(approved at a meeting of representatives of the Journalists' Unions of the six countries of the European Community in Munich, Germany, on November 23-24,1971).
The right to information, to freedom of expression and criticism is one of the fundamental rights of man.
All rights and duties of a journalist originate from this right of the public to be informed on events and opinions.
The journalist's responsibility towards the public excels any other responsibility, particularly towards employers and public authorities.
The mission of information necessarily includes restrictions which journalists spontaneously impose on themselves. This is the object of the declaration of duties formulated below.
A journalist however, can respect these duties while exercising his profession only if conditions of independence and professional dignity effectively exist. This is the object of the following declaration of rights.
Declaration of duties
The essential obligations of a journalist engaged in gathering, editing and commenting news are :
To respect truth whatever be the consequence to himself, because of the right of the public to know the truth ;
To defend freedom of information, comment and criticism;
To report only on facts of which he knows the origin ; not to suppress essential information nor alter texts and documents;
Not to use unfair methods to obtain news, photographs or documents ;
To restrict himself to the respect of privacy;
To rectify any published information which is found to be inaccurate ;
To observe professional secrecy and not to divulge the source of information obtained in confidence ;
To regard as grave professional offences the following : plagiarism, calumny, slander, libel and unfounded accusations, the acceptance of bribe in any form in consideration of either publication or suppression of news ;
Never to confuse the profession of a journalist with that of advertisements salesman or a propagandist and to refuse any direct or indirect orders from advertisers.
To resist every pressure and to accept editorial orders only from the responsible persons of the editorial staff.
All rights and duties of a journalist originate from this right of the public to be informed on events and opinions. The journalist's responsibility towards the public excels any other responsibility, particularly towards employers and public authorities.
Educate the public about the events