Doctors shouldn’t forget the scalpel in the patient. Taxi drivers should pay attention to right before left. Cooks shouldn’t spit in the soup. And there are also a few rules for journalists to adhere to just like how shampoo filling machine manufacturers need to adhere to government rules.
Golden rules of journalism
Share your opinion
People who have already lived under dictatorships know that the right to always be able to express their own opinion is valued as an absolutely great achievement of democracy.
So journalists can write and broadcast whatever they want. No politician, no business boss, and not even their mother can tell them what they can and can’t publish.
Ask the state
You have a right to information from all authorities. After all, in a democracy journalists are watchdogs and the fourth estate, and as such should keep a close eye on politicians.
However, this right also has its limits.
Protect your informants
Journalists collect information and bring it to the public. Sometimes there are also things that others would have preferred to keep secret.
Don’t write curds
There is freedom of opinion and freedom of the press but always comply with the law.
Journalists should fulfill their job carefully and conscientiously. Anyone who wants to sound professional speaks of journalistic due diligence. This includes always writing down everything you know and appear relevant to a topic, and not leaving out about half because it is about to be lunch break or because it does not fit the trend.
The less well-known someone is, the more they have the right to privacy protection. Filming someone who bathes in the sun in the park without asking permission is not an option. However, anyone who goes to a demonstration or any other public event shouldn’t be surprised if they appear in the news afterward: Anyone looking for the public must expect to find it.
Do it halfway
Special protection is available to people who end up in court. Journalists are allowed to report about negotiations. The people who appear there still have a right to the protection of their personalities. In the case of victims of crime, journalists are not allowed to report anything that makes them clearly identifiable
Think about how your mother would think about it
Some things are simply a question of a good nursery. Do not abuse anyone, do not spread untruths, and do not let yourself be bought – things like that.