International – East Africa Free Press Assembly (2002)

Code of ethics adopted by the East Africa Free Press Assembly; ratified on 17 May 2001, in Mombasa and re-affirmed on 9 June 2002 in Nairobi, Kenya.

The East Africa Free Press Assembly included representatives of journalism organizations from the following 12 East and Central African nations: Ethiopia, Somalia, Eritrea, Djibouti, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, Mauritius, Seychelles, and Zanzibar.

Fairness and right of reply.
Journalists shall write and the mass media shall publish, broadcast or report fair, accurate, unbiased stories. All sides of the story shall be reported. The right to reply from any person mentioned in an unfavourable context shall be obtained, as appropriate.

Acceptance of favours and bribes.
Journalists and their employers shall conduct themselves in a manner that protects them from real or apparent conflicts of interest. Such conflicts of interest may arise through accepting gifts, bribes, favours, free travel, special treatment or any other form of inducement or privilege.

The mass media shall avoid prejudiced, pejorative or stigmatising language in reference to, among other things, a person’s nationality, ethnicity, class, religion, political affiliation or sex, or to any physical or mental illness or disability. Such references shall be eschewed unless they are germane to a story.

It is the public’s right to unbiased, accurate, balanced and comprehensive information, and the journalist’s duty to make adequate enquiries and cross check his/her facts.

Disclosure of sources.
The journalist shall observe professional secrecy regarding the source of information obtained in confidence.

Social responsibility.
In collecting and disseminating information, the journalist should bear in mind his/her responsibility to the public at large and the various interests in society.

Respect for human dignity.
The journalist will respect and defend basic freedoms and rights of human beings as stipulated in all the international and regional charters and conventions, with sensitivity to socio-economic status and socio-cultural issues.

It is the duty of the journalist to regard plagiarism as unethical and to always credit the source.

The journalist shall exercise his/her profession in the public interest without undue interference from any quarter.

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