Poland – Media Ethics Charter (1995)

Media Ethics Charter, adopted on 29 March 1995 in Warsaw by the Polish Journalists’ Association (SDP), the Association of Journalists of the Republic of Poland (SDRP), the Catholic Journalists’ Association, the Syndicate of Polish Journalists, the Journalists’ Trade Union, the Press Publishers’ Union, Polish TV S.A., Polsat TV, the Association of Independent Film and TV Producers, the Public Radio Association in Poland, the Polish Private Broadcasting Association and the Trade Union of Radio and TV Journalists.

Journalists, editors, producers and broadcasters, respecting the inalienable right of a human being to truth, bearing in mind the principle of common good, conscious of the role of media in man’s life and in civic society, accept this charter and declare that they will perform their jobs in accordance with the following principles:

The principle of truth
– which means that journalists, editors, producers and broadcasters do their best so that the conveyed information reflects the truth; they report the facts in their proper context, and in case they publicise false information they immediately correct it.

The principle of objectivity
– which means that the journalist depicts reality independently of his/her own views, reports reliably different points of view.

The principle of separation of information and comment
– which means that the message is constructed in such a way that it is possible for the recipient to distinguish facts from views and opinions.

The principle of honesty
– which means acting in accordance with one’s own conscience and the good of the recipient, not submitting oneself to the influence, not yielding to corruption, refusing to act against one’s beliefs.

The principle of respect and tolerance
– i.e. respect for human dignity, rights, personal property, and especially for privacy and good name.

The principle of superiority of recipient’s good
– which means that the basic rights of readers, viewers and listeners are superior to the interests of the editorial staff, journalists, editors, producers and broadcasters.

The principle of freedom and responsibility
– which means that freedom of the media imposes on journalists, editors, producers and broadcasters responsibility for the form and content of the message and the consequences which result from it.

The signatories of the Charter appoint the Council which will guard the above principles, publicly adjudicate upon the issues of observing the Charter and interpreting its provisions. The signatories also commit themselves to publicising the content of the Charter and the information on the right of submitting complaints to the Council as well as to immediate announcement of the Council’s verdicts.

The composition of the Council, the procedure of its appointment and the rules of its activity will be settled at the meeting of commissioned representatives of the signatories of the Charter.

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