Africa: Ethiopia

Professional Code of Ethics

Current Status: active

(Professional Code of Ethics of the Ethiopian Free press Journalists' Association (EFJA) as endorsed by its General Congress in December 1998).

  1. The Journalist has the obligation to inform the public on the malpractice of officials. The information must be corroborated by evidence.   

  2. In recognition of the fact the public has the right to get information, the journalist is obliged to reveal the truth based on accurate information.

  3. The journalist shall be dedicated to his profession and enrich his experience and knowledge.

  4. The journalist shall not disseminate information that endangers the nation's unity, security or sovereignty, or creates divisions among people, or destabilises peace, or facilitates or foments discrimination based on race, tribe or religion.

  5. The journalist shall observe professional secrecy regarding the source of information obtained in confidence.

  6. The journalist shall not use any material belonging to others without giving credit to the author.

  7. The journalist must be sharp-minded , trustworthy , modest , and meticulous in performing his duties.

  8. The journalist shall not disseminate information that slanders

individuals or organisations.

  1. If the journalist happens to disseminate defamatory information on individual or organisation he shall present the denial or response of the individual or organisation.

  2. The journalist shall maintain the integrity of his profession and association.

  3. The journalist shall not engage in socially or morally unacceptable activities.

  4. (a) The Journalist shall not present to the public obscene literature, pictures, films or utterances that corrupt culture.

(b) The journalist shall identify the news item from his own subjective judgement . If at all he has personal views, they should be clearly and explicitly stated. The journalist shall, while performing his duties, not be dominated by his own emotions and shall not be in pursuit of his own personal interests.

  1. The Journalist shall not without permission of the giver reveal the source of information or national secrets which he may have obtained in the course of performing his tasks.

  2. The journalist shall not, out of scrupulousness or lame excuses or shunning responsibility, refrain from compiling and disseminating information that should be known by the public.

  3. The journalist shall not degrade the profession by directly or indirectly accepting bribes , gifts or other benefits for the news , commentaries , programmes , photographs or films he has disseminated.

  4. The journalist shall not act as an intermediary between another journalist and an individual or organisation that wants to be publicised in the media.

  5. (a ) The journalist shall not abuse his profession to acquire illegal benefits or be a cause for the acquisition of illegal benefits.

(b) The journalist shall not engage in activities that are inconsistent with his profession. The journalist shall immediately rectify the mistakes he has made regarding an individual or organisation.

  1. (a) The Journalist shall work in close collaboration with other professional colleagues.

(b) The journalist shall not try to harm other journalists or obstruct their activities for personal fame or to get other benefits.

  1. If a journalist encounters problems while making efforts to fulfil his tasks , the association shall, in collaboration with those concerned, do its level best to help the journalist.

  2. Enforcement of the code. The code of ethics shall be enforced exclusively by the Ethiopian Free press Journalists' Association.

  3. A professional journalist shall be governed by the regulations embraced in the Code of Ethics.

  4. The decisions made by the association would be applicable to a professional journalists who violates any of the provision(s) of the Code of Ethics.

  5. Revision of the Code of Ethics : The provisions of the code shall be revised when the idea is supported by seventy five per cent of the General Congress of the Ethiopian Free Press Journalists' Association.