Follow us on twitter

Subscribe to Newsletter

Calendar of Events

See More


Code of Ethics

Share this page

In 1998, the Code of Ethics governing the Unions-members of the Federation was passed unanimously at the 2nd Meeting of the Panhellenic Federation of Journalists' Unions (POESY), and adopted immediately by all its members: Journalists' Union of the Athens Daily Newspapers (ESIEA), Journalists' Union of Macedonia and Thrace Daily Newspapers (ESIEMTH), Journalists' Union of the Daily Newspapers of Thessaly, Central Greece and Evia (ESIETHCGE), Journalists' Union of the Peloponnese, Epirus and the Islands (ESIEPEI) and Periodical and Electronic Press Union (ESPIT).


The Code of Professional Ethics and Social Responsibility of journalists-members of the Journalists Unions aims to:

  • Reaffirm and ensure the social role of the journalist in the new conditions shaped by gigantism, oligopoly in ownership status quo, the increased range and influence of mass media and the globalisation of communication;
  • Discourage and resist any attempt of state or other party to influence through self-determination of standards of responsible professional conduct;
  • Ensure freedom of information and expression, the autonomy and dignity of the journalist and defend the freedom of the press for the benefit of democracy and society; To this end, journalists commit themselves to applying and defending the following fundamental principles.

Article 1:

The right of people and citizens to inform and be freely informed is inalienable. Information is a public good and not a commodity or a means of propaganda. Journalists are entitled and must:

a. Consider the disclosure of the whole truth as their foremost duty towards society and themselves;

b. Consider distortion, concealment, falsification and fabrication of real events an affront against society and an act demeaning to themselves act;

c. Respect and uphold the distinction between news, commentary and advertising messages, the necessary correlation between title and text, and the accurate use of photographs, images and graphic depictions or other representations;

d. Disseminate information and news unbiased by their personal political, social, religious, racial and cultural views or beliefs;

e. Investigate, with a sense of responsibility and awareness of the consequences, the accuracy of the information or the news which they are to report;

f. Redress without delay, with appropriate presentation and suitable emphasis, inaccurate information and false allegations which are an affront to the honour and reputation of citizens and people, and print or present the opposite view without, necessarily, a rejoinder that would place such journalist in a privileged position vis-à-vis the injured party.

Article 2:

Journalism as a profession, but also as a social service, entails rights, duties and obligations. Journalists are entitled and must:

a. Treat citizens equally, without making any discrimination as to national origin, sex, race, religion, political beliefs, economic situation and social status;

b. Respect the individuality, dignity and inviolable privacy of people and citizens; Only when required by the right to information, they can draw on elements of the private life of individuals who perform a public function or hold a particular position, exert influence in society and are subject to public scrutiny, , always in a responsible manner;

c. Respect the presumption of innocence and not assume the outcome of judicial decisions;

d. Respect the protection of minors and individuals with special needs and serious health problems, as such is provided for by international conventions;

e. Treat citizens with discretion and sensibility, when they are in situations of grief, mental shock and pain, as well as those who have manifest mental health problems, avoiding to draw attention to their personal particularity.

f. Not reveal, directly or indirectly, the identity of rape victims who survived the criminal act.

g. Check and substantiate information concerning sensitive areas of health, where misleading information and sensational coverage can provoke unjustified confusion in public opinion;

h. Gather and cross-check information and ensure its substantiation (documents, photographs, cassettes, television images) by applying legitimate methods compliant with journalistic ethics, always disclosing their journalistic identity;

i. Adhere to professional confidentiality as to the source of the information which was obtained in strict confidence;

j. Respect the standards of off-the-record information insofar as they have undertaken such commitment;

Article 3:

Equal right to speech and pluralism, the lifeblood of democracy, are discredited in conditions of state monopoly control of the mass media and are undermined by the concentration of ownership in the hands of mammoth for-profit enterprises which view public opinion as being a consumer whose views, habits and behaviour by and large, they seek to manipulate; For this reason, journalists are entitled and must:

a. Vigorously defend democracy which ensures free press and the unobstructed exercise of the journalistic profession;

b. Reject and condemn manifestations of state authoritarianism and any arbitrary acts on the part of mass media owners, especially those of oligopolies;

c. Defend editorial independence in their workplace and to refuse to carry out any assignment contrary to the principles of journalistic ethics;

d. Refuse to edit any news, commentary or article and broadcast production at the suggestion of their seniors or employers, if their content does not correspond to reality and to condemn any falsification, unbeknown to them, of their journalistic product.

Article 4:

Surplus of labour in the area of journalism accentuates the preconditions for the manifestation of exploitation phenomena, such as: Unpaid or symbolically remunerated labour, the infringement of contractual obligations and codes of conduct etc. For this reason, journalists are entitled and must:

a. Support and underpin the activities of their trade union organisation aimed at improving remuneration and employment conditions in the mass media;

b. Reject any attempt to restrict their labour rights in the workplace and any violation of ethical standards;

c. Refrain from exercising or accepting any form of discrimination based on sex or years of service of their colleagues.

Article 5:

Transparency in financial relationships constitutes a fundamental element of the credibility, prestige and professional dignity of journalists who must:

a. Neither pursue nor accept payment for journalistic work from secret funds of state agencies and public or private organisations funds;

b. Neither pursue nor accept any sinecure or remunerated position related to their specialty in press office, public agencies or private enterprises which may cast doubt on their professional autonomy and independence;

c. Neither pursue nor accept the promotional use of their name, voice or image, except for public benefit purposes;

d. Neither report nor exploit for own benefit exclusive information which influences the course of stock exchange prices and the market;

e. To neither pursue nor accept any monetary benefits and benefits in kind which compromises their credibility and dignity and influences their independence and impartiality.

Article 6:

Solidarity among colleagues and mutual respect of journalists contribute positively to the collective professional objectives and the public image of the journalistic profession. For this reason, journalists are entitled and must:

a. Respect the individuality of their colleagues; Not level unfounded accusations against them and to avoid personal recriminations both publicly and in the workplace;

b. Consider any plagiarism to be a grave and unprofessional act;

c. Not appropriate the work of their colleagues; Always make a reference to the name of the author whose texts or extracts are used;

d. Cite the source of information which has already been published or reported;

Article 7:

The gigantism of mass media and globalisation of communication have significantly increased the educational and cultural role of both the electronic and printed press. Given their additional responsibilities under the new circumstances, journalists must:

a. Contribute to the enhancement of journalistic discourse, avoiding grammatical, syntactic and semantic blatant errors;

b. Avoid vulgarisms, vulgarity and linguistic barbarity, observing, even in satire and caricature, the standards of professional ethics and social responsibility;

c. Protect the Greek language from the excessive use of foreign words and terms;

d. Creatively contribute to the protection of our national tradition and to safeguard our cultural heritage.

Article 8:

The obligations of journalists arising from this Code do not entail any restriction on the freedom of expression.

July 1998