Central Asia Journalists’ Draft of their Professional Ethics Code, drafted by journalists from Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan.
We, the journalists of Central Asia, considering that freedom of expression is the inalienable human right; accepting Clause 19 of the Declaration of Human Rights, which guarantees the right to research, receive and distribute information; emphasizing that information plays the key role in the realization of human rights, building a civil society, a democratic and constitutional state. A human right to receive information concerning facts and events is one of the key indicators of democracy; realizing our responsibility to preserve peace and inter-ethnic harmony as well as social and political stability in the region; taking into consideration the fact that democratic processes in Central Asia are just gaining their momentum and for that reason viewpoints concerning this or that fact or event may be absolutely contrary, which often leads journalists to violate basic rules of professional ethics, which, in its turn, may lead to serious cons¬e¬quences have come to the decision to approve the following ethical principles in our professional activities. We oblige ourselves to follow the principles.
1. Self-sacrificingly protect freedom of speech and press, standing out against censorship and all sorts of distortion of information.
2. Accurately, reasonably and responsibly distribute infor¬mation, exclusively based on facts. Quickly and critically correct any mistakes should they appear.
3. Provide the wider public with as much information as possible (including a wide range of photo, video and audio mate¬rials) concerning events of any social or political importance to the people of Central Asia.
4. Avoid any perversion of the truth for the sake of commercial, advertising, clan, political party or personal interests.
5. Avoid the use of printed and spoken word for the purposes of personal revenge, pursuing opponents and satisfying personal ambitions.
6. Avoid publication of information comprising elements of race, sex, religious, ethnic or political discrimination.
7. Avoid abusive use of information obtained during professional activities.
8. Avoid naming confidential sources of information.
9. Determine all sorts of plagiarism and uphold the protection of copyright.
10. Avoid any insults of people, who become the objects of journalist investigation, strictly sticking to the principle of presumption of innocence.
11. Avoid any violations of privacy. Any issues subject to privacy can only be made public if they are of public interest and concern.
12. Show international solidarity, standing out for the freedom of speech and press as well as the rights of journalists and mass media.
13. Preserve the respectable image of journalism and avoid any assaults of colleagues, strike a balance between fair competition and professional solidarity, help colleagues in other countries of the region in fulfilling their professional duty.
14. Initiate the development of in-country and interstate legislation, aimed to protect and develop the principles of the freedom of speech and press.