Peru – National Association of Journalists of Peru (1988)

Letter of Professional Ethics, adopted by the National Association of Journalists of Peru in 1988.

The ANP is a representative institution of the journalists’ union founded in 1928. It maintains the following principles:

1) The ANP believes that the primary aim of a shared and common society is the full development of human beings. Consequently, it is the duty of all to strive for the establishment of conditions that make this possible, through economic, social, political, judicial, and cultural agents of change.

2) The ANP proclaims its commitment to the unions, and adheres to the workers’ movement and to the development of a society absent of all forms of discrimination, marginalisation, or dependency, based upon the participation of the majority, with economic pluralism.

3) The ANP is an active participant in the struggle against all forms of oppression, exploitation, and social injustice.

This institution bases its ethical conduct on the 12 points sanctioned in the Letter of Professional Ethics, a document approved by its Congress and put into effect in 1988. This document states the following:

1) In practicing journalism, the first duty is always to a sturdy moral conduct; vigour in the pursuit of factors that develop Peru’s identity as a sovereign state; fraternity among the towns so that the country may be strengthened; efforts to spread the culture and strengthen the worker’s conscience; the attainment of a governmental system that is increasingly democratic; and firm respect for human and professional dignity.

2) Honour of the truth, freedom, and social justice; and solidarity among union workers, constitute major principles that should guide the work of those employed in communications, and the journalist in particular.

3) The journalist’s message should always be humanistic, objective, and pluralistic, so that it stimulates rationality in human relations, prosperity and collective justice, and the strengthening of the labour organizations of the workers.

4) Journalists affiliated with the ANP will constantly assume their roles as defenders of freedom of information and expression, and fight against all that which implies danger, interference, or threats against human rights.

5) Journalists should always strive to improve their work, surpass themselves, and fight against elements that tarnish the image of the journalistic profession.

6) Journalists affiliated with the ANP will never denigrate their colleagues, nor criticize the union with the aim of discrediting us. They will always be careful not to use terms that are harmful to the human and professional condition of journalists.

7) On the contrary, they will protect those journalists who are the objects of defamation, hostility, persecution, or unjust imprisonment, and will come to the aid of colleagues with economic or health problems, and of relatives of journalists who perish while fulfilling their dangerous mission.

8) Journalists will not use sensationalism, obscenity, or blackmail in their work. Nor will they exhibit racial, ideological, or gender discrimination, or induce confusion or distort opinions by manipulating them or maliciously citing them out of context.

9) Journalists will keep secret the sources of their sources of information. They will not publish in advance any material which has been cited for publication at a certain date, and they will pledge to correct information if an individual has been wronged or negatively referred to via the media.

10) The members of the ANP will under no circumstances submit to the pressures of their employers (be they individuals, editorial houses, news monopolies, or any other), or of a dictatorial regime or abusive authorities, which would transgress the norms of dignity, respect for the truth, or the defence of popular interests.

11) Likewise, journalists will strictly follow legislation related to labour, especially that which involves professional and social benefits. They will receive just pay for their services and demonstrate solidarity with those colleagues who find themselves out of work for reasons beyond their control.

12) Journalists will not accept prizes or rewards which do not exclusively reflect their merit, and especially if they call into question the journalist’s capacity to criticize in a constructive fashion, in the name of public opinion.

This institution also cites five specifications for effective ethics in the declaration: “Information is a Right of the People”:

1) The ANP believes that information is a right of the people, and as such, a rational consequence of the freedom to think and express oneself in an opportune and responsible manner.

2) This right is indispensable to the accomplishment of the social function of journalism, which should express opinions from diverse sides.

3) Information as a right of the people is recognized and guaranteed by the Political Constitution of the State and assures the Peruvian journalist the security of working without being threatened and persecuted in the practice of his/her profession.

4) The right to freedom of information involves:
a) free access to sources of information
b) interpretation and analysis of newsworthy events
c) the irrevocable right to report to the ANP when freedom of information is prevented, denied, or repressed, no matter what the political circumstances in the country.

5) It is up to the members of the ANP to use their role as journalists to help individuals fully achieve their right to freedom of information, within a society where humankind reigns supreme


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