Code of Conduct

What we expect of our Members

Professional journalists want to sign up to, and be held to, high standards in the way they work.

The CIoJ expects all its members to adhere to the following Code of Conduct. We expect all our members to agree to be bound by these rules.

These incorporate the Editor’s Code of Conduct, which many staff journalists sign as part of their contract.

There is also a responsibility by Members to maintain vigilance over the Code and if any member fails to meet these standards they can follow the complaints procedure.

CIoJ Code of Conduct

All members of the Chartered Institute of Journalists (CIoJ) are required to read and abide by this Code of Conduct.

It covers all editorial staff by guiding them on conduct which befits membership of this professional body. Any member who is involved in allegations of professional misconduct and fails to demonstrate that his or her actions complied with this Code may be asked to resign and hand back their Press Card.

Publication refers to all work that is undertaken by editorial staff, during the course of their professional duties, regardless of the means of dissemination or their status as contract, freelance, contributors or staff. Specifically this excludes private correspondence but includes contributions made in online activities.

As a member:

  1. You have a duty to maintain the highest professional standards of accuracy and clearly distinguish between fact, conjecture or opinion in all your work.
  2. You will comply with the Editors’ Code of Practice.  You will co-operate fully with any enquiry held by the Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO) except where sources are compromised, and,  subject to any legal advice you may receive.
  3. You will behave in a transparent way. This will include declaring your professional status in any publication in which you operate. You are not required to maintain the same professional name, but must seek not to practise deception on the reader or viewer at any time.
  4. If a factual inaccuracy is discovered in your work, you will seek to have it corrected at the first available opportunity, in the same format of publication, and with due prominence so that similar readership will be aware of the correction.
  5. You will not request or accept payment for the publication of editorial matter under whatever guise, which compromise your editorial independence.
  6. You will not accept money, or any other inducement whatsoever, to manipulate editorial comment unless it is clearly identified.
  7. You will maintain the confidences you agreed with any contributors.
  8. You will respect the work of other media professionals and will not seek to undermine exclusive stories submitted by freelance contributors.
  9. You will check sources and understand that previously published material may not always have been created using the exacting standards of a professional journalist and will independently seek to verify that the information is accurate.
  10. You will defend the principles of a free press and freedom of speech and will do nothing to damage these principles.
  11. You should recognise that there is more than one side to any subject, and that responsible reporting is clear about what it omits, as well as what it includes in order to communicate the complexity of the human condition and experience.
  12. You should be able to compensate sources of any kind in proportion to the public interest value of their information and the risks they are undertaking.