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Code of Ethics (1983)
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Code of Ethics
Adopted on 31 January 1983 in Wien by the Austrian Press Council.
Translated from German to Finnish by Terhi Brusin, from Finnish to English by Tiina Laitila.
Newspaper and other publishers, radio- and television companies and the journalists together bear the responsibility for the freedom of the media life worthy 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 self control 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.
- 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 material.
- 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.
- When dealing with the private sphere, the public interest for information and the interest of the individuals and his/ her close ones intimately 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.
- 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 ethos. 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 inadmissible. The conscious publication of misrepresented and hurtful pictures is also impermissible.
- 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.