Code of ethics adopted in Skopje on the 14 November 2001 by the Journalists of the Republic of Macedonia.
Principles of conduct
Freedom of the media is undeniable.
The main duty of the journalist is to respect the truth and right of the public to be informed, in accordance to Article 16 of the Constitution of the Republic of Macedonia.
The journalists have a role of transmitters of information, ideas and opinions, and have a right to comment. By respecting the ethical virtues and professional standards regarding the presentation of information, the journalists shell be honest, objective and will report promptly.
A right and obligation of the journalists is to strive to prevent censorship and distortion of news.
Having in mind their role in the building of democracy and civic society, the journalists shall defend the human rights, dignity and freedom, shall respect the pluralism of ideas and opinions, shall contribute to strengthening of the legal state and shall participate in the control over the government and other subjects in the public life.
Based on these principles and ethical values:
1. The journalists have right to free access to all sources of information that are of public interest.
The journalists shall publish accurate, verified information and will not conceal essential information or forge documents.
If given information cannot be confirmed or if it is a matter of assumption, i.e. speculation, that should be noted and published.
The accuracy of the information ought to be verified as much as possible.
2. If the journalist is prevented from accessing an information, he/she has the right to inform the public about that.
3. The journalist shall strive to provide publication of correction, denial or reply in cases when given information is found to be incorrect.
4. The journalist shall point out the source of information, but if the source demands to remain anonymous the journalist shall protect him.
5. The journalist shall respect the rule of law and will publish nothing that is contrary to the public interest.
6. The journalist must not use the media he/she works for by publishing or concealing information for personal gain.
Bribe, corruption and racketeering are incompatible with the journalistic profession.
Influence from advertising and other commercial forces on the freedom of informing must not be allowed.
There should be demarcation between advertising and journalistic text with illustration.
7. The journalist shall respect the privacy of every person, except in cases when that is on the contrary with the public interest. The journalist is obliged to respect the personal pain and grief.
8. The manner of informing in case of accident, natural disaster, war, family tragedy, sickness, court procedures must be free from sensationalism.
The principle of presumption of innocence, reporting on all involved parties in the legal dispute without suggesting a verdict, will be applied when reporting on court procedures.
9. The journalist must not interview or photograph children under sixteen years of age without agreement from the parents or legal guardians, unless that is in accordance to the children rights. The same applies to people with special needs, who are not able to decide rationally.
10. The journalists shall not consciously create or process information that jeopardize human rights and freedoms, shall not use hate speech and shall not encourage discrimination of any sort (based on nationality, religion, sex, social class, language, sexual orientation, political orientation etc.)
11. The journalist shall observe the general social standards of decency and shall respect the ethnic, cultural and religious differences in the Republic of Macedonia.
12. Plagiarism is unacceptable. Quotes must not be used if the author or the source is not specified.
13. The journalist ought to make distinction between facts and opinions, news and comments.
14. Reporting on political processes, especially elections, must be impartial, balanced and fair. The journalist must keep a professional distance from political topics.
15. The journalist must maintain the culture of speech and ethics.
Impolite manner of communicating with the public is contrary to the norms of the journalistic profession.
16. The journalist shall defend the reputation and dignity of his/her profession, shall urge mutual solidarity and difference in opinions and will not misuse the media he/she works in for personal vendetta against other persons, including his colleagues.
17. The journalist has the right to refuse a given task if that is on the contrary with the principles of this code.
The journalists who work in accordance to this code enjoy support from their media outlets and professional organization.
In accordance to the Laws of the Republic of Macedonia, the journalists shall accept only the judgment of their colleagues regarding professional matters and shall be free from political and other influence.
The Council of Honor is responsible for observing the principles of this code.