INTERNATIONAL JOURNALISM ETHICS

             Although individual countries may have their own specialized code of ethics for their journalists, there is a common agreement when it comes to international journalism ethics.

               The International Federation of Journalists’ established a Declaration of Principles on the Conduct of Journalists. This international declaration is proclaimed a standard of professional behavior for journalists engaged in gathering,    transmitting, disseminating and commenting on news and information in describing events.

             The International Principles of Professional Ethics in Journalism were also prepared as an international common  ground and as a source of inspiration for national and regional codes of ethics. This set of principles is intended to be promoted separately by each professional organization through methods most suitable to its members. Many of the principles are common among other journalism codes of ethics.

                 According to the International Principles of Professional Ethics in Journalism, “a true journalist stands for the universal values of humanism, above all peace, democracy, human rights, social progress and national liberation, while respecting the distinctive character, value and dignity of each culture, as well as the right of each people freely to choose and develop its political, social, economic and cultural systems. It belongs to the ethics of the profession that the journalist be aware of relevant provisions contained in international conventions, declarations and resolutions.”

              Journalists also have an individual responsibility to promote the development of democratization of international relations in the field of information, in particular by protecting and encouraging peaceful and friendly relationships among nations and people.

                 If the Principles of Professional Ethics in Journalism are applied, journalists have the ability to “help eliminate ignorance and misunderstanding among peoples, make nationals of a country sensitive to the needs and desires of others, ensure respect for the rights and dignity of all nations, all peoples and all individuals without distinction of race, sex, language, nationality, religion or philosophical conviction.”

                The Society of Professional Journalists’ Code of Ethics does not deal with international relations. The main focus for SPJ is that journalists seek truth and report it, minimize harm, act independently and be accountable. These aspects are common among international codes of ethics as well.

            The concept of global journalism ethics is being developed and proposed. This code of ethics aims at developing a complete collection of principles and standards for the practice of journalism in an era of global media.

         “News reports, via satellite or the Internet, reach people around the world and influence the actions of governments, militaries, humanitarian agencies and warring ethnic groups. A responsible global ethic is needed in a world where news media bring together a plurality of different religions, traditions and ethnic groups.”

                According to the global journalism ethics’ theory, the international journalist’s main allegiance should be to the informational needs of world citizens. Journalists should refuse to classify themselves as attached predominantly to groups, regions or countries.

                International journalism ethics are critical in today’s media.

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