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Code of Conduct

a)All journalists of Business Standard have a duty to maintain the highest professional and ethical standards and the following code sets the benchmarks. It protects both the rights of the individual and upholds the public's right to know.

 

b) The Code sets standards designed to ensure the impartiality and independence of Business Standard. Employees are requested to keep it in safe custody and abide by it.

 

Correctness

Journalists of Business Standard should avoid any action which, if it became publicly known, would jeopardise the newspapers reputation. If you would be embarrassed by public disclosure of something you are thinking of doing, don't do it. If you have done it tell your senior editor or the Editor. If you are uncertain whether something is ethical, discuss it with your senior editor or the Editor.

 

Gifts and Favours

a) Journalists should not accept gifts, loans, holidays, discounts or other considerations, which could compromise them or the newspaper. Journalists may be given gifts (fruits, flowers, sweets, lunch), which have no real significance. Gifts of any significant value, if accepted should be given away in a manner which benefits a charity or the less advantaged. But in general they should be declined. If in doubt, decline the gift or consult your senior editor or the Editor.

b) Journalists should not seek or accept favours from competent authorities such as out-of-turn allotment of accommodation or land at subsidised rates, or similar privileges like company shares through a preferential allotment.

 

Travel

a) Business Standard does not normally accept invitations from companies and other organisations in which they pay for the invited journalists travel and accommodation within India. Travel and accommodation for professional purposes within India will be at Business Standard's expense, subject to normal expenses rules and approval of the relevant senior editor.Exceptions to this rule will be at the discretion of the Editor.

b) Business standard will sometimes allow companies or other organisations to pay for journalists to go abroad, at the Editors discretion. However, the invitation must go to Business Standard, not to the individual journalist. It will be the Editors decision to assign a journalist to take a sponsored trip abroad.

 

Accuracy

a) All journalists must take care not to publish inaccurate, misleading or distorted material including pictures.

b) Whenever it is recognised that a significant inaccuracy, misleading statement or distorted report has been published, it must be corrected promptly and with due prominence.

c) An apology must be published whenever appropriate. All Business Standard journalists must distinguish clearly between comment, conjecture and fact.

d) They must report fairly and accurately the outcome of an action for defamation to which the newspaper or they have been a party.

e) All Business Standard journalists must take extra care while reporting court proceedings and orders. Reportage of court proceedings and orders must be based on certified documents released by the court or the advocates concerned. Press releases issued by companies on a court order or proceedings should not be relied upon. Consult a senior editor at every stage of reporting court proceedings and orders.

f) Questions which are sensitive and which by implication level unsubstantiated charges against companies and individuals should not be sent by fax, unless the recipient has agreed to receive such questions by fax. Letters to companies and individuals, aimed at seeking comments and eliciting information, must be written with care and responsibility.

g) While reporting, journalists of Business Standard must always correctly mention the source of their information and indicate if the source is a press release, seminar, press conference or a statement by a company or an individual. No report should be attributed to "sources". It is always better to identify the nature of the source (e.g. Company sources or government sources). Avoid attributing a report to informed or reliable sources. If you have contacted a company, individual or a government official and are using their comments in your report, you must make it clear that the comments were made in response to questions from Business Standard.

h) Allegations against actions of public servants (government officials) in the performance of their duties should be doubly checked before used in a report.

i) Suppression of facts under pressure is dereliction of duty. But statements and facts received on a non-attributable basis must not be attributed. While the right to protect the source should be exercised to the full limit of the law anonymity should not be allowed to become an instrument for the source to dish out falsehood. Journalists, therefore, should be cautious about sources, which mislead under the garb of anonymity.

 

Opportunity to Reply

a) A fair opportunity to reply to inaccuracies must be given to individuals or organisations when reasonably called for.

 

Privacy

a) Everyone is entitled to respect for his or her private and family life, home, health and correspondence. Journalists of Business Standard will be expected to justify intrusions into any individual's private life without consent.

b) Journalists of Business Standard should not use long lens photography to take pictures of people in private places without their consent.

 

Harassment

a) Journalists of Business Standard must not obtain or seek to obtain information or pictures through intimidation, harassment or persistent pursuit.

 

Listening Devices

a) Journalist of Business Standard must not obtain or publish material obtained by using clandestine devices or by intercepting private telephone conversations.

 

Institutions

a) While making enquiries at offices, hospitals or similar institutions, journalists of Business Standard must identify themselves to a responsible executive and obtain permission before entering non-public areas.

 

Reporting of Crime

a) Journalist of Business Standard must avoid identifying relatives or persons convicted or accused of crime without their consent. Particular regard should be paid to the potentially vulnerable position of children who are witnesses to or victims of crime. This should not be interpreted by journalists as restricting the right to report judicial proceedings. Misrepresentation a) Journalists of Business Standard must not generally obtain or seek to obtain information or pictures through misrepresentation or subterfuge.

b) Documents or photographs should be removed only with the consent of the owner.

c) Subterfuge can be justified only in the public interest and only when material cannot be obtained by any other means.

 

Use of Content and Data

a) Journalists of Business Standard will always explicitly acknowledge in their reports the source of data, text, images, graphics or information, when they are borrowed from print publications, websites and television channels.

b) Before using the Internet for sourcing ideas and information, all journalists are duty-bound to check whether the material being used by them is copyrighted and explicit permission must be sought. Wherever it is difficult to establish the ownership of the idea, data or image, you must explicitly indicate the source of information.

c) Published information and data, if used in reports, must be sourced, even when the source may be a rival publication.

 

Investment Disclosure

a) Journalists of Business Standard should disclose their investments to the Editor, and update the record when there are significant changes. The information will be kept in confidence by the Editor.

b) Even where the law does not prohibit it, journalists of Business Standard must not use for their own profit financial information they receive in advance of its general publication, nor should they pass such information to others. They should not discuss an article planned by Business Standard with people who could benefit or suffer from its publication.

c) They must not write about companies, shares, securities or other investments in whose performance they know that they or their close families have a significant financial interest, without disclosing the interest to the Editor. Whether or not disclosure of investments has been made, it is each journalist's responsibility to reveal any possible conflict of interest-financial or otherwise-as it arises.

d) They must not buy or sell, either directly or through nominees or agents, shares, securities or other investments about which they have written recently or about which they intend to write in the near future.They should not make recommendations in the newspaper about investments in which they personally have an interest.

 

Confidential Sources

Journalists have a moral obligation to protect confidential sources of information. But this obligation is not superseded by their obligation to the organisation/the Editor/or anyone officiating as their supervisor to disclose the source in support of the authenticity of a story. The organisation/the Editor/or anyone officiating as their supervisor are in turn obliged to protect such confidential sources, divulged by the journalists under such circumstances.

 

Payment for Articles Journalists of Business Standard are prohibited from making any payment, directly or through agents, to anybody for obtaining any information.

 

Discrimination

a) Journalists of Business Standard must avoid prejudicial or pejorative reference to a person's race, colour, religion, sex or sexual orientation or to any physical or mental illness ordisability.

b) They must avoid publishing details of a person's race, colour, religion, sexual orientation, physical or mental illness or disability unless these are directly relevant to the story/report.

 

What is Public Interest

a) The public interest includes: Detecting or exposing crime or a serious misdemeanor; Protecting public health and safety; Preventing the public from being misled by some statement or action of an individual organisation.

b) Journalists of Business Standard should be prepared to give a full explanation to the Editor whenever required to demonstrate how a certain action was needed to serve the public interest.

c) There is a public interest in freedom of expression itself.

 

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