Portugal – Syndicate of Journalists (1993)

Deontological code of journalists, adopted by the Syndicate of Journalists in May 1993.

1. The journalist has a duty to report the facts with accuracy and in an exact manner, and to interpret them honestly. The facts are checked by hearing the parties with remarkable interests in the case.

2. The journalist has to fight censorship and sensationalism and to consider accusations without proof and plagiarism as serious professional mistakes.

3. The journalist has to fight against the restrictions in access to information sources, and against attempts to limit the freedom of expression and the right to inform. It is the obligation of the journalist to announce such offences to those rights.

4. The journalist has to use loyal means in obtaining the information, pictures or documents, and to avoid abusing anyone’s good faith. Identifying oneself as a journalist is a rule, breaking of which is permissible only on the grounds of an unquestionable public interest.

5. The journalist has to carry responsibility for all his/her work and professional acts, and to correct any information proved to be false or inexact. The journalist has to refuse to perform acts/behaviour that violate his/her conscience.

6. Identification of the sources is an essential criteria for the journalist. The journalist must not reveal, not even in the court, his/her confidential sources except when he has been abused by being given false information. Opinions shall always be attributed – separated as such.

7. The journalist has to guarantee the presumption of innocence until the case is finished. The journalist must not identify, directly or indirectly, the victims of sexual crimes or juvenile criminals nor must he/she humiliate people or disturb their pain.

8. The journalist must not treat people in a discriminatory way, based on their colour, race, nationality or sex.

9. The journalist has to respect the private life of the citizen except when the public interest demands the revelation or when the behaviour of the person in question is contradictory to the values and principles of the public, which he/she defends.

10.The journalist has to reject demands, functions, and benefits that could question his/her independent status and the professional integrity. The journalist must not use his professional status in order to get personal benefits.

(Translated from French by Tiina Laitila.)

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