Cuba – Union of Journalists of Cuba

Ethics Code of the Union of Journalists of Cuba.

When assuming the deep aspiration of Martí which heads the Constitution “I want the first law of our republic be the cult to the full dignity of man”, heirs to a professional tradition in which join the patriotic, revolutionary and socialist vocation and the highest ethic responsibilities, identified with the independence ideals of the country, the economic, cultural and social development, the progress, peace and friendship. Solidarity with the colleagues of all the world who defend their professional rights and encourage the exercise of  journalism in favour of the human being and its spiritual wealth, conscious of the execution of our social work demands to act with consecration, responsibility and courage, the Journalist of Cuba adopts the present Ethics Code.

Duties and Rights

Article 1. The journalist has the duty of impelling, consolidating and to defend the content of the Statutes of the Union of Journalists of Cuba.

Article 2. The journalist has the duty of inform and to express his approaches with truthfulness, agility and precision.

Article 3. The journalist is entitled to obtain that entire information of public utility, as well as to carry out the necessary actions to that end.

Article 4. The journalist should face those acts of entities or people that block the access to the information of public utility or constitute pressures that limit in any form the execution of his professional and social duty. In the event of dispute, to defend their right he/she can lean on in the press direction organ, in the Union of Journalists of Cuba, or to go to any political, state instance or of the public administration. He/she will also be able to denounce such acts in his/her press organ if the direction agrees.

Article 5. The journalist can make use of the media in function of personal, family interests or peculiar of any species, neither to discredit or to defame to people and institutions. Neither to exalt undeserved to natural or juridical people. It is not ethical in the exercise of the profession the exaltation of the triumph, the hyper criticism and other deforming tendencies.

Article 6. The journalist should maintain a consequent labour, social and moral behaviour with the principles and norms of our society.

Article 7. The journalist contributes with his work to promote the best national values, the exact knowledge of the laws and the constant improvement of our socialist society.

Article 8. The journalist defends the principles of the Union of Journalists of Cuba in its Statutes and the present Ethics Code, and he demands that they are promoted in a democratic way the opinions and restlessness on the organization in its assemblies of journalists, national meeting and congresses.

Article 9. The journalist should foment and to take care of the fraternal relationships and of mutual respect among colleagues and among the press organs, as well as to abstain of public expressions that revile or impair them.

Article 10. The journalist is entitled of demanding to the direction of the press organ respect toward his work, in particular to claim explanation when it is retained or decide not to publish a work of his and, also, to demand that should not be modify without his consent the sense of his work.

Article 11. The journalist should rectify the diffused errors openly that they require this way and be attributable to his work. The direction of the press organ is entitled to decide if it proceeds or not and in the way the public rectification forms should be carried out.

Article 12. The journalist has the duty of following the editorial line and informative politics of the press organ in which he works and, in turn, the right to participate in the elaboration, execution and evaluation of both.

Article 13. The journalist should go to more than one source with the purpose of achieving a truthful and the most complete possible information.

Article 14. The journalist won’t be able to publish declarations or data provided by the sources with the explicit warning directly that they serve as backgrounds for the journalistic work and not for its publication.

Article 15. The journalist will abstain from disclosing in everything or partly any document or work material classified expressly with a reservation degree, according to the legislation on the effective State Secret in Cuba.

Article 16. The journalist has the obligation of not revealing the identity of the sources that have requested to remain anonymous.

Article 17. The journalist cannot use the professional relationships as lucre or to obtain benefices for him or for other people.

Article 18. The journalist should improve himself cultural and professionally, and those members with direction responsibilities should propitiate the improvement of their subordinates

On the professional labour and social relationships

Article 19. The journalist incurs in plagiarism act if he subscribes as own those journalistic works that in everything or partly have been taken of other colleagues or authors.

Article 20. The journalist should use the spaces of the press organs in a such way that they are not hurt the morals or the personal dignity of other journalists, or that it is reviled or reduce the public authority of any press organ of the country.

Article 21. The journalist, in the event of debates, critical or polemic, should abstain in his professional work from using a disrespectful or offensive tone language.

Article 22. The journalist in management position should take into account the restlessness, critical and initiatives that contribute to improve the quality and the informative level of the media and he cannot make use of his attributions to exercise arbitrary actions that harm moral or materially his subordinate colleagues.

Article 23. The journalist can exercise the replica right if he has more than enough allusions to his work or person published in the press. He/she has, also, the right of publishing the answer in the same press organ where it is originated the polemic or, otherwise, in any other media of the country.

Article 24. The journalist should not make publicity, promotion or commercial propaganda in the media. To avoid erroneous interpretations or confusions among readers, listeners or TV audience , the journalist using his signature or aliases should not publish texts, pictures or another graphic and audio visual material with an advertising character that doesn’t specify its nature clearly, make a formal and rigorous distinction between information and publicity. They are excepted of these principles those specialized publications and spaces in the radial, written, televised or film press that have a promotional profile.

Of the disciplinary sanctions and the ethics commissions

Article 1. The violation of the ethical norms previously established can take, in dependence of the size of the facts and without damaging the sanctions of labour, administrative or penal order that corresponds, to the application of some of the following measures:

a) private admonishment.

b) public admonishment in front of the delegation of the UPEC of its press organ.

c) suspension of rights to occupy positions in the Union of Journalists of Cuba for one period from one to three years.

d) proposition to the direction of the press organ that the offender is suspended from three months to one year in the signature right or public appearance in the media of communication.

e) separation of the lines for a period of one to three years.

f) indefinite Separation.

g) expulsion.

Article 2. The following ones are settle down as accessory sanctions :

a) in the cases understood in the parentheses a, b, c and d of the previous article, it can prepare, also, the invalidation of one to three years to integrate the juries or to participate in the journalistic competitions that the UPEC favours, as well as to be proposed as candidate to the National Prize of journalism José Martí or the annual Prize Juan Gualberto Gómez.

b) in the cases understood in the parentheses e) and f) of the previous article, they can also request, to the Presidency of the Union of Journalists of Cuba that to the offender, if he/she had it, would be retired the badge that grants the organization.

c) in the cases of the parenthesis g), it will be retired him the badge, if the had it.

Article 3. They are considered LIGHT indiscipline (private admonishment or public admonishment) the following ones:

a) to incur in expressions or other disrespectful acts, or to use non ethical forms toward other colleagues, press organs or people and institutions in general.

b) negligence that drive to journalistic inaccuracies, without serious implications.

Article 4. They are considered LESS SERIOUS indiscipline (suspension of rights to occupy positions in the Union of Journalists of Cuba for a period from one to three years) the following ones:

a) a problem in the exercise of the profession that imply errors and consequences of certain trouble.

b) disrespectful or offensive manifestations that revile the dignity and reduce the authority of natural or juridical people.

c) violations of the professional ethics that drive to journalistic inaccuracies of more entity.

d) repetition in light discipline problems.

Article 5. They are considered SERIOUS indiscipline (proposal of suspension of signature right or public appearance in the media of three months to one year) the following ones:

a) violation of the legal dispositions related with the publication of data considered State Secret for the effective legislation.

b) violations of the professional ethics that lead to journalistic errors of serious implications and social consequences.

c) journalistic plagiarism.

d) to use the spaces of the press against the moral integrity, the dignity and the authority of colleagues, press organs and other natural or juridical people.

e) reiterated exercise of a triumph or hypercritical journalism.

f) to exercise arbitrary actions with the spirit of harming subordinate journalists.

g) bad attitude for the cultural and professional improvement.

h) to exalt natural or juridical people undeservedly.

i) repetition in less serious lack of discipline.

Article 6. They are considered VERY SERIOUS lack of discipline (temporary, indefinite suspension or expulsion of the lines of the Union of Journalists of Cuba) the following ones:

a) repetition in ethical problems of serious character.

b) to manipulate, to hide, to lie or to distort information with the deliberate purpose of causing damage to people or institutions.

c) to use the professional relationships as lucre or to obtain benefices.

d) to miss the professional duty by means of overlapped exercise of the publicity.

e) labour, social or moral Behaviour that attempts gravely against the principles and norms of our society.

Article 7. In the practice of the journalistic activity they can appear other particular cases and figures that the Code has not taken into account specifically. In these cases, it will correspond to the Ethics Commissions to value in a comparative way the degree of trouble of the associate and which should be in consequence the sanction that should be applied.

Article 8. The Ethics Commissions in accordance to the concrete analysis that carry out, will be able to:

a) to impose only one of the main sanctions foreseen in this regulation of the Code.

b) to combine the application of more than one of them.

c) to supplement this or these with the accessory sanctions that are appropriate.

Article 9. The Commissions of Ethics won’t only value the entity with the discipline problem, but also the concurrent circumstances, the member’s personal conditions his behaviour and professional, labour, social and moral trajectory, as well as the repercussion and social implications that carries the fact in analysis .

Article 10. To judge the violations of the present Code Ethics Commissions will be created:

a) at base level, in delegations with twenty or more affiliated.

b) at provincial level to assist reclamations made in the base delegations with less than twenty members.

c) the National Ethics Commission .

Article 11. The provincial Ethics Commission and of base will be integrated by five members of grateful prestige with five years or more of experience in the journalism.

Article 12. This commission will be elected by the assembly of journalists for a period of two and a half years, and it will work as collegiate organ. Their members will nominate a President and a Secretary of Records.

Article 13. The provincial commission will only evaluate the violations happened in the press organs seated in the territory that don’t have base commission.

Article 14. The National Commission of Ethics will be integrated by seven members of grateful prestige with not less than ten years of experience in the journalism, and they will be elected by the National Committee of the UPEC for a five year-old command. If there is necessity of substitutions or to occupy vacancies, it is authorized to the National meeting Committee to make it. The National Commission of Ethics will work as collegiate organ and among its members it will be nominated the President and the Secretary of Records.

Article 15. The National Commission of Ethics will take care for as much in the counties as in the bases ethics commissions are constituted at those levels, as well as it will act as orientation organ in the application of this Code. It will also assume any case in which has not been able to constitute ethics commission in the bases of national subordination.

Of the procedures

Article 16. The Ethics Commissions to be constituted will gather as minimum three members.

Article 17. The Ethics Commissions of base Ethics or provincial will know in first instance natural or juridical person’s accusation on presumed violation of the professional ethics.

Article 18. When denounced a fact that could be constituent of a lack of professional ethics, the base or provincial Commissions will proceed to begin the corresponding file and, in consequence, they will investigate the facts, they will pick up the elements that estimate necessary and they will carry out how many diligences they consider pertinent, so that it is listened to all the involved parts.

Article 19. The base or provincial Commissions will have thirty working days to dictate their failure, starting from the moment in which they receive the accusations.

Article 20. The base or provincial Commissions will be able to determine and to apply the measures of private admonishment and public admonishment. These they will be completed in the has following working days to the failure and they will have not appeal character. The bases or provincial Commissions should inform previously on the failure to the executive of the it bases delegation from the UPEC to which belongs him or the involved members. The base or provincial Commissions also has the obligation of informing in writing to the National Ethics Commission about the essence of each exposed case before them and their conclusions.

Article 21. As for all the other disciplinary sanctions, the bases or provincial Commissions will take agreement and they will subject it, in recommendation form, according to the case to the following organs of the UPEC:

a) To the provincial Presidency of the UPEC, the executive’s of the base delegation previous knowledge.

Article 22. The provincial Presidency of the UPEC and its executive in the base delegations of national subordination, as it corresponds, will know and they will be able to ratify and to make effective, or to rectify, the recommendation sanctions, of suspension of the signature right or public appearance in the media, and the temporary suspension of rights to occupy positions in the UPEC, as well as the accessory sanctions foreseen in these cases.

Article 23. The previous measures will be not appealable before the National Commission of Ethics, which will have sixty working days to dictate their failure, starting from the moment in which receives the file and the appeal.

Article 24. The provincial Presidency of the UPEC or its executive in the base delegations, as it corresponds, it will subject to the National Commission of Ethics the cases in that the sanction proposal, resultant of the analysis of the recommendation agreed by the Commission of base Ethics or provincial, be the temporary, indefinite separation or expulsion of the lines of the organization. With this purpose will go the file to the National Ethics Commission in the five following working days to the adoption of the referred proposition.

Article 25. The National Ethics Commission , starting from the moment in which receives the documentation, will have sixty working days to hear to the parts, to practice the other diligences that it considers necessary and to subject its proposal to the National Presidency of the UPEC, the one that will be pronounced in this respect in its immediate ordinary meeting.

Article 26. In all the cases, the decisions to which the National Commission arrives, once ratified or rectified by the National Presidency of the UPEC, will be notified to the interested ones by written way.

Article 27. The base delegation of the UPEC will be responsible with the application of the imposed sanctions or the recommendations that it has the case and the question that formulates the National Commission.

Article 28. Against the failure of the National Commission of Ethics and their ratification for the Presidency, the interested one will be entitled to appeal to the Congress. The appellant will base the reasons of his disagreement in writing form with the imposed measure, and she will be able to contribute how many elements to his favour he estimates pertinent, as well as to be requested carries out the investigations that h considers can endorse his recommendation.

Article 29. The decisions that are adopted by the Congress are not appealable and of obligatory execution for all the instances.

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