Journalists’ Code of Ethics drafted by 71 journalists and presented to the dean of the Ibero-American University in January 1996 for the Professional Exercise of Journalism.
Code of journalistic ethics
Mexican journalists and those who practice journalism in Mexico accept the following principles of professional ethical behaviour. They agree that it is a task among equals, whose fulfilment can only be determined by individual conviction.
Principles of the journalist with regard to society
1. The journalist has the right and the obligation to stimulate, practice, and defend freedom of expression and the right to information. The journalist understands that information is a service of public interest, and believes that informing in a true, complete, pluralistic, and timely manner is one of his/her primary responsibilities.
2. The journalist promotes society’s access to the media, regards all social sectors as possible sources of information, does not practice any type of discrimination, and respects his/her audience.
3. The journalist completes his/her work in the public eye and has the right to professional secrecy. The journalist respects the private lives of individuals, and avoids defamation, insult, and slander.
4. The journalist does not remain quiet or reveal information due to interests other than society’s, even if it is of the journalist’s own personal interest. The journalist avoids conflicts of interest, and rejects money, donations or privileges that seek to influence, modify, or deform information.
5. In his/her daily work, the journalist works with regard to the human principle of the greatest good for the greatest number.
Principles of the journalist with regard to the state
6. The journalist has the right and the obligation to demand that the State respect freedom of expression and the right to information. The journalist upholds that updated and integral regulation is necessary, with legislation that guarantees the right to information, and the existence and clear operation of a national policy of communication that guarantees access to information and restricts the so-called secrets of the State.
7. The journalist opposes obstacles to freedom of the press, prior censorship, restrictions to the circulation of the media, and the practice of imposing information. The journalist does not allow the State to make him/her the recipient of privileges or discrimination based on the information he/she publishes, and believes that no media or its employees should be punished for spreading the truth or for criticizing or denouncing the power of the State.
Principles of the journalist with regard to the media
8. The journalist understand that he/she works for a company that provides a service of public interest, and that he/she must promote the creation of and adherence to principles of ethics and the existence of a defender of the public.
9. The journalist must seek respect for his/her work, professional integrity, and labour rights. The journalist has the right for his/her media to guarantee the professional minimum wage and appropriate labour conditions.
Principles of the journalist with regard to his/her colleagues
10. The journalist considers his/her colleagues to be those who practice professional and daily journalism, and maintains an attitude of respect and mutual aid with them. The journalist promotes the respect and dignity of the journalistic union, which has the right and obligation to criticize the journalist in an open and constructive manner.
11. The journalist respects the journalistic methods of his/her colleagues and does not play a role in the dismissal of one of his/her colleagues in order to attain the newly vacant position. The journalist rejects plagiarism of work by other journalists.
12. Journalists have the right to self-regulate themselves and their colleagues and to participate in unions, without the interference of persons or authorities outside the journalism field.
Principles of the journalist with regard to the profession
13. The journalist understands that he/she occupies a post of high social responsibility and that his/her labour is essential. This profession requires the journalist to demonstrate that he/she has the necessary aptitude, ability, and knowledge to exercise journalism and to constantly improve his/her professional capacity.