Code of Ethics of the National Federation of Brazilian Journalists, approved by vote at the national conference of journalists, in 1987.
(Translated from the Portuguese by Tia Norris)
Right to information
1) Access to public information is an inherent right within our society, which no-one should impede.
2) Divulgence of information in a precise and correct form is the duty of the media, independent of its ownership.
3) Information divulged by the media shall be regulated by the facts of the occurrence and shall be in the public interest.
4) The rendering of information by individuals, public or private institutions whose activities have an effect on society is a social obligation.
5) Direct or indirect obstruction to the free divulgence of information and the act of censorship or self-censorship are crimes against society.
Journalists’ Professional Code of Conduct.
6) The profession of journalism is of social nature and public purpose, governed by this Code of Ethics.
7) The fundamental obligation of the journalist is with the truth of facts and a journalist’s work must be regulated by the precise investigation of happenings and their correct reporting.
8 ) When it is considered correct and necessary, the journalist will withhold the origin and identity of sources.
9) A journalist’s duty is to;
a) Divulge all the facts which are in the public interest.
b) Fight for freedom of thought and expression.
c) Defend the free practice of his profession.
d) Add value, honour and dignity to the profession.
e) Oppose arbitrary judgements, authoritarianism and oppression, as well as defending
the principles expressed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
f) Fight and denounce all forms of corruption, especially when these are being used to control information.
g) Respect the citizen’s right to privacy.
h) Dignify representative and democratic entities of the profession.
10) A journalist must not;
a) Accept offers of paid work not in agreement with his salary level or with the fixed rates of his profession.
b) Obey directions contrary to the correct reporting of information.
c) Constrain divergent opinions or impede free debate.
d) Allow the practice of persecution or discrimination for reasons social, political, religious, racial or due to sexual orientation or gender.
e) Report on a public or private institutions he is connected with, either as an employee or consultant, through the medium for which he works.
Responsibilities of the Profession of Journalism
11) The journalist is responsible for all the information he divulges, as long as his work has not been altered by a third party.
12) In all his rights and responsibilities, a journalist will have the help and support of his profession.
13) The journalist must avoid divulging facts;
a) Which would be of personal economic or other interest.
b) Of a morbid character and contrary to human values.
14) The journalist must:
a) Always listen, before divulging the facts, to all the people who are the subject ot unproven allegations made by a third party and not sufficiently demonstrated or verified.
b) Treat with respect all people referred to in the divulgence of the information.
15) The journalist should allow the right of reply to the people involved or mentioned in his coverage when an error is clearly demonstrated.
16) The journalist must fight for the exercise of national sovereignty, in political, social and economical aspects and for the will of the majority of society, whilst respecting the rights of minorities.
17) The journalist must preserve the national language and culture.
Application of the Code of Ethics
18) Transgressions of the Code will be discovered and investigated by the Comissao de Etica (Ethics Committee).
i) The Comissao de Etica will be elected by secret vote by the Assemblela Geral da Gate goria (The General Assembly of the Profession) especially convened for this purpose.
ii) The Comissao de Etica will have five members, who will have the same term of office as the Journalistic Union leaders.
19) Journalists who contravene the Code of Ethics will be subject to the following penalties (according to position), to be applied by the Comissao de Etica:
a) Union members: Observation, warning, suspension and finally expulsion from the Union.
b) Non-Union members – Observation, public warning, temporary barring and finally complete barring from the Union
Note: The maximum penalty (expulsion from the Union for Union members and complete barring for non-members) can only be applied after a vote of the Assembleia Geral da Categoria, especially convened for this purpose.
20) Any citizen, journalist or not, or institution considering themselves wronged, may make a written and signed complaint to the Comissao de Etica, so that the such transgressions may come to light.
21) Once the complaint has been received, the Comissao de Etica will decide whether to consider it, or, if the complaint has no Substantiation, they will file it and make their decision public if they consider this necessay.
22) The application of penalties must be preceded by a hearing given to the journalist who is the object of the complaint. If this hearing is not given, the penalty is nullified.
i) Ten day’s notice of the hearing must be announced in writing by the Comissao de Etica, in a way that receipt may be proven.
ii) The journalist can present a written reply within these ten days or present his case orally during the hearing.
iii) Failure to either respond in writing by the deadline or orally at the hearing shall imply acceptance of the terms of the complaint.
23) Having a response from the journalist or not, the Comissao de Etica shall convey its decision to the interested parties within ten days of the date of the hearing.
24) Journalists who have been warned or suspended can appeal to the Assembleia Geral da Categoria within ten days of the notification of penalty.
i) The same right to appeal exists with the plaintiff.
25) The clear intention of complaint against a journalist without grounds shall be publicly denounced, naming the perpetrator.
26) The current Code of Ethics shall be in force after ratification by the Assemble’ia Geral da Gategoria especially convened for this purpose.
27) Any modification to this code can only be made in a National Congress of Journalists, through a written proposal undersigned by at least ten representatives of journalistic unions.