Middle East: Qatar

Code of Ethics of the Al-Jazeera Television Station

Current Status: active

(Al-Jazeera is the most famous and popular Middle East satellite television service. It was launched in 1996 in Qatar, a Gulf emirate with a 690 000 population, hiring personnel from the BBC Arabic Services. Though financed by the government, it has enjoyed a freedom to inform and comment unique in the region – which has generated complaints from all Arab governments. This code was published in July 2004).

Being a globally oriented media service, Aljazeera shall determinedly adopt the following code of ethics in pursuance of the vision and mission it has set for itself:


  1. Adhere to the journalistic values of honesty, courage, fairness, balance, independence, credibility and diversity, giving no priority to commercial or political considerations over professional ones.


  1. Endeavour to get to the truth and declare it in our dispatches, programmes and news bulletins unequivocally in a manner which leaves no doubt about its validity and accuracy.


  1. Treat our audiences with due respect and address every issue or story with due attention to present a clear, factual and accurate picture while giving full consideration to the feelings of victims of crime, war, persecution and disaster, their relatives and our viewers, and to individual privacy and public decorum.


  1. Welcome fair and honest media competition without allowing it to affect adversely our standards of performance so that getting a 'scoop' will not become an end in itself.


  1. Present diverse points of view and opinions without bias or partiality.


  1. Recognise diversity in human societies with all their races, cultures and beliefs and their values and intrinsic individualities in order to present unbiased and faithful reflection of them.


  1. Acknowledge a mistake when it occurs, promptly correct it and ensure it does not recur.


  1. Observe transparency in dealing with news and news sources while adhering to internationally established practices concerning the rights of these sources.


  1. Distinguish between news material, opinion and analysis to avoid the pitfalls of speculation and propaganda.


  1. Stand by colleagues in the profession and offer them support when required, particularly in light of the acts of aggression and harassment to which journalists are subjected at times. Cooperate with Arab and international journalistic unions and associations to defend freedom of the press.