(WOMENSENEWS)–Based on the importance of freedom of expression laid down in the international conventions, especially Article 19 of the Convention of Human Rights and Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights considered to be an international binding agreement, as well as the international traditions and the role of mass media in democratic societies, and in consolidating and strengthening the principles of good governance, and the related lists and convictions of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, and in emphasizing the importance of the role of media in ensuring the right to information, and transfer of information to the public, we, the participants in the sixth Arab Media Women conference organized by the Arab Women Media Center and Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung in Amman from June 26-28, 2007, under the auspices of H.R.H. Princess Basma bint Talal, have agreed on the following principles to adhere to as the “Arab Media Women’s Code of Ethics:”
- Respect of human dignity.
- Commitment to search for the truth and pass it on with entire accuracy, credibility, transparency, fairness, objectivity and impartiality.
- Maintain the confidentiality of information sources.
- Respect the right of reply and correction.
- Respect privacy of others.
- Keep media work and private interests separate while avoiding extortion and abuse.
- Solidarity with male and female media representatives when their rights are violated.
- Avoid incitement to violence, based on a discrimination and hate speeches.
- Give voice to the voiceless, such as children and the marginalized groups.
- Avoid giving payments to sources of information.
- Avoid mixing media work up with advertising work.
- Avoid all forms of agitation and indecency.
- Avoid mixing up arts with media work.
- Respect pluralism, accept others’ opinions and avoid discrimination on the basis of religion, race, color, sex or culture.
- Merge a gender approach into media work and avoid prejudice and stereotyping in the media message.
- Strengthen and support the independence of media as the fourth power.
The participants recommend the following:
- Amend Arab media laws to conform to international standards with regard to freedom of opinion and expression.
- Cancellation of penalties that deprive freedoms in the press and media issues.
- Drop charges against journalists in opinion and publication cases.
- Ensure the right of media representatives in accessing information.
- Conduct training workshops for media representatives to raise their professional capacity.
- Activate the role of unions, journalists’ and media associations as lobbying groups, and to provide reference that preserves the immunity of media.
- Monitor and control any issue that would breach the principles of freedom of opinion and expression.
- Spread legal awareness of international conventions of human rights.
- Formulation of an international agreement to protect journalists in times of conflict and provide ID to journalists in areas of armed conflicts under the auspices of international bodies and the Red Cross.
- Teach legislation related to freedom of expression, freedom of media and the professional code of ethics and media work in Arab media academies.
- Solidarity with the Arab journalists who are exposed to pressure of any kind, and recording and monitoring associated facts, especially in Palestine, Iraq, Lebanon and Darfur, to publish them on various media Web sites.
- Arab Media Women Watch to prepare annual reports on the situation of the press, its ethics in the Arab world and submit them to the concerned authorities.
- Create a mechanism for networking between Arab media organizations specialized in freedom of opinion and expression.
- Allocation of an award for freedom of media in the Arab world.
- Conduct training courses for media women within the framework of gender convergence with regard to the ethics of the media profession and to activate the media code of ethics while promoting the legal culture.
- The need for Arab Journalists Union to play its role and assume provision of necessary protection and defense of journalists in the Arab region, and demanding international bodies working in the field of freedom of media and press to do the same.
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For more information:
“Arab Female Journalists Stand Up for Press Freedom”:
Code of Ethics of Arab Media Women:
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