Journalistic codes of ethics in the CSCE countries: an examination

Tampere: University of Tampere, Dept. of Journalism and Mass Communication (1991)
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A study examined the journalistic codes of ethics from 23 countries involved in the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE), using descriptive and interpretative content analysis. The contents of the 24 codes from the 23 countries were divided into explicit categories on the basis of a 17-part classification scheme, including: "truth, ""acquisition of facts, ""professional secrecy, ""freedom of information, ""professional integrity, ""human rights," and "values." Results indicated that: (1) the most important principle in all the codes was represented by truth; (2) the general rule on acquisition and checking of facts was that journalists should use open and honest means to acquire information; (3) confidentiality of sources must be maintained; and (4) freedom of information figures prominently in nearly all of the codes. Findings suggest the development among the CSCE countries of some sort of basic, universal model of journalistic codes where the accent is on truth, freedom of information, and protection of the individual. Studies like this one point to the increasing urgency for research on the "new Europe" and its rapidly changing cultural landscape. (Twenty-one references, a list of the codes of ethics examined, and a list of publications in English and Swedish of the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication of the University of Tampere are attached.) (RS).



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