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Latvian Union of Journalists Code of Ethics

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Adopted at the Conference of the Latvian Union of Journalists on 28 April 1992.


  1. Freedom of speech and freedom of the press are basic elements of democracy. A free independent press, radio and television are the most important guarantee of the democratic development of the society.
  2. The mass media must defend the freedom of speech and freedom of press. They should not submit to any influence, that can limit the free flow of information and the usage of sources or limit the debate on any issue having significance for society.
  3. The duty of mass media is to protect human rights.


  1. The main task of a journalist is to provide society with true and verified information.
  2. The facts should be set forth objectively and clearly, stressing major links and with no misrepresentations.
  3. A journalist carries a personal responsibility for the information presented and its interpretation.
  4. A journalist should refuse assignments contrary to his/ her convictions.
  5. A journalist must respect intellectual property and not allow plagiarism.


  1. As is stated in the Press Law, the editor is responsible for the information presented on radio, on television or in the press. He/ she should guarantee the flow or free and proper information, as well as the free exchange of opinions.
  2. The newsroom should guard their integrity, so that they stay free to act independently of any persons or groups who would like to exercise influence on them.


  1. A journalist has no right to reveal a source without its permission, except if it is demanded by a court.
  2. In particular, consideration should be shown for people who cannot be expected to know the consequences of the information and statements they give.

A journalist should care never to take advantage of the emotions and feelings of other people, of their ignorance or their failing power of judgement.


  1. A journalist should be critical in the choice of sources. The information should be checked and statements quoted should be verified.
  2. In his writings, a journalist must always respect a person's private life, nationality, race and religion.
  3. In the publication, factual information must be clearly and unmistakably separated from comments.
  4. There should be clear limits between the advertising and the author's material. The latter should not imitate the advertisements, as such publications create doubts about the objectiveness of the newsroom as well as about the independence of the mass media.
  5. Special attention should be paid to using pictures out of their original context. Manipulation is inadmissible, as it generates wrong ideas. A photomontage should be marked as such or in the caption of the picture.
  6. A journalist must pay a special attention when reporting from the law courts. The question of guilt should only be settled when a duly enforceable verdict has been issued.
  7. If inaccurate information has been printed, an apology for the mistake should be forthcoming as soon as possible and it should be placed so as to be clearly visible.
  8. Space should be made available as soon as possible for responses from persons or institutions which have been made the objects of attacks.
  9. The author of material is entitled to see it after it has been processed by the journalist and before it is published; it can be published only with the acceptance of the author.


  1. A journalist must respect democratic institutions and moral standards.
  2. A journalist should stand up for human values - peace, democracy, human rights, people's rights to self-determination.
  3. The journalist of Latvia, while respecting the national values of other nations, should hold in high esteem the history, culture, national symbols, independence and freedom of Latvia.