Ethical Charter of Sud Quotidien, endorsed by the management and staff of the daily newspaper in April 1993.
Every human being has a right to information, to free expression and to criticism, in conformity with Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which states that:
“Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expres-sion; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without in-terference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.”
From this right of the public to information and to the expression of diverse opinions, derives a set of rights but also of duties and rules for journalists. In this respect, the responsibility of journalists towards the public takes precedence over that which they may assume towards other parties, particularly the public authorities and their employers. To fulfil their mission of providing true and fair information, journalists must apply to themselves rules the strict observance of which is linked to work conditions that guarantee their independence and dignity.
The present charter lists duties and rights and it specifies the ethical principles which journalists of Sud Quotidien are committed to respect scrupulously.
Rights and Duties
1. Seek factual truth in all circumstances and in all places so as to convey it to the public whatever the consequences of this may be for themselves.
2. Defend freedom of information and the rights that derive from it, freedom of comment and criticism, the independence and dignity of the profession.
3. Abstain from publishing any piece of information or document of unknown origin; make sure that the source or sources have been checked and, if need be, append the needed reservations; refrain from suppressing essential information or elements of information, from distorting a text or document; clearly indicate, when needed, that some news is unconfirmed; respect justified embargoes.
4. Not use unfair methods to obtain information, pictures or documents; state one’s professional identity when seeking infor-mation; refrain from distorting facts, plagiarising, reproducing, wholly or in part, any document or quotation without mentioning the source of it.
5. Make sure to rectify any false or inaccurate piece of published information.
6. Observe professional secrecy and not reveal the sources of information obtained under condition of confidentiality.
7. Commit him/herself to respect the privacy of people, their moral integrity, their honour and dignity – insofar as this principle is compatible with public interest. Refrain from anonymous and unfounded accusations as well as from libel, slander, insult, of-fence, malicious insinuation. Respect discretion and decency.
8. Refuse any advantage, promise or practice that could hurt their professional independence and freedom of expression.
9. Refuse to sign advertising copy and accept no direct or indi-rect instructions from advertisers or possible sponsors.
10. Accept journalistic orders only from the appointed heads of the newsroom – and only insofar as they are consonant with the principles and rules of press ethics.
11. Fulfil the journalist’s mission of informing honestly and fairly, all the while showing a keen sense of responsibility and modesty; quote the names of colleagues when you reproduce a story, or part of a story, written by them.
12. Pledge to fulfil his/her mission to inform in full respect of plu-ralism and of the diversity of ideas and opinions.
13. Not contribute to media outlets that compete with the one he/she works for. However, a journalist can, in circumstances specified jointly by him/her and newsroom managers or the publisher, occasionally freelance for other press organs.
14. Abstain from getting involved in a partisan, political or social cause because it might jeopardise his/her capacity to report and comment on events with objectivity and fairness.
15. Make it a rule to wear correct clothing and adopt correct behaviour while at work both in and out of the newsroom; avoid any public or private behaviour that could disgrace the profession or the medium they work for.
16. Strictly refrain from any act, any attitude or any written, spoken or filmed production likely to generate ethnic, racial, regional, religious conflict – or likely to encourage warmongering, xenophobia and any other form of exclusion.