Haitian media groups including the National Association of Media in Haiti, the Association of Independent Media of Haiti, the Association of Haitian Journalists and the Haitian Journalists Union photographers, among others, agreed to a new code of ethics for Haitian media, online Haitian news site Defend reported.
The code of ethics (see here) was adopted Dec. 8.
The code calls for freedom of the press, access, editorial independence, unbiased reporting, fact checking, the separation of fact from opinion, the separation of advertising from news, and “the presumption of innocence.”
The code also advises journalists to be respectful of “human dignity and privacy,” to be respectful of those “suffering,” to avoid discrimination, and to be sensitive in publication of any violent or sensational material. Journalists are advised to quickly correct any errors and give “the right of reply” to anyone who is ‘unjustly implicated” in a media story.
Journalists are also advised to protect anonymous sources and “refrain from plagiarism.” The code also tells journalists to “Refuse any gift or gratuity that could compromise their impartiality” and tells media owners to “provide compensation for journalists to live a decent life.”
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According to UNESCO’s website, “This is the first time a code of ethics has been adopted by the media in Haiti.” UNESCO noted that it supported the effort and “facilitated a participatory process to develop the code of ethics.”
We have written to the National Association of Media in Haiti’s president Max Chauvet, the Association of Haitian Journalists’ Jacques Desrosiers and UNESCO. We will update with any response.
UPDATE: 12/27/2011 3:25 PM EST: Read here an update on this story with comment from UNESCO about the code’s development.