Egypt – Supreme Council of the Press (1983)

Code of ethics, adopted by the Supreme Council of the Press in Egypt in 1983. (Note: The Supreme Press Council is not a press council but a government-controlled body.)

We, the Egyptian Journalists, believing in the glory of the journalistic profession and the connection between journalists’ consciousness and the consciousness of public opinion, are honoured to declare this Charter and to be committed to it.

a. The Concept of Journalism is tied to freedom of the press under the sole supervision of the people.

b. Protecting the honour of the press is a right that cannot be separated from defending the liberties that have been granted by the constitution for the individual and the public. Defending the right of comradeship and its dignity among journalists is inseparable from the honour of the press.

c. The activities of journalists should be based on telling the truth and on loyalty to the country, the people, the land and the country’s history, freedom, honour, value, principles and interests.

d. The truthful written word and the other kinds of press media belonging to it is the responsibility of journalists. They are entitled to defend it as they defend the honour of their profession on grounds of justice and supremacy of law. It is a trust that should respect all liberties and virtues of the Egyptian family.

e. The protection of public opinion and public taste from harm is a journalistic sacred duty.

f. The dignity of the journalist stems from the dignity of his country and profession.

These six fundamental points of the honour of the press require commitment to the following:
a. Journalists, senior or junior, are prohibited from harming each other personally, depriving each other of their rights, not allowing each other to perform their professional duties or forcing them to say or do anything that might affect their journalistic and social character, including the right to keep their sources undisclosed.

b. The journalist should be committed to the rights of the citizen, above all his right to information. He should not conceal from the citizens relevant facts he knows, nor should he exaggerate them. He should present the facts complete without distortion. This covers the citizen’s right to maintain his dignity and riot to harm his reputation by a news item, drawing or picture with the aim of slandering or passing judgement oil him before being sentenced by a court of law.

c. The journalist should not benefit from his job illegally or be biased in whatever he publishes, to the extent that he might not be objective.

d. News and commentaries transmitted to citizens should be authentic and far from reprisals, or the sowing of unjustified doubt. Published words in any exchange of views should be honest

e. The journalist’s responsibility is complete, he should not throw it on the shoulders of the editor-in-chief, claiming that he was only obeying orders.

The journalist enjoys the following privileges:
a. The right to express his opinion and respect the opinions of others in accordance with the law.

b. To protect himself from any material or moral aggression.

c. The right to obtain correct information that the nature of his job might require.

d. The right to disclose those who may deceive him by providing false news and information and those who might deny their earlier words because of fear so that they may be called to account before the authorities.

e. He should be insured against plagiarism.

f. The right to enjoy in full the rights guaranteed to him by laws, stipulations and professional traditions.

The implementation of this charter depends on the consideration that the principles of this charter are a trust on the consciousness of the journalists.

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