives.

These are the main principles of our activities. We are obligated not to ever abuse them for personal, material purposes, for the purposes of propaganda, libelling, as well as for fulfilling direct or indirect orders, distorting or hiding information. We are obligated to be guided by this code of ethics in our daily work.

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