14th July 2016
By Tom Law

New Code of Ethics for Afghan Journalists

Megan Howe

Afghan journalists, in collaboration with the Afghanistan Journalists Center have approved a new code (in Dari) of ethics for journalists.

The code was developed in response to criticism by the government and the public regarding the professionalism and independence of the media and reflects the viewpoints of over 400 Afghan journalists.

Six core values are included in the code – accountability, impartiality, balance, reduction of risk, authenticity and professional behavior at work. It also includes guidance on responding to government pressure and reporting on children.

The Afghanistan Journalists Center, Executive Director, Ahmad Quraishi said: “The Center is working on a mechanism to encourage journalists to follow the code and be better at their jobs.

“The code isn’t a set of rules, rather a guide that encourages all journalists in the country to take responsibility for the information they provide.

“We believe that the codes helps ensure the free exchange of accurate, fair, and thorough information. That will enable journalists to act with integrity in a society that has suffered a lot from an ongoing war.”

Media in Afghanistan have had a troubled relationship with the government. The country ranks low on the press freedom index, scoring 120 out of 180 countries. This year alone nine media workers and journalists have been killed.

According to the Afghanistan Journalists Center, President Ashraf Ghani said the code was a positive step for journalism.

“The struggle of journalist leaders and organizations for preparing the ethics and standards of journalism will not only help them commit themselves to journalistic manners but also protect journalists from possible vulnerability.”

Photo credit: Resolute Support Media on Flickr under Creative Commons License 2.0