The Wikinewsie Group/Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Journalists

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The Wikinewsies Group's goals including open license, independent journalistic efforts that provide neutral and verifiable reporting of news stories, and support the education of future journalists in trying to ensure they maintain historical journalistic ideals regarding reporting standards. To this end, The Wikinewsies Group supports the following as a Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Journalists for all journalists affiliated with the organization:

Preface[edit]

  1. Having a free press and free access to information are fundamental rights of humankind and a free society.
  2. Journalists have a primary obligation and responsibility to serve the general public, trumping the importance of serving any organization, government, or corporate interest.

Declaration of duties[edit]

  1. Be accurate.
    1. Present only facts that can be verified.
    2. Do not publish information unless the journalist knows the source of that information.
    3. Issue a correction should misinformation be published.
  2. Be neutral.
    1. Be neutral in any presentation of facts to the public.
    2. Do not misrepresent information by creating misleading montages in words or another medium, do not represent another person's words as the journalists own (plagiarism), do not libel or slander others, and do not accept payment to misrepresent information.
    3. Respect human dignity by not representing people, or referring to people, in a way that discriminates against them based on gender, sexuality, sexual orientation, disability, national origin, ethnicity, race, or religion.
  3. Use fair and honest methods of obtaining information by not misrepresenting oneself when seeking to collect information.
  4. Do not confuse journalism with advertising, and do not allow commercial interests to trump other duties and obligations.
  5. Respect sources when told information in confidence, to the extent the journalist would go to prison to protect these sources.
  6. Ignore unfounded or anonymous accusations.
  7. Declare any conflicts of interest that may affect the journalist's ability to be perceived as meeting their other duties.
  8. Do not infringe on or take advantage of those dealing with grief.

Declaration of rights[edit]

  1. The right not to be discriminated against for presenting factual information.
  2. The right to privacy.
  3. The right to refuse to be told what news to cover as a condition of reporting, so long as the reported topic is neutral, fact-based, and follows the duties regarding maintenance of source privacy, unless covering news around a certain topic is agreed upon as the basis of a partnership or grant agreement that is agreed upon in advance by the journalist.
  4. The right to be consulted before any changes are implemented regarding the copyright status of the work created by the journalist.


This declaration is derived from the Declaration of the Duties and Rights of a Journalist by Swiss Press Council Foundation in December 1999 [1] and International Code: Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Journalists from Journalists' Unions of the six countries of the European Community in Munich, Germany, on November 23-24, 1971.[2]