Paraguay – Syndicato de Periodistas del Paraguay

Code of ethics of Syndicato de Periodistas del Paraguay (Union of Journalists of Paraguay).
(Translated from Spanish by Rakel Rodriguez-Alvarez)

1. Information and opinion are special goods, inherent to the conditions of life in society. For that reason journalists are responsible not only to editors but also to society for the information and opinions that they transmit. For this:
(a) They assume responsibility to interpret the truth, make it clear in order to make sure that people from the social sectors comprehend.

(b) They procure the co-existence of democracy justly and harmoniously with respect to human rights, fighting against all forms of corruption.

(c) Contribute their knowledge and capacity to defend the nature of things and balance the systems of that which life operates.

2. In their professional work journalist must contribute to principles, to the truth and to equanimity and will break professional ethics when they stay silent, falsify or distort the facts. They should supply the public with elements of context pertaining to the matter, together with different aspects of the subject so that the recipient of the material can interpret for themselves the origins and perspective of the facts.

3. In divulging ideas and opinions, journalists should promote the creation of conditions in order to express themselves democratically and not be restricted by commercial interest, publicity, or other influences.

4. Journalists are responsible for their information and opinions. They will accept the right to retort and respect the professional secrets relating to the source of information.

5. Offensive actions to professional ethics:
* Plagiarism and loss of respect to intellectual property
* Acceptance of back-handers, bribery or extortion
* Omission of information of collective interest
* Defamation, slander, damaging insult
* Sensationalism
* To play a part in any form of persecution or social, political, religious, racial or sexual discrimination

6. Journalists and society.
The character of the profession demands that journalists accept and promote the circulation of ideas and opinions so that they contribute to the building of a pluralistic and participatory society. On the same lines they should participate and collaborate with different social sectors, especially minorities, so their voices are heard through these mediums of information.

7. Journalists should always maintain respect and dignity to people’s private lives. Avoiding being tempted by the possibility of invading one’s intimacy offered by reasons of new technological advances.
For this they will be guided by law and the internationally recognised tools of their trade. The exception to the rule of divulgence of private acts is permitted, for reasons of public sanctions, the necessity to shield the integrity of civil servants or when in private one’s physical or psychological rights are violated.

8. Journalists must safeguard the innocence of the accused until the courts have passed sentence. At the same time they should abstain from identifying victims of sexual crimes whatever their age or social condition without their consent. The same applies to minors that might have participated in a crime.

9. Journalists should actively contribute to public health and defend the ecological balance necessary to human life and they should report events that are responsible for contamination and destruction of the environment.

10. Journalists should promote cultural values and national identity without chauvinism. Special interest should be demonstrated in the valuable use of “Guarani” and “Jopará” (translation of these terms unknown).

11. Journalists and their equals.
Journalists should strengthen the organisations and the syndicate union association, and should contribute to create them wherever they do not exist, and they should join the country’s labour movement.

12. Journalists should always be in solidarity with their colleagues, especially with the ones who suffer persecution or aggression caused by their professional work.

13. A journalist is especially forbidden to discredit fellow journalists, either by personal disqualification or professional discredit.

14. Journalists and commercial enterprises.
Journalists are united to companies by obligations derived from work contracts. Journalists will try to make contracts in a collective manner and to welcome union decisions. At the same time they will be responsible for their work, respecting these code ethics, the duties pointed out in the national constitution and the republic laws of Paraguay.

15. Journalists must demand from the companies respect for their beliefs, ideas and opinions, together with material that they submit as a product of their work. They shall not let the companies change the meaning of the information materials handed in under their own signature.

16. Journalists will assume together with the companies the responsibility that all information gathered by them shall be circulated without any alteration against the wishes of the editor. Journalists have the right to withdraw their signature from any information if they consider it not to be exact, an incorrect declaration of a third party, or if substantial changes were made unjustly.

17. Journalists should fight to obtain the right to control the execution and manufacture of the informative and editorial politics in the medium in which they work.

18. Journalists must claim their right to express their points of view in the “Opinion Section” in the medium in which they work, even when their ideas do not coincide with the company’s editorial politics.

19. Journalists must demand from their company the right treatment according to their human dignity. Also, they must demand recognition of the importance and value of their job in society.

20. It is clear that the simultaneous practice of journalism and publicity are incompatible. Journalists should always achieve a rigorous and formal distinction between information and publicity in order not to induce the receiver to error or confusion.

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