Code of ethics, adopted by the 3rd Congress of the Association of Journalists of the Republic of Poland (AJRP) in September 1991.
This is a basic body of the ethic norms which are binding on the journalists, members of AJRP, in their work and professional activities.
The basic obligation of a journalist is to seek after the truth and to publish it. Manipulation of facts is illicit. Any comment or hypothesis of the author should be clearly separated from information. Special care should be taken in researching information. An author is obliged on his/her own initiative to rectify the information when it appears to be false or inaccurate. Any motive, any pressures or inspirations don’t justify the delivery of false or unverified information.
A journalist is obliged to keep and to preserve the professional secret if an informant reserves his/her anonymity.
Protection of personal values should not be violated. However, information is allowed on the private life of the persons who fulfil a public function or who themselves introduce their privacy into the public life. It is inadmissible to use injurious words which aim at human dignity; to interpose objections which degrade a person in public opinion, or expose them to risk of discredit; or to use blackmail.
To presume the guilt of a defendant prior to the relevant court decision is inadmissible.
There are absolutely prohibited any publications which propagate war, violence, outrage or injure the feelings of religious persons and unbelievers, national feelings, human rights, cultural individualities or propagate pornography.
In order to protect a journalist against the loss of professional independence, he or she is not allowed: to accept any profits to himself/herself or his/her family for publishing or not publishing material. Publishing of materials which are in the nature of crypto-advertising is inadmissible.
Protection of copyright is an essential ethical norm. Overt and convert plagiarism, internal and external, is an inadmissible breach of this norm. The same goes for the work of a journalist as of a person of another profession. Authorial titles are under protection. It is not allowed to retouch the texts or to use materials and works without consent of their authors or to exploit another’s journalistic authorial ideas.
Activity which does professional harm to a journalist colleague or makes professional disloyalty is forbidden. Making of any malicious difficulties by a journalist in publishing of other journalist’s material is admissible.
It is blameful to perform an official order if its filling offends the ethical norms of the journalistic profession.
A breach of the Association’s Statute which exposes the AJRP to losses and harms is amenable to estimation by the journalistic judicature.
Any behaviour or activity which would bring discredit on the journalistic profession is inadmissible.
For the inobservance of the MCJ, the actual offender accounts. When he is unknown or when the editorial office doesn’t want to reveal the actual offender, the person who accepted the material to be published accounts for it.
Any act incompatible with the MCJ is prescribed after 5 years since its disclosure unless the Supreme Journalists’ Court decides otherwise in the particular case.
All doubts relating to the interpretation of norms of the MCJ, are determined by the resolution of the Supreme Journalists’ Court.
For the inobservance of principles and norms of the MCJ, the competent journalists’ court inflicts penalties – with appropriateness to the grade of misdemeanour and to finding of guilt – from admonition, through reprimand, to withholding of membership rights.