Freedom of opinion, expression and the press are human rights protected by the Pancasila, the 1945 Constitution and the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Freedom of the press is a public means of obtaining information and communicating, in order to fulfill basic needs and improve the quality of human life.
In realizing this freedom of the press, Indonesian journalists are also aware of the existence of the nation’s interests, social responsibility, societal diversity, and religious norms. In carrying out its functions, rights, obligations and roles, the press respects the human rights of everyone, therefore the press is required to be professional and open to be controlled by the public.
To guarantee press freedom and fulfill the public’s right to obtain correct information, Indonesian journalists need a moral and professional ethical foundation as operational guidelines in maintaining public trust and upholding integrity and professionalism. On that basis, Indonesian journalists establish and comply with the Journalistic Code of Ethics:
Indonesian journalists act independently, produce news that is accurate, balanced and not in bad faith.
- Independent means reporting events or facts according to conscience without interference, coercion, and intervention from other parties, including the owner of a press company.
- Accurate means believed to be true according to the objective circumstances when the event occurred.
- Balanced means that all parties get equal opportunities.
- Not having bad faith means that there is no intention intentionally and solely to cause harm to other parties.
Indonesian journalists take professional ways in carrying out journalistic tasks.
Professional methods are:
- show identity to the source;
- respect the right to privacy;
- not bribe;
- produce news that is factual and clearly sourced;
- engineering for the taking and loading or broadcasting of images, photos, sounds accompanied by information about the source and displayed in a balanced manner;
- respect the traumatic experience of the resource person in presenting images, photos, sounds;
- not committing plagiarism, including declaring the results of other journalists’ coverage as their own work;
- the use of certain methods may be considered for investigative news coverage for the public interest.
Indonesian journalists always test information, report in a balanced manner, do not mix judgmental facts and opinions, and apply the principle of the presumption of innocence.
- Testing information means checking and rechecking the truth of that information.
- Balanced is to provide space or time for reporting to each party proportionally.
- Opinion judge is the personal opinion of a journalist. This is different from interpretive opinion, which is an opinion in the form of a journalist’s interpretation of facts.
- The presumption of innocence is the principle of not judging someone.
Indonesian journalists do not make fake, slanderous, sadistic and obscene news.
- Lying means something that the journalist already knows is not in accordance with the facts that have happened.
- Slander means a baseless accusation made intentionally with bad intentions.
- Sadistic means the cruel and relentless.
- Obscenity means the depiction of erotic behavior with photos, images, sounds, graphics or writing solely to arouse lust.
- In broadcasting pictures and sound from archives, reporters include the time when the pictures and sound were taken.
Indonesian journalists do not mention and broadcast the identities of victims of sexual crimes and do not mention the identities of children who are perpetrators of crimes.
- Identity is all data and information relating to a person that makes it easy for others to track.
- Child is a person who is less than 16 years old and unmarried.
Indonesian journalists do not abuse their profession and do not accept bribes.
- Abusing the profession is any action that takes personal advantage of information obtained while on duty before the information becomes public knowledge.
- Bribery is any gift in the form of money, goods or facilities from other parties that affect independence.
Indonesian journalists have the right to refuse to protect sources who do not wish their identity or whereabouts to be known, respecting the provisions of the embargo, background information, and off the record in accordance with the agreement.
- The right of refusal is the right not to reveal the identity and whereabouts of a source for the safety of the source and his family.
- An embargo is a delay in loading or broadcasting news according to a source’s request.
- Background information is any information or data from a source that is broadcast or reported without mentioning the source.
- Off the record is any information or data from sources that may not be broadcast or reported on.
Indonesian journalists do not write or broadcast news based on prejudice or discrimination against someone on the basis of differences in ethnicity, race, skin color, religion, gender, and language and do not degrade the dignity of the weak, poor, sick, mentally or physically disabled.
- Prejudice is an unfavorable assumption about something before knowing clearly.
- Discrimination is different treatment.
Indonesian journalists respect the rights of sources regarding their private lives, except for the public interest.
- Respecting the rights of sources is an attitude of restraint and caution.
- Private life is all aspects of the life of a person and his family other than those related to public interest.
Indonesian journalists immediately retract, correct and correct wrong and inaccurate news accompanied by an apology to readers, listeners and or viewers.
- Immediately means action in the shortest possible time, whether or not there is a warning from outsiders.
- The apology was delivered when the error associated with the main substance.
Indonesian journalists serve the right of reply and the right of correction proportionally.
- The right of reply is the right of a person or group of people to provide a response or objection to reports in the form of facts that are detrimental to their good name.
- The right of correction is the right of every person to correct misinformation reported by the press, either about himself or about other people.
- Proportional means equivalent to the news section that needs to be repaired.
The final assessment of the violation of the journalistic code of ethics is carried out by the Press Council. Sanctions for violations of the journalistic code of ethics are carried out by journalist organizations and or press companies.
Jakarta, Tuesday, 14 March 2006
(The Journalistic Code of Ethics is stipulated by the Press Council through Press Council Regulation Number: 6/Peraturan-DP/V/2008 Regarding Ratification of Press Council Decree Number 03/SK-DP/III/2006 concerning Journalistic Code of Ethics as a Press Council Regulation)