The Code of Honour of Austrian Press
Adopted on 31 January 1983 in Wien by the Austrian Press Council.
Newspaper and other publishers, radio- and television companies and the journalists together bear the responsibility for the
freedom of the media lifeworthy in a democracy. Therefore the Austrian Press Council appeals to all whose work/ mission is
to inform about and comment on the current issues, to be conscious of their duty to truthfulness, purity and correctness.
Continuing selfcontrol is a good mean in fulfilling this duty.
That is why the Austrian Press Council has made the following basic principles for all persons involved in the news gathering
and editing, or in commenting.
1.Journalism involves the responsibility for the publicity, for the medium in question and for the own consciousness.
Therefore the most important duties of the journalist in his work as a information collection and editing are
consciousness and correctness. The same goes also for the collection of news, photographs and other information
2.The interference of outsiders in the contents of the form of the information is unacceptable. Not only direct
interference and the pressure but also bribes and other personal gains not directly connected to the profession are
regarded as such. Nor can the personal interests have influence on the work.
3.When dealing with the private sphere, the public interest for information and the interest of the individuals and his/ her
close ones intimity must be balanced. Reports of the "false steps" of the juveniles must not hinder or make more
difficult their resocialization. In such cases the names must be shortened.
4.Freedom in the writing and commenting is an important part of the freedom of the press. The defamations of private
persons, slander and blaze are, however, misuse of that freedom and a violation towards the journalistic etos. This
goes also for the "single" accusations or defamations towards persons or groups of persons. All discrimination on the
basis of race, religion, national or other reasons is unadmissable. The conscious publication of misrepresentive and
hurtful pictures is also unpermissable.
5.The journalists of newspapers who speculate with the fears of people in order to make money are regarded guilty to
one of the biggest misuses of the freedom of the press.
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