Code of Ethics for Digital News Coverage | पुढारी

Code of Ethics for Digital News Coverage

Broadly the codes have the following elements:

  1. Digital news websites follow the laws of the land including the Constitution of India, laws related to the media, provisions of IPC, CrPC as well as the Information Technology Act, 2000.
  2. Adhere to accepted norms of journalistic ethics and practices and maintain the highest standards of professional conduct. This includes self-regulatory ethics and codes, and rigorous processes in newsrooms.
  3. Accuracy, Transparency & Fairness to bar publication of inaccurate, baseless or distorted content. Pre-publication verification is compulsory. Defamation should be avoided. Adherence to applicable laws and rules is necessary.
  4. News reports should have a version of a person or party or person who is representing the person/party in respect of whom allegations are carried. If not the person or party’s response, if received later, to be incorporated.
  5. If there are developments in the news, and the concerned person or party requests an update, the same must be carried appropriately. The updated date should be appear in the news.
  6. If a news report or article is found to contain false or inaccurate information, the portion of the news report or article should be edited or deleted.
  7. If the entire news report is found to contain false, inaccurate information, the entire article should be deleted.
  8. Respect Intellectual Property Rights. Copyright in content (text, photographs, plans, diagrams, cartoons, etc) must be respected. Trade Marks and Service Marks of third parties not to be used except with prior permission or if such use constitutes fair use. In case of infringement of intellectual property the concerned content should be edited, deleted or take down if necessary.
  9. Care to be taken for reporting sensational matters and crime. Presumption of innocence must be preserved. The reporting should be based on facts and unbiased and comments on evidence, witness, accused, victims should be avoided.
  10. Special care to be taken while reporting on sexual harassment in workplace, child abuse, rape and crime against women, crime againsts opperssed sections, communula clashes.
  11. Care to be taken, to follow Sections 67, 67A and 67B of the Information Technology Act, 2000. This acts has provision of penalties for publishing / transmitting obscene material, sexually explicit material and also material depicting children in sexually explicit acts.
  12. Grievance Redressal Mechanism
  13. Training and Awareness Programs – Conduct periodic training and awareness programs with editorial staff about existing laws.
  14. There 30 laws related with media which include The Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act, Copyright Act, Right to Information Act, relevant provisions of Indian Penal Code and CrPC, civil and criminal defamation, IPR, Juvenile justice, POCSO, harassment in the work place, caste or gender related crime, domestic violence, etc.
  15. Names of victims and details leading to identification of victims or perpetrator, if juvenile or in the workplace, to be strictly avoided.
  16. Photographs of victims, their residence, workplace, etc to be avoided.
  17. Caution must be exercised while reporting stories elated to communal or religious disputes.
  18. Ensuring an environment of promoting communal harmony.
  19. Special care in reporting on Courts and judicial matters.
  20. legislative privileges and correct reporting of Court hearings, judicial matters, etc is essential.
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