Luxembourg – Press Council (1995)

Code of Ethics, adopted by the plenary meeting of the Press Council on 4 December 1995.

1. From the right to information and freedom of speech, such as they are guaranteed by the Constitution and affirmed in the Declaration of Human Rights, derive the responsibility of journalists and publishers.

That responsibility implies:
a) respect for truth, for the freedom of opinion of others as well as for human dignity and privacy;

b) a commitment to publish only information whose sources are trustworthy, to label information issuing from unreliable sources as such and to keep professional secrecy, which involves the right to conceal one’s sources of information. That responsibility implies a concern for separation of news and views;

c) the prohibition of plagiarism, of offensive speech, insult, libel, slander and of racial, ethnic, religious and ideological discrimination;

d) the obligation to correct as fast as possible any information that turns out to be untrue;

e) the obligation to abstain from any exaggerated presentation of established facts, especially those likely to incite to violence, cruelty, misdemeanours and crimes;

f) the refusal of any corruption in the exercise of the profession and also the refusal to use one’s professional influence for other purposes than to inform the public and fashion its opinion;

g) the observance of the law on copyright.

2. The responsibility of the journalist and of the publisher is predicated upon certain rights indispensable to the practice of the craft.

Those rights include:
a) access to all sources of information needed in the pursuit of their duties;

b) the refusal to take any orders that would be contrary to personal convictions, or to the existing general policy of the news outlet or to that which has been set by journalists and publisher;

c) the refusal of any pressure or influence from advertisers, whose ads must be presented in such a way that the public will not confuse them with news.

3. The responsibility of journalists and of publishers implies the obligation to respect embargoes unless there are exceptional and legitimate reasons not to do so.

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