Code of Ethics of the National Press Photographers Association, published 26 October 1999.
Statement of Purpose
The National Press Photographers Association, a professional society dedicated to the advancement of photojournalism, acknowledges concern and respect for the public’s natural-law, right to freedom in searching for the truth and the right to be informed truthfully and completely about public events and the world in which we live. NPPA believes that no report can be complete if it is possible to enhance and clarify the meaning of the words. We believe that pictures, whether used to depict news events as they actually happen, illustrate news that has happened, or to help explain anything of public interest, are indispensable means of keeping people accurately informed, that they help all people, young and old, to better understand any subject in the public domain. NPPA recognizes and acknowledges that photojournalists should at all times maintain the highest standards of ethical conduct in serving the public interest.
Code of Ethics
1. The practice of photojournalism, both as a science and art, is worthy of the very best thought and effort of those who enter into it as a profession.
2. Photojournalism affords an opportunity to serve the public that is equalled by few other vocations and all members of the profession should strive by example and influence to maintain high standards of ethical conduct free of mercenary considerations of any kind.
3. It is the individual responsibility of every photojournalist all times to strive for pictures that report truthfully, honestly and objectively.
4. As journalists, we believe that credibility is our greatest asset. In documentary photojournalism, it is wrong to alter the content of a photograph in any way (electronically or in the darkroom) that deceives the public.We believe the guidelines for fair and accurate reporting should be the criteria for judging what may be done electronically to a photograph.
5. Business promotion in its many forms is essential but untrue statements of any nature are not worthy of a professional photojournalist and we severely condemn any such practice.
6. It is our duty to encourage and assist all members of our profession, individually and collectively, so that the quality of photojournalism may constantly be raised to higher standards.
7. It is the duty of every photojournalist to work to preserve all freedom-of-the-press rights recognized by law and to work to protect and expand freedom-of-access to all sources of news and visual information.
8. Our standards of business dealings, ambitions and relations shall have in them a note of sympathy for our common humanity and shall always require us to take into consideration our highest duties as members of society. In every situation in our business life, in every responsibility that comes before us, our chief thought shall be to fulfill that responsibility and discharge that duty so that when each of us is finished we shall have endeavored to lift the level of human ideals and achievement higher that we found it.
9. No Code of Ethics can prejudge every situation, thus common sense and good judgement are required in applying ethical principles.