Mongolia – Deedsiin Hureelen (2002)

Code of Conduct for the Deedsiin Hureelen newspaper, approved on 1 November 2002 at Ulanbator.

The mission statement of the Deedsiin Hureelen newspaper is constant seeking for truth and providing the public with true and objective information. Journalist’s profession, personal character and morality must not degrade the reputation gained by the Deedsiin Hureelen newspaper.

Therefore all journalists are obliged to pursue faithfulness in their mission and be responsible for their conduct as it is indicated in the Code of Conduct approved by the Editorial Board and evaluate the results of our activities as follows:

1. Providing true and objective information
Journalists have to work in pursuit of fairness and faithfulness and provide true and objective information.

Journalists shall not show bias toward others and not publish news and information obtained by others as their own.

They should not conceal their own name and intention while writing.

Journalists should not publish false information, omit information voluntarily and make mistakes in news because of carelessness.

Only in exceptional cases is it allowed to conceal the name of a person interviewed.

Journalists must not receive any kind of gifts or bribes. If he/she does receives any, the Editorial Board must be informed whether it has had an im-pact on the published report. If the answer is positive he/she shall be fired.

If the newspaper has agreed not to reveal a news source, then it must do so.

Journalists shall refrain from getting news on the phone. If news is obtained that way it should be verified prior to publication and compared with news 2 or 3 different sources.

Journalists shall bear in mind that news referred to its source might be factually wrong, but they should not judge or evaluate the facts. It is not sufficient to ask one person for verification since that person also might err.

Journalists should take all relevant measures to pro-tect news and sources of news (secret ones and others). Notes taken should be matched with tape recordings and main sources.

Journalists should re-read news, information and publications checking word spelling and other com-mon errors in order to correct them in time.

Journalists should check headlines in relation to news and match the two.

Journalists should understand that cross-checking is a reliable means to seek for and mistakes and correct them before publication.

Journalists shall avoid any distortion of facts and not slant circumstances. They should use technical facilities skilfully on the basis of thorough planning.

Journalists should distinguish advertising materials from news, not putting the news containing conflict of interests and ads.

Journalists should consult with the Editorial Board on the content of news and be aware of the danger of getting under external influence and dependence.

Journalists shall not judge news from the viewpoint of external interests; they should oppose any pressure from private interests to influence the news content and stay free of their influence.

Journalists should be punctual and be on time for work, meeting with people and participating in meetings and seminars. They should avoid making official appointments during weekends or holidays.

2. Meeting public interests
Journalists shall provide the public with news and information needed for people from all social groups and ages, bearing in mind that the goal is to make the public understand their job and journalism.

Journalists shall seek solutions for issues that were raised in their articles, such as problems or wrong-doing.

Journalists shall encourage different opinions and views and organise public debate involving representatives from all groups in society.

Journalists should acknowledge their own negligence and mistakes, correct them with no delay in a transparent manner so that readers can find their corrections easily.

When making a decision, journalists should consult with their superiors or other staff; if necessary, ask for advice from outside experts, lawyers, psychologists and others who do not have a direct connec-tion with the matter.

Journalists shall not use anonymous sources and get information from them. If news is of exceptional value and taken from an anonymous source it should be used as news, but must be verified by several sources or factual information.

Some sources shall not be disclosed except for court purposes and in this case a contract between the newspaper and the source must be signed.

3. Working independently
Journalists shall not get into conflicts of interest and should avoid or disclose them.

Journalists should be free of any external influence on their writing. Journalists shall not serve any interests except the public interest in the truth.

They shall avoid the people who attempt to influence or control the news content and keep away from those people, so as to be totally independent.

Journalists shall refrain from payment to those news sources.

Journalists must not receive any gift, reward, service, compensation or bribe from individuals and organizations who might seek the possibility to influence the news content; neither should they promise to prepare or not to prepare news .

Journalists should refrain from taking part in any activities which might jeopardise their ethics or independence (receptions, junkets and hotel reservations etc).

Journalists shall avoid any cases which might lead to unacceptable conduct, conflict of interest and violation of rules.

If journalists are threatened or attacked for writing the news and information they should apply to relevant law enforcement organizations immediately.

4. Duty performance
Journalists must not defame or slander the reputation of the newspaper and cause any harm to it by violating the Code of Conduct.

They shall not use the name of the newspaper for private purposes; ID and other equipment given by the newspaper must be solely used for newspaper business.

From the time of recruitment, newspaper staff should get introduced to the Code of Conduct and other responsibilities. Their background information on education and work experience and references given by previous employers should be thoroughly analysed; professional and personal skills should be checked periodically on the basis of interviewing and problem solving.

The Code of Conduct should be presented at the time of recruitment and afterwards annually and signed by them making sure that they understand their responsibility. If they fulfil their obligations, they should be rewarded.

At least twice a year, training on the Code of Conduct should be given to the staff and if necessary advice should be offered.

Resolutions or instructions which might lead to a breach of the Code of Conduct should not be given; the editors should listen attentively to all suggestions and discussions raised by staff.

Journalists should always bear in their mind that they are responsible for their professional perform-ance not only towards the newspaper also towards the public.

The Code of Conduct shall be presented to the public.

The Code of Conduct shall become operative from the date of its approval.

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