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Press syndicate urges journalists to respect profession’s ethics

By JT - Nov 05,2014 - Last updated at Nov 05,2014

AMMAN — The Jordan Press Association (JPA) on Wednesday called on media outlets to abide by journalism’s code of conduct and not to resort to blackmail, defamation and rumour mongering that harm the credibility of the profession. 

The JPA’s statement follows complaints it received from public and private institutions and individuals who were blackmailed and threatened with defamation by certain media outlets if they did not meet their demands.

At a JPA council meeting chaired by JPA President Tareq Momani, the association stressed the importance of abiding by journalism’s ethics and not publishing any news item that lacks facts and balance, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.

The council also called for publishing news items characterised by professionalism and transparency, away from defamation, blackmail and other harmful acts.

The JPA reiterated the need to safeguard press freedoms in parallel with respecting the ethics of the profession, which include professionalism, transparency and credibility that enable media outlets to express their opinion professionally to launch a conversation on key issues without violating human rights.

The council called on all institutions and individuals who have complaints or were blackmailed through the media to inform the JPA by calling 0790111999, 065372005 or 065372006.

The association will follow up on these complaints and examine the cases, as well as the violations committed by some journalists, taking strict disciplinary measures in accordance with its laws and regulations.

Momani said the JPA will always support journalists who maintain their credibility, publish fact-based reports and practise objective, constructive criticism, Petra reported.

In a report published earlier this week, Akeed, an online platform that monitors the credibility of local media outlets (akeed.jo), said many outlets failed to maintain journalism ethics while covering crimes.

Citing the coverage of the suspected murder of a woman in south Amman as an example, the report said many local news websites published conflicting reports that relied heavily on rumours, with key facts — such as the woman’s age, occupation and background — changing without an indication of which version was the correct one.

Several media outlets also published photos of the victim and the suspect in violation of Article 11 of the journalism code of ethics, under which journalists are obligated to respect the privacy of individuals and personal correspondence, and not take pictures of them within their private sphere without their knowledge, the report said.

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