Myanmar – Code of ethics (2004)

This code of ethics was drafted by a group of Myanmar journalists attending a meeting in the James P. Grant Hall, UNICEF Myanmar Headquarters, on Wednesday, 24 November 2004.

1. The journalist will use honest and truthful means of gathering the news. The journalist shall report the news with honesty, accuracy and balance – without distortion, manipulation or the omission of essential information.

2. The journalist shall verify all information given by all sources, testing it for its reliability. Sources must be verified as reliable.

3. The journalist shall identify themselves as a member of the media when seeking information or interviews. They shall not disguise or lie about their identity, except in rare cases where confidential information is being gathered.

4. The journalist’s first commitment is to their consumers. They shall act with independence. They should report the news without pressure from any organization, institution or commercial concern.

5. The journalist shall not accept any bribes, gifts of any sort or financial compensation that will affect their independence.

6. The journalist shall make every effort to avoid mistakes and inaccuracies but shall correct them promptly when they occur.

7. The journalist shall show respect to all people as they gather information. They shall not use threats, coercion or any attempts to exert authority over people when gathering news and information.

8. The journalist shall not incite hatred or contempt for any ethnic group, race, nationality, religious group or belief, physical or intellectual disability, gender or age group.

9. The journalist shall not plagiarize work or fictionalize or make up aspects of any news story.

10. The journalist shall recognize the right to privacy, particularly for private people. This is especially so in cases of tragedy or grief, crime (especially violent or sexually exploitative crime), or in times of distress or vulnerability.

11. The journalist shall not violate human rights and dignity.

12. The journalist shall have no ulterior motives when reporting a story. They shall not act in revenge or spite, to settle old scores, for self promotion, for profit or out of self interest.

13. The journalist shall not harm their profession. They shall support the right of every journalist to work without intimidation or threat, and they shall protect the essential rights of all journalists to report the news freely.

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