Spain – Actualidad Economica (1988)

Code of Professional Ethics of business magazine Actualidad Economica, adopted in March 1988.

The journalists of Actualidad Economica declare that the trust their readers have in them constitutes the highest valued professional capital, both for each of them and for the publication as a whole.

The magazine’s journalists consider that the best means to guarantee the independence and the credibility upon which such trust is predicated, is a transparent and ethical professional behaviour, according to publicised rules of conduct based on self-regulatory criteria.

Though this is not common usage nowadays in sphere of economic and financial journalism, the news staff of AE judge it appropriate to make public opinion aware of some of the rules of professional ethics that they have obeyed for some years as a means of self-regulation.  So the members of the news staff and the members of the editorial board of AE have signed the following declaration of the principles according to which, freely and voluntarily, they accomplish their professional work.

1. Confidential information
The members of the AE news staff will not use, directly or indirectly,  for their own profit or that of a third party, any information which they have obtained in the course of their journalistic duties. Also they are obliged and committed not to reveal to anyone information which they have obtained in the course of their journalistic duties before it is published in the magazine, unless it is to obtain further information.

2. External professional activities
No journalist from AE will accept a permanent position – even   part-time or as an adviser, with institutions, firms or organisations of any kind without written permission from the publisher.

The publisher is entitled to withdraw any such permission if those external contributions may have a professional impact on the informative activity of the journalist.

Restrictions described above do not apply to contributions to publications linked to AE.

3. Financial activities
AE Journalists and members of the magazine’s editorial board are free individually to purchase stock and to make any kind of investment. However, they will avoid giving the impression that they practice market speculation by using for their own profit information they can have obtained in the course of their journalistic work. To that purpose, they promise not to write on topics that may cause a reaction of the Stock Exchange or of the financial markets, whenever they have, directly or not, some interest in the matter, personally or through their family – without first informing the publisher of that interest. Similarly, AE journalists will not buy or sell shares in a company which is the focus of stories they have been assigned to, which they are in the process of writing or that they intend to write in the near future. If, for pressing reasons, like deadline, a journalist has to ignore that rule of conduct, the publisher or, in his absence, the editor may allow him/her to do so.

4. Gifts, travels, advertising
AE journalists will not accept, either directly or indirectly,

a) gifts whose value is superior to the usual requirements of courtesy.
b) money, free loans from companies or individuals which may influence their journalistic activity.
c) invitations, offers of accommodation or free vacation that might be linked to their editorial work.
d) participation, without explicit permission from the publisher, in trips organised by companies or institutions for a mixture of informative and promotional reasons.
e) a job for, or any kind of association to, the advertising business.

Meeting in Madrid on March 1, 1988, don Pablo de Villanueva Dominguez, chairman of the board of Punto Editorial S.A., the company that publishes the weekly AE, on the one hand, and, on the other, don Jésus Martinez Vazquez, publisher of the magazine, agree to endorse the present pact drafted by the news staff and which implies a commitment of the publication.

1. The journalists of the magazine AE are committed to model their personal behaviour on the code of ethics signed by everyone who, on signature day, belongs to the news staff,  whose text is inseparable from the present agreement.

2. In case of a violation of the code, responsibilities will be investigated and evaluated by a commission made up of members of the newsroom and of the editorial board.

3. Punto Editorial is committed not to accept into the news staff of the magazine AE, either as a member of the newsroom or a regular contributor, anyone who has not beforehand signed his/her acceptation of the present code of professional conduct.

4. Punto Editorial  is committed to keep the informative contents of the magazine uninfluenced by advertising interests.

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