International – Federation of Arab Journalists (1972)

Code of ethics, adopted by Third Conference of the Federation of Arab Journalists, April 1972, Baghdad.

The Code is based on the following principles:
1. Commitments to the objectives of the public and the right of the Arab nation to unity, freedom and progress.

2. Journalists adhere to respect the right of individuals to privacy and dignity. They should abstain from publishing personal or family scandals aiming to weaken family relations.

3. The message of the press is sacred, it should not be subjected to opportunism, dishonesty, defamation.

4. The message of the press entails adherence to objective reality and truth. Journalists are committed to obtain information and facts by legal means and to correct any published material in case of
discovering inaccuracy in it.

5. Solidarity among Arab journalists must be based on defence of professional ethics, exposing those who behave improperly or those who seek out personal profit and give priority to personal interests by publishing unfounded news and by making statements aiming to create sensation and to encourage corruption and crime.

6. Journalists are committed to support justice in courts not to stand by any party against the other or support any case as far as the authority concerned had not issued the sentence yet.

7. Journalists should respect publication rights, abstain from plagiarism.

8. Before practicing the profession the journalist – according to the statute of his own organization – should make the following oath: “I swear by professional honour to perform my work honestly and truthfully, keep professional secrets, abide by its regulations and traditions and defend its dignity.”

9. There should be a demarcation between opinions and advertisements so that no propaganda or political opinions and ideas slip into publication as edited materials. Such materials should be clearly specified as advertisements in newspapers and magazines.

Political advertisements submitted by foreign bodies are prohibited unless they are in harmony with the national policy. In that case publication should be equal to established ordinary prices in order not to turn advertisement into indirect donation from a Foreign State.
Members of affiliated unions and organizations should refrain from publishing their names under advertisements so that the reputation and moral influence of journalists are not utilized by advertizers.

Advertisement represents a social service, its essential function is to push the scale of goods which are useful to the consumer and such a function does need to be performed through lies or cheating.

Newspapers, magazines and other mass media are entitled to check data and facts in advertisements in order to maintain the reputation of the press. In addition, journalists should dedicate pages for special issues on edited advertisement which spread propaganda for the benefit of imperialist states, reactionary forces and foreign monopolies which contradicts supreme Arab interests.

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