IGutenberg Italy

CHARTER OF DUTIES OF JOURNALISTS

Adopted by the National Federation of the Italian Press and National Council Order of Journalists in Rome on 8 July 1993. Translated by the Federation.
INTRODUCTION
Journalists job is inspired on principles of freedom of information and of opinions, it is confirmed by the Italian Constitution and governed by the second article of the Italian law n. 1969 dated on 3 February 1963.
"Freedom of information and of expression are insuppressible rights of all journalists, they are limited by the observance of the rules of law and suggested to the protection of other people's personality, they always follow all duties set by lealty and good faith, the respect of the truth of facts is an unbreakable duty. All news, that will be inexact, must be rectified, and eventual mistakes must be correct. Journalists and publishers are obliged to respect the professional secrecy on the sources of a piece of information, when it is required by the fiduciary character of them; they have to promote the spirit of collaboration between colleagues, the cooperation between journalists and publishers, and the trust in press and in readers."
Trust relationship between information organs and people is the foundation for every journalists' job. To promote and make settlement of this relationship all Italian journalists undersign the following Ethic Code (Carta de Doveri).
PRINCIPLES
A journalist has to respect, cultivate and defend the right of information of all people; for these reasons he researches and diffuses every piece of information that he considers of public interest in observance of truth and with a wide accuracy of it.
A journalist researches and spreads news of public interest in spite of the obstacles which can arise in his work; he makes any effort to guarantee to people knowledge and control of all public documents.
Journalist's responsibility towards people always prevails on any other thing. A journalist can never subordinate his responsibility to other people's interest and particularly to the publishers' interest, governments' interest or of the other organizations of the State.
A journalist has to respect people, his dignity and his right of secrecy and he never discriminate between everyone according to his race, his religion, his sex, his mental and physical condition, his political views.
A journalist rectifies, tempestively and with accuracy, his mistakes or his imprecisions in conformity with the duty to rectify and with what is established by law, he favours his possibility of rectify.
A journalist always respects the right of presumptuous of innocence.
A journalist has to observe the professional secrecy, when it is required by the fiduciary character of his sources. In any other cases a journalist has to respect the transparency or the sources.
A journalist can not adhere to secret associations or anyway in contrast with the eighteen article of the Italian Constitution.
A journalist cannot accept benefits, favours or tasks that make dependent his authonomy and his professional credibility. A journalist cannot omit facts or essential details for a complete reconstruction of events. Titles, summaries, photos and subtitles must not either distort reality or force contents of all articles and news.
A journalist must not publish images and photos of people involved in daily episodes particularly terrifying or, however, prejudical to people's dignity, he must neither dwell upon details of violence or brutality, unless it prevails preminent reason of social interest. He has not to intervene on reality to create artificial images.
Comments, opinions belong to the right of speech and of critic and, therefore, they have to be absolutely free from any obligation, except for the constraint set by law against offence, dematory and violence of people.
DUTIES JOURNALIST'S RESPONSIBILITY
A journalist is responsible of his job towards people, he has to favour their dialogue with ombudsman. He has to create idoneus instruments (reader's guarantee, pages for readers, spaces for reply etc.), giving a wide diffusion to their activity.
A journalist only accept suggestions and instructions from the editorial hierarchy of his newspaper name, as long as the dispositions are not against the professional law, against the national Italian journalist's work contract (CNLG) and to the Ethic Code (Carta dei Doveri).
A journalist cannot discriminate between people according to his race, his religion, his mental and physical conditions, his political opinions.
Circumstances that are not extenuating, referiments that are not insulting or denigratory concerning people and their privacy are only accepted when they are of relevant public's interest.
A journalist respects the right of secrecy of every people and he cannot publish news on his private life, unless they are transparent and of relevant public's interest, however, he makes always known his own identity and profession when he collects such news.
Relation's names of people involved in such daily events cannot be published, unless they are of relevant public's interest; they can be neither made known in case of danger of people's safety, nor they can publish other elements, that can make clear people's identy (photos, images).
Victims' names of sexual violence can be neither published, nor he can give details that can lead to their identification, unless it is required by the victims themselves for relevant general interest.
A journalist has to proceed with great caution publishing names or elements that can lead to the identification of members of the legal team or of the police, when they can provoke the risk of incolumnity for themselves or of his family.
RECTIFICATION AND REPLY
A journalist respects the inviolable people's right to the rectification of incorrect news or that are wrongly considered prejudical to people's interests.
A journalist makes rectification, therefore, with timeliness and appropriate emphasis, also in case of a lack of a specific required of all news that, after their wide diffusion (spreading), seem to be incorrect or erroneous, especially when the mistakes can damage people, organizations, categories, associations and communities.
A journalist makes charge against people, he has not spreads news damaging person's reputation or person's dignity without giving the opportunity of reply to the charged people. The case in which it is impossible (because the person is impossible to find or he doesn't want reply) he has to inform the readers and the public. In any case, before publishing a piece of news concerning the investigations' warning by a judge, he has to controll if the charged person is aware of it.
PRESUMPTUOUS OF INNOCENCE
In all the process and investigations, a journalist has always remember that every person charged of an offence is innocent until the finally judgement, he has not to spread news in order to introduce him as guilty person when he has not been judged guilty in such a process.
A journalist has not to publish images that present deliberately or artificially as offenders people that have not been judged as guilty persons in a process.
In case of the accused's acquittance or of the accused acquittal a journalist has always to give an appropriate journalistic emphasis to the piece of news, also giving a referiment to all news and articles previously published.
SOURCES
A journalist has to observe the maximum caution in spreading news, names and images of charged people for habitual offences of guilty accused to a slight detention (punishment), except in case of particular social interest.
A journalist has to check all informations obtained by his sources, he must accept the reliability and control the origins of what he says, he must always safeguard the substancial truth of facts.
The case in which the sources require to keep secret, a journalist has to respect the professional secret and has to be able to inform the reader of such circumstance.
In any other case a journalist must always respect principle of more transparency of the sources of information, giving the readers or the audience the maximum and possible attention to them. The fulfilment of an obligation to the quotation of a source is particularly important when a journalist uses a piece of news from a press agency or from any other source of information, unless the piece of news is not correct or widely spread with own means, or unless it is modified as far as concern the meaning and the content.
In all the other cases a journalist accept conditioning derived from the sources for the publication or the abolition of a piece of information.
INFORMATION AND ADVERTISING
All people have the right to receive a correct information, always distict from an advertising message and not prejudicial to everyone's interests. The advertising message must be always and in any cases recognisible from journalistic documents through clear indications.
A journalist has to observe all principles signed in the Protocol's Agreement on Transparency of Information and of the national Italian journalists' work contract (CNLG); he has to make known the advertisement, however, he has to enable people to recognize journalistic job from promotional message.
INCOMPATIBILITY
A journalist can not subordinate in any case economic or financial informations that he knows to his personal benefits, he can not disturb moreover the state of the stock market, spreading news and events that are referable to his own's advantage.
A journalist cannot write articles or news concerning actions on which the trend of the market has a direct or indirect financial interest, he can not sell or buy stock of which he is professionally involved or he is going to be concerned with in short time.
A journalist refuses payments, refund of expenses, donations, free holidays, duty travels, pleasure trip gifts, facilities, that can make depend his job and his activity or damage his credibility and professional dignity.
A journalist can neither accept tasks and responsibility in contrast with the authonomy discharge of his own's duties, nor lend his name, voice or image for advertising enterprise that are incompatible with the safeguarding of professional journalists' authonomy.
It is allowed, instead, free of charge same services for advertising enterprises, for a social, humanitarian, cultural, religious or artistical task for a trade union one too, or, however, without a speculative character.
CHILDREN OR WEAK PEOPLE
A journalist respects all principles confirmed in the ONU Convetion dated 1989 on the right of children and their rules undersigned by the "Treviso Ethic Code" (Carta di Treviso) to protect children, their character and their personality, both as an active protagonist both as a victim of a common-law offence and particularly:
a) a journalist doesn't publish a name or any other element that can lead to the identification of people involved in the daily episodes or events;
b) he has to avoid eventual instrumentalizations by all adults that brings to represent and make exclusively his own interest;
c) however, he values if the spread of the news concerning children brings effectively to the interest of the minor himself.
A journalist protects rights and dignity of people with mental or physical handicap in analogy with what is confirmed by the Treviso Ethic Code (Carta di treviso) about children.
A journalist protects the rights of the invalids avoiding sensational publication of news on medical arguments that can bring fear and groundless hopes.
a) he doesn't spread news that are not controlled with important scientific sources
b) he doesn't quote the name of commercial drugs and products in the hambit that it can favour the product of consume.
c) he spreads tempestively the commercial names of pharmaceutical products that are withdrawled or suspended from his circulation because they damage the health of people.
A journalist pledges, however, to use the maximum respect towards subjects of daily life that for social, economical or cultural reasons have a minor instruments of self protection.

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