Kyrgyzstan – Professional code of ethics of television and radio journalists of the Kyrgyz Republic (1997)

Professional code of ethics of television and radio journalists of the Kyrgyz Republic, adopted by the Association of Independent Electronic Mass Media of Central Asia at its conference in Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic, on 8-9 September 1997.

1. Television and radio journalists should broadcast, and com-ment on, only that information which has been confirmed as true and which comes from a reliable source. Journalists should avoid concealing information which is important to the public and wittingly distributing false information. Broadcast journalists should avoid using offensive language that may physically or mentally hurt people.

2. While fulfilling their professional responsibilities, journalists may use all means to obtain information. However, they should respect the rights of physical or moral persons not to give information (or to refuse to be videotaped) and not to answer questions, except in those cases where the duty to provide information is stipulated by the law on mass media.

3. Broadcast journalists must make a clear distinction between facts and opinion, but at the same time they should not be neutral.

4. Television and radio journalists have no right to cover the details of the personal life of an individual without his or her permission.

5. The religious beliefs of journalists should not influence the objectivity of television and radio news stories.

6. Journalists must respect the rights of others to freedom of choice in religion, must not discriminate on the basis of religious beliefs, and must not criticise religions, religious denominations or groups, except in cases where religious issues cause conflicts in society.

7. Broadcast journalists must provide accurate and balanced information because objectivity is the main goal of the journalist. All mistakes should be corrected immediately and completely.

8. Journalists should serve no other interest except the right of the public to be informed. Journalists should not accept any gifts or favours which could influence the objectivity of their stories.

9. Plagiarism is prohibited. Journalists should observe copyright.

10. Broadcast journalists should maintain solidarity to protect colleagues from persecution for criticism.

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