Codes of Ethics
Section 10 of Schedule 2 of the Defamation Act provides for the drafting of a code of practice which sets out general principles of good journalistic practice. It specifies that they include: ethical standards and practices; rules and standards to ensure the accuracy of reporting where a person’s reputation is likely to be affected; and rules and standards intended to ensure that intimidation and harassment does not occur and that the privacy, integrity and dignity of the person is respected.
The Code of Practice has been signed by the Press Ombudsman and the Press Council of Ireland. Its aim is to promote high standards in journalism. It is based on the concepts of freedom of expression and freedom of the press: the freedom for the newspapers to publish what they consider news. At the same time, the Code is also about responsibilities: the journalists must always maintain high ethical and professional standards in reporting the news. This is why the Code contains several provisions about truth and accuracy in reporting, but also honesty and respect of the privacy.
The Code of Conduct has been defined by the National Union of Journalists (NUJ). Journalists adhering to the Union must approve it and sign it to guarantee that they will respect it. The Code is based on the idea of media freedom and the responsibility of journalists in spreading honest, accurate and fair information. Also, the NUJ believes in the journalists’ freedom to refuse an assignment if they consider it as breaching the letter of the code.Back to top