Code of Ethics, as specified in the rules of the New Zealand Amalgamated Engineering, Printing & Manufacturing Union, 2000.
The code of ethics for New Zealand journalists is now covered, because of union amalgamations, by the rules of the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union which embraces print journalists, even though there is no mention of journalists in the title. The code is unchanged from the Journalists’ Association code of the 1980s. Broadcasters are covered by codes developed under the auspices of the statutory watchdog – the Broadcasting Standards Authority.
The EPMU (including journalists) code:
Respect for truth and the public’s right to information are over-riding principles for all journalists. In pursuance of these principles, journalists commit themselves to ethical and professional standards.
All members of the Union engaged in gathering, transmitting, disseminating and commenting on news and information shall observe the following Code of Ethics in their professional activities:
(a) They shall report and interpret the news with scrupulous honesty and striving to disclose all essential facts and by not suppressing relevant, available facts or distorting by wrong or improper emphasis.
(b) They shall not place unnecessary emphasis on gender, race, sexual preference, religious belied, marital status or physical disability.
(c) In all circumstances they shall respect all confidences received in the course of their occupation.
(d) They shall not allow personal interests to influence them in their professional duties.
(e) They shall not allow their professional duties to be influenced by any consideration, gift or advantage offered, and where appropriate shall disclose any such offer.
(f) They shall not allow advertising or commercial considerations to influence them in their professional duties.
(g) They shall use fair and honest means to obtain news, pictures, films, tapes and documents.
(h) They shall identify themselves and their employers before obtaining any interview for publication or broadcast.
(i) They shall respect private grief and personal privacy and shall have the right to resist compulsion to intrude on them.
(j) They shall do their utmost to correct any published or broadcast information found to be harmfully inaccurate.
A breach of this Code shall be a breach of the Union’s rules and thus may give rise to disciplinary procedures under the rules. If a member is dismissed from employment or otherwise disadvantaged by an employer, and a breach of the Code is claimed and substantiated as a ground for the employer’s action, the Union may decline to pursue a personal grievance on behalf of the member.