Institute of Journalists Malaysia

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Code of Ethics

27 September 2014
Unanimously resolved by members at general meeting for adoption and use. This Code is binding upon members of the Institute and forms part of the admission requirement.


We believe it is the duty and right of all journalists to uphold
freedom of the press
freedom of speech
freedom of thought
freedom of belief, and
freedom of opinion;

and to practice their profession with freedom from fear

We believe it is the right and duty of all journalists to

  • uphold and safeguard these freedoms and to resist measures that restrict these freedoms.
  • honour truth, accuracy, impartiality and honesty in their work and to always keep the public interest foremost.
  • carry out their professional duties without hindrance by the authorities or any other quarter for political, racial, or religious reasons.
  • resist external pressures from any quarter, and to resist any means of compulsion in how they carry out their duties.
  • resist any measures that may cause them to offend this code or their conscience in the performance of their duty through such means as showing partiality, distorting or withholding information, or to act against the public interest.
  • Protect the right of all journalists and of all citizens to hold and express all shades of opinion and resist measures to restrict the right to freedom of opinion.

Written by Gobind Rudra for Institute of Journalists Malaysia

1. Truth

  • We shall respect the truth and the public interest at all times and uphold the public’s right to information.
  • We shall report and interpret the news with honesty, disclose all essential information, and not suppress or distort information
  • We shall keep fact and opinion separate and shall not allow personal beliefs to colour the content of our work.
  • We shall respect the confidence of all information received in the course of duty, and resist any compulsion to divulge the sources of information in confidence.

2. Honesty

  • We shall always use fair and honest means to obtain news, audio and visual material, and documents except in compelling circumstances of public interest that hinder more straightforward means.
  • We shall identify ourselves and our employers before obtaining any interview.
  • We shall not allow personal interests nor political, religious, racial or commercial considerations to influence us in the course of our duties.
  • We shall not allow any consideration, gift or advantage offered to us to influence us in our duties and shall disclose any inappropriate offer.
  • We shall not plagiarise, and shall not make free use of copyrighted material except under fair-use doctrine with the source duly credited.

3. Fairness

  • We shall make every effort to correct any published or broadcast information found to be harmfully inaccurate.
  • We shall respect the right of citizens to make fair rebuttal to opinions expressed.

4. Respect

  • We shall always respect private grief and personal privacy, and shall resist compulsion to intrude.
  • We shall not place unnecessary emphasis on gender, race, sexual preference, religious belief, marital status or physical or mental disability.
  • We shall take due care to safeguard the identity and privacy of children and to interview children only in the presence of an adult.
  • We shall guard against gratuitous use of photographs or reports depicting in graphic detail incidents of violence or of a sexual nature.
  • We shall strive to respect the cultural codes of our community except where it conflicts with the public interest and the truth.

Adapted from NZ Journalist Code :


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Who can be members of IoJ

Membership is open to journalists at all levels from reporter or artist to editors-in-chief; that generally includes: reporters, subeditors, photographers, editorial illustrators and cartoonists, producers and presenters in broadcasting, photographers and videographers, whether employed full time, on contract, or who freelance, and whose work is published in:
* newspapers * magazines * radio or television stations * *online newspapers * web sites * news agencies * house journals * trade newsletters
Ordinary:   — those whose main source of income is derived from editorial journalistic work, whether in reporting, writing, editing, photography or videography, or editorial illustrations or editorial cartoons.
Freelance: — those who work full-time as a journalist but are not employed by any organisation
— those employed in other occupations but who produce journalism on an occasional basis, e.g. as citizen journalists, bloggers and videographers.
— academic staff whose area of study is journalism, the media, or related fields.
— those who work in fields related to journalism, such as public relations, advertising, and marketing;
— anyone who supports the aims of the Institute and the cause of free press and free speech generally.
Student: — those enrolled in full-time studies in journalism or related fields at a college or university.
Corporate: — organisations who support the aims of the Institute and the cause of free and independent journalism, freedom of the press and freedom of expression.
Affiliate: — other organisations whose members are journalists or whose activities concern journalism, the mass media, freedom of the press, freedom of expression, human rights and democracy

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