Code of Ethics

  1. Journalists should handle news information with an attitude of seeking truth, fairness, objectivity, impartiality and comprehensiveness. Journalists should strive to ensure accuracy of their reports. They should not mislead the public by quoting out of context, distorting facts or twisting original meaning.

  2. Whenever proven inaccuracy, misleading facts or figures, or distortion of original meaning occurs, media organizations should provide persons or organizations affected with the earliest opportunity to reply, and corrections should be made promptly.

  3. Journalists should not pander to prurience, indecency and sensationalism when reporting news involving violence, sex-related crime or suicide.

  4. Journalists should respect the reputation and privacy of individuals. Taking into account solid editorial reasons, journalists should report on the private lives of individuals-who have not given their consent for doing so-only in ways that would not creat unnecessary additional damage to the individuals.

    • Privacy of children should be handled with particular care. Media organizations should have solid editorial reasons for reporting on the private lives of children. Journalists should not intrude into the privacy of children solely because of the social or celebrity status of the minors' family members or guardians.
    • News media should have solid editorial reasons for publicizing the behavior and personal data of public officials.
    • Behavior and personal data of public officials that are pertinent to the exercise of their public office are not considered private.

  5. Journalists should avoid conflict of interest. Under no circumstance should they be influenced by political, economic and other interests related to themselves, their families or their employers.

    • Journalists should not seek monetary or other advantages from information that they have obtained in the course of discharging their duties; nor should journalists pass the information to others so that the journalists might obtain an indirect advantage.
    • Journalists should not distort facts to appease advertisers or for any other consideration.
    • Journalists should not write or comment on business or other organizational matters in which they have a stake. Journalists should declare their interest should they be assigned to report or comment on matters in which they have an interest.
    • Journalists should not be influenced by external pressure or economic considerations in their reports and commentaries.

  6. Journalists should stand up to political pressure or financial inducement and not succumb to self-censorship.

  7. Journalists should obtain information, photographs and illustrations through proper means.

  8. Journalists in their reportage or commentary should not discriminate or encourage others to discriminate on grounds of age, race, color, creed, religion, place or circumstance of birth, disability, marital status, gender or sexual orientation.

  9. Journalists should protect their sources of information.

    • To avoid misleading the public, journalists should strive not to use information provided by anonymous sources.
    • In cases in which anonymity is necessary, extraordinary care must be exercised to ascertain the veracity of information so provided.

  10. Journalists should abide by this Code, except in specific circumstances involving public interest, such as:

    • Exposing any unlawful activity, abuse of power, neglect of duty, or other misconduct by an individual or organization;
    • Preventing the public from being misled by statements or actions of individuals or organizations;
    • Preventing a serious threat to public order, the security of Hong Kong, public health and safety.
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