Category: Reports

Sudanese Press Charter of Ethics

Following is the text of the Sudanese Press Charter Of Ethics which was signed on Thursday at the National Assembly (the parliament):
-  Guided by the provisions of the Interim Constitution that stipulates Sudan foundation on unity enshrined in the free will of its people, upholding rule of law, a decentralized democratic rule, accountability, equality, respect and justice (Article 4-a), and that the Sudanese people cultural and social diversity is the foundation for National Cohesion and that this diversity shall not be used to towards people’s disunity (Article 4C), and in the light of  (Article  23-2-b) of the Interim Constitution that stipulates for discarding violence and achieving accord, fraternity, and tolerance among all the people of the Sudan, overcoming all religious, regional, linguistic, cultural and sectarian disparities. And based on (Article 23-2-C) that incite for avoidance of corruption, sabotage and committed to Article (39) of the Sudanese Interim Institution that reads as follows: -

1-  Every citizen shall have an unrestricted right to the freedom of expression, reception of information, publication, and access to the press without prejudice to order, safety or public morals as determined by law.
2-  The State shall guarantee the freedom of the press and other media as shall be regulated by law in a democratic society.
3- All media shall abide by professional ethics, shall refrain from inciting religious, ethnic, racial or cultural hatred and shall not agitate for violence or war,
And by Article (48) of the constitution, relevant to the sanctity of rights and freedoms and which stipulates that no derogation from these rights should be made, should not be infringed;

-  We, the Editor in Chiefs of the Sudanese press, declare our full commitment to the 2005 Interim Constitution and our support for the
national reconciliation efforts, in line with the constitutional directives and commitment to the international charters and ethics governing the code of conduct of journalists, and in particular the Arab and African chatters and the Organization of African Unity, later on the African Union, declaration relevant to freedom of expression, according to 2002 Banjul Declaration and the complementary directives;
We reaffirm our full commitment to the professional rights and duties as follows:
- Respect for the People’s Right to have access to correct information.
- Commitment in all items to be published to the professional standards and to the stipulation of the code of conduct and honesty in a way that would preserve the society values and observed principles and avert defiling public decency and shall not violate any of the rights of the citizens or undermine any of their freedoms.
-  Dispose of any link with racial or fundamentalism calls or any other calls that embodies desecrating of faiths, or believe and any call inciting for hatred or injection of faiths of other people or any call that incite for discrimination or debasing any doctrine of any community or of any individual.
-  Respect the privacy of individuals and groups and avoid any abuse or label against them, avoid the use of any means of journalist publishing in abuse or accusation of people without any solid proof or use their private life to defile or smear their reputation or for achieving personal gains, of any type, or resorting to blackmailing people in any form or type.
-  Avoid publishing any material or news about the Regular Forces, their plans, activities, or movements, save information obtained from the official spokesman of the specific regular forces or quoting him.
-  Avoid publication of distorted facts or amputated, and avoid picturing them or making them up in a dishonest way.
-  To meticulously check documenting information and make attribution and refer quotation to specific sources whenever possible or available, in accordance with the sound principles of the profession that observe good intentions.
-  Respect the right of authors is a must when quoting or citing any of their work or when publishing them.
-  Any error published, shall be corrected duly by the publisher as soon as they noticed it, the right to have response published and corrections made is to be guaranteed for all those handled by the journalist, provided that such response or corrective shall not be beyond the issues in question and shall not involve any crime publishable by the law or a violation of the public morals, while recognizing the right of the journalist to comment therein.
-  Support and back the national interest and avoid encouragement of violence or rebellion.
-  Uphold the national interest and national invariables, be aware of the foreign agenda that target the homeland by means of different mechanisms of influence and polarization, particularly from foreign organizations and embassies.
-  Journalists are not to use their profession for making any gains, receiving any donation or assistance of any advance, particularly from foreign establishments or local bodies, by any means, be it directly or indirectly.
-  Journalists are not entitled to bring in publicity or edit publicity and shall not receive any rewards out of editing or revision or publishing of a publicity and shall not publish any such publicity under their signature.
-  No publicity that bear material which goes against the values, principles and general morals of the society, or goes against the mission of the press shall be published. The publication officials shall make sure to separate the editorial material from publicity materials and shall avoid exceeding the percentage allocated space for the publicity at the expense of the editorial contents.
-  Journalist shall avoid handling matters being dealt with by investigation authorities or by a court of law in civil or criminal cases in a way that would impact the an ongoing of investigation or court proceedings.
-  Journalists are individually and collectively responsible for preserving the dignity of the profession, its confidentiality and credibility and they are committed to avoid covering up those who abuse the profession or who put their pens at the service of their personal interest, to avoid any forms of debasing or form of personal abuse or material or spiritual, including the abuse of power or influence, for undermining the invariable rights of their colleagues or in violation of the professional consciousness.
-  Journalists commit to stand in solidarity in defense of their legal professional interests and of what is duly their gained rights, at the same time the journalist will hold to the rights as they are considered commitments that have to be respected by all other parties vis-à-vis the journalist.
-  Views expressed by the journalist or information the journalist publishes shall not be a reason for undermining his personal security and the journalist shall not be coerced to reveal the sources of his information, all within the framework of the law and within a democratic society.
-  A journalist shall not be put under threat or blackmailed in any way to force him into publishing what contradicts his professional consciousness or to attain personal gains for any quarter or any person.
-  A journalist shall not be deprived from performing his job or from writing, without legal right, in a way that would impact any of his gained material or moral rights.
-  The safety of the journalist and providing the necessary protection for him while discharging his work, in public arena, particularly in areas of incidents or catastrophes, Shall be guaranteed.




From the Editor
Press Code of Ethics  .. Professionalism and Redlines!

The Press code of ethics s signed last week, with a high profile attendance from the legislative, political, executive and popular representatives, including the Prime Minister, the Speaker and Head of the Journalists Union, the head of the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS).
Addressing the signing ceremony, NISS Director Salah Abdallah Gosh said they would engage in a new phase in its relationship with the press after signing of the Press Code of Ethics.
He pointed out that the pre-publication censorship won’t be re-imposed but the NISS will not stand idly by if the committee fails to implement the Press Code of Ethics in letter and spirit.
The Press Charter of Ethics stipulates the freedom of the press in accordance with the law. It prohibits journalists from receiving donations or subsidies locally or from abroad.
The charter also annulled arrest of journalists due to mistakes in reporting.
As a sign of good intensions the NISS Director immediately directs dropping all legal cases it has filed against journalists and newspapers at courts, pointing out that the pre-publication censorship won’t be re-imposed.
The Press Charter of Ethics stipulates the freedom of the press in accordance with the law. It prohibits journalists from receiving donations or subsidies locally or from abroad. The charter also annulled arrest of journalists due to mistakes in reporting.
The signing of the Sudan Press Charter of Ethics in the parliament attended by the Speaker, the Prime Minister, Chief Justice and the NISS Director has its significance as it reflects the commitment of the government to the interim constitution and the international legislations in this regard.
The Press Charter of Ethics aims at easing the procedures against the press and reducing the censorship to the minimum.
The press community should commit to  all items to be published to the professional standards and to the stipulation of the code of conduct and honesty in a way that would preserve the society values and observed principles and avert defiling public decency and shall not violate any of the rights of the citizens or undermine any of their freedoms, besides avoiding publishing any material or news about the Regular Forces, their plans, activities, or movements, save information obtained from the official spokesman of the specific regular forces or quoting him.

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