Charter on Ethical Reporting During Elections

The Council of Media Ethics of Macedonia (CMEM) sent a draft version of the "Charter on Ethical Reporting During the Elections" to all the media organizations in the country. The Charter has been accepted by a significant number of these organizations and the Council appeals for its review and acceptance by all media organizations in Macedonia. The official event for the signing of the Charter is to follow soon.

Below is the draft version of the Charter:

We, the journalists, editors and media leadership, respecting the right of the public to be informed in a fair, accurate and timely manner and taking full responsibility and awareness of the role of the media about the upcoming parliamentary elections in the country, accept this Charter and acknowledge that the following principles will be observed in the work of our media:

The principles of truthfulness and objectivity
- Which means search for the truth and fair reporting by covering facts in a clear and unambiguous manner. In case of publishing misleading information, the media will do everything to correct such information.

The principle of balance
- Which means presentation of different viewpoints and perspectives in the right context and without taking sides to any candidate, party or a coalition.

The principle of a clear distinction between information and comments
- Which means that the information will be shaped in a way that the audience will be clear about the difference between facts and views and opinions.

The principles of fairness and impartiality 
- Which implies that the media will use an honest approach in the obtaining of information and in their presentation, avoiding sensational presentation of topics and events, as well as incorrect assumptions that could mislead the public.

The principle of professional solidarity 
- In its work, the media shall urge mutual solidarity and difference in opinions and will not act in a way that means confrontation with other media and colleagues.

The principle of editorial independence and professional integrity
- The media are obliged to inform in a way that would be independent of any personal views, outside interests and influences that could undermine the editorial independence and professional integrity.

The principle of respect and tolerance 
- Which means respect of dignity, reputation, rights and personal integrity of individuals in the informing of the public. The media shall not use stereotypes, prejudices and understatement on any basis and will not use hate speech and inflammatory language in its reporting.

The principle of freedom and responsibility
- Which means that freedom imposes responsibility to the media about the form and content of the messages they send to the public and about the consequences that result from them on the broader social environment.

The Signatories of this Charter agree to adhere to its principles and actively advocate for promoting ethics and professional reporting.

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