USA – Radio and Television News Directors Association (1987)

Code of Ethics adopted by the U.S. Radio and Television News Directors Association, 1987.
(Note: This code replaced a 1973 version, and is simpler in some respects less stringent than its predecessor)

The responsibility of radio and television journalists is to gather and report information of importance and interest to the public accurately, honestly and impartially. The members of the Radio-Television News Directors Association accept these standards and will:

Strive to present the source or nature of broadcast news material in a way that is balanced, accurate and fair.

They will evaluate information solely on its merits as news, rejecting sensationalism or misleading emphasis in any form.

They will guard against using audio or video material in a way that deceives the audience.

They will not mislead the public by presenting as spontaneous news any material which is staged or rehearsed.

They will identify people by race, creed, nationality or prior status only when it is relevant.

They will clearly label opinion and commentary.

They will promptly acknowledge and correct errors.

Strive to conduct themselves in a manner that protects them from conflicts of interest, real or perceived. They will decline gifts or favours which could influence or appear to influence their judgements.

Respect the dignity, privacy and well-being of people with whom they deal.

Recognise the need to protect confidential sources. They will promise confidentiality only with the intention of keeping that promise.

Respect everyone’s right to a fair trial.

Broadcast the private transmissions of other broadcasters only with permission.

Actively encourage observance of this Code by all journalists, whether members of the Radio-Television News Directors Association or not.

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