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Standard of Media Ethics

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Public Collegium for Press Complaints


By adopting this Standard of Media Ethics, the Russian mass media self-regulatory body:

  • assumes that each resolution taken by the Public Collegium for Information Dispute within the scope of its statutory powers should be fully and accurately developed following the journalism basic principles, standards and rules of conduct;
  • takes into account that Russia lacks national professional and ethical regulations, whether binding or designed to be used by journalists as guidelines, i.e. helping to confidently distinguish between the materials that are prescribed, approved or recommended in journalism from those regarded as disputable or unacceptable because of the ethical restrictions or express prohibitions set and supported by journalist communities;
  • recognises that it is fundamentally impossible to develop reference professional and ethical regulations (a global or European 'journalism code of conduct') or a universal journalism standard suitable for work in any conditions, including in countries which lack well-established values, including the value of the importance of journalism;
  • believes that, although 'universal' regulations cannot reasonably exist, this cannot prevent the development of strong professional values, standards and rules of conduct, or guidelines based on both the best international journalism practices and the expertise of high-quality Russian media;
  • takes into account the shortcomings and errors in a number of regulations designed and adopted in Russia decades ago as binding upon members of a specific professional association ( Russian Journalist Code of Professional Ethics , 1994) or a specific group of media organisations ( Television and Radio Broadcasting Charter , 1999);
  • notes that the fundamental changes in the journalistic situation caused by the emergence of new media and the migration of great amounts of mass media content to social media have raised and clarified the public demand for learning how to distinguish between bloggers and professional journalists :
  • definitely setting stricter requirements to the professional aspect of journalist work; to start with clarification and revisiting of the professional ethics concepts by Russian journalists;
  • takes advantage of its successful two-year practical work on the draft of the Standard of Media Ethics and the use of this draft as working reference regulations by both the regional Collegia for Press Complaints and the Association of Independent Regional Publishers (AIRP) .

By adopting this Standard of Media Ethics as a working guideline to be used by it in addressing specific complaints, the Collegium believes that following particular journalists' and media outlets' principles, standards and rules of conduct set out as the 'Collegium's Standard' (guaranteed to be consistent with the international concepts of journalism) will help to considerably reduce the risk of information disputes, improve the environment for press freedom and mass media credibility, and meet the interests of both Russians and Russian society in general.

The Collegium would like to emphasise that this Standard of Media Ethics neither supersedes or replaces any codes of journalist unions (associations) or any of the media organisation (media outlet) codes and/or their equivalents, nor creates any barriers or obstacles to enforcement thereof by members of media associations or any specific media organisation personnel.

The Collegium hopes that editorial staff, editors-in-chief and media owners will show professional and critical interest in this Standard of Media Ethics .

Principle 1. Enforcement of the right to information

Both the nation and each individual member of the nation have the right to reliable, accurate, complete and impartial information which promotes the formation of a realistic picture of the world in any user of journalist products.

Each person has the right to express their various opinions by using the media as tools of mass communication, civic education and cultural exchange.

A journalist must take every reasonable step to facilitate access to the media for the public and individuals who wish to contribute to the formation of a largely specific civic information and opinions.

Indicators: realistic picture of the world; the right of individuals to express their opinions in the media is enforced.

Professional rules and standards

Each journalist should take professional interest in the opinions of all the parties concerned as well as reflect these opinions in their publications.

Civic content (information from persons carrying out information work on their own initiative, bloggers) should be clearly differentiated from the content prepared by professional journalists and editorial staff.

Principle 2. Professional and social responsibility in journalism

Journalist work is to serve the community; in journalism, information is to be primarily understood as the common good. The latter means that each journalist is professionally responsible for the provision of true information both to certain social groups, which represent various public interests reflected by the media, and to society in general.

In journalism, professional and social responsibility means that in any situation and under any circumstances (except for emergencies where all the parties involved, whether due to the situation or by force of duty, should act in a particular manner), each journalist should follow their conscience, the fundamental norms and principles of professional ethics as well as the applicable occupational standards.

Indicators: professional responsibility is recognised; professional standards are readily followed; journalism is distinguished from everything which is not journalism.

Professional rules and standards

Professional journalists are not allowed to act (under the guise of or without disclosing their professional status) as public relations specialists or advertising experts or carry out stealth marketing, even if instructed to do so by their employer.

Journalism is incompatible with any form of involvement in the work of special services.

Journalism must not be part of any cyberwar, misuse of information or mind games targeted at media users.

Principle 3. Each journalist must make true and honest reports

A journalist should, in the first place, enforce the right of people to true, accurate and complete information about the facts and current events. Each journalist is personally responsible for the accuracy and completeness of the information on facts, and for honest, diligent and unbiased coverage of current events so that the information about those facts and events makes sense for individuals, social groups and society in general.

Journalists and editorial staff of the media must take reasonable care to avoid publishing inaccurate, misleading or corrupted information, including text and images used as visual explanation thereof.

Respect to society and their own profession means that journalists should respect the right of people to reply.

Indicators: neutrality; unbiased approach and position; information is verified; the right to reply is respected.

Professional rules and standards

Neither the editorial team nor a journalist is obliged to be neutral when referring to a conflict situation; both the editorial team and a journalist are free to take the position they think is correct, fair and consistent with their personal preferences and/or public demands. However, it is assumed that a journalist's honest name and reputation is at stake, so they must accurately select and present facts and report opinions as well as make a clear distinction between facts and comments/assumptions. Bias and prejudice are inappropriate in honest journalism, and any of their signs should be expelled by the journalist in cooperation with the editor.

The Collegium assumes that an honest journalist should:

  • collect information by only using honest approaches and methods;
  • make a clear distinction between news (news information) and opinions/comments in a way understandable for readers;
  • only disseminate as informational the reports he/she reasonably believes to be accurate because they have been duly verified by the use of the verification tools available to the journalist and the media;
  • highlight and separate from accurate information by using specific professional methods (adequate marking) any rumours and data which could not have been verified for reasons beyond the control of the journalist or editorial team; the attempted verification should also be mentioned;
  • make a distinction between archival information and news , between documentary photos, films, video/audio content and any materials prepared by the use of the editing techniques which can create an impression that it is documentary content ;
  • specify the sources of information whenever possible.

The Collegium believes that any editorial office which values the honest names and professional reputation of its journalists should meet the reasonable request of any individual and organisation for exercising their right to reply to inaccurate publications.

Principle 4. Professional integrity in journalism

Professional integrity means that a journalist has the responsibility and the right to freely and without fear of retaliation refuse to perform the tasks that are contrary to their principles and beliefs.

Professional integrity means that a journalist must keep confidential the source of information which was provided on the condition of anonymity.

Professional integrity means that a journalist may not represent private or corporate interests that conflict with the common good (public interest).

Professional integrity means respecting others' intellectual property rights unconditionally, including, but not limited to, avoiding any form of plagiarism.

Professional integrity is demonstrated in the readiness to admit and correct a mistake.

Indicators: freedom of and responsibility for a moral choice; a disclosing party's confidentiality is ensured; conflict of interest is prevented; mature approach is used to addressing mistakes.

Professional rules and standards

Confidential information. Journalists have a moral responsibility for keeping their sources of information confidential. A journalist's professional association or professional organisation should define the level of protection of the disclosing party's confidentiality preferred or acceptable for the journalist.

The Collegium recommends that journalists never break their promise of confidentiality given to a disclosing party.

The right to make and the responsibility to correct a mistake. Like any other person, a journalist has the right to make mistakes. It is a journalist's duty to use all the available tools and methods to notify the consumer of the information about the journalist's mistake. Such notification should be made promptly and honestly as well as maintain the journalist's reputation and professional honour.

If any mistakes or significant inaccuracies or false or distorted data are found in a publication, the editorial team shall be deemed to have professionally addressed the situation if they have immediately corrected the journalist's or editor's mistake in compliance with the honest journalism principles and in a manner understandable to the person concerned.

Apologising. The decision to make an editorial apology is the authority of the editorial management. When professional or common moral grounds for apologising become obvious, the decision to apologise is a matter of conscience and professional responsibility of the journalist. The editorial team should neither interfere with the journalist's intent to make a personal apology in public nor should they force the journalist into this form of response to professional misconduct or personal moral mistake.

Principle 5. Respect for privacy and human dignity

Professional standards in journalism include honouring the right to privacy and human dignity in accordance with the provisions of international and national laws.

Respect for human dignity is reflected in professional ethical attitude to the reputation of the individuals targeted by the media, and in the refusal to use slander, insult and defamation.

Respect for human dignity means that a journalist is aware of and can professionally prevent the risk of discrimination against an individual on the grounds of their race, gender, sexual orientation, language, religion, political or other beliefs, ethnicity or social background.

Respect for human dignity also means that a journalist is capable of moral self-restraint, follows the professional prudence principle and understands that it is unacceptable to use a sensational approach when interviewing people who are in a state of grief or shock in order to report armed conflicts, catastrophes and natural disasters, disease or death.

Indicators: human dignity is respected; human rights are prioritised.

Professional rules and standards

The right to privacy is the right to live one's own life with a minimum of interference. This right covers an individual's personal, family and home life, physical and spiritual integrity, honour and reputation. Respect for privacy means that a journalist may not misrepresent a person, disclose any of their disadvantageous facts not related to public interest, publish private photographs without the person's consent, demonstrate any unreasonable, unacceptable or unwanted behaviour, misuse personal correspondence, disclose information provided or received on condition of anonymity.

The right of privacy may not be referred to by individuals whose own actions contribute to the dissemination of defamatory information about them.

The privacy of public figures and persons with prominent social standing should be protected, unless it may impact major social events. An individual involved in the news may not be deprived of their right of privacy.

Interference with privacy . It is unacceptable for a journalist to interfere with one's privacy, including the sanctity of their home, personal and family details, correspondence and health information.

Cases of overwhelming public interest are exceptions to this general professional rule.

The legitimacy and necessity of breaking the interference with privacy prohibition by a journalist or the editorial team should be proactively substantiated by the editorial team and may be subject to special critical review by the media self-regulation body.

A journalist may not process visual information electronically to misrepresent people or events.

A journalist may not unreasonably (i.e. without the signs of express or overwhelming public interest) spy on an object of their professional interest; a journalist should receive consent for taking pictures of and/or filming a person at all times, except when such person is in a public place.

The risk of discrimination . A journalist should use every endeavour to avoid even unintentional stimulation of discrimination against a person on the grounds of their race, gender, sexual orientation, language, religion, political or other beliefs, ethnicity or social background. A journalist should refrain from any derogatory innuendoes or comments about an individual's race, gender, sexual orientation, language, religion, political or other beliefs, ethnicity or social background. This kind of personal data can only be published where there is express public interest which can be clearly understood from the journalistic text.

Situations of grief and shock . A journalist may not present to the public any shocking details of crimes, accidents, natural disasters or the details and circumstances of one's disease, dying or death. Any exceptions made for the situations of intense interest must be clearly and professionally substantiated. The same rules apply to visual content (photographs and videos).

Individuals in a situation of personal grief or shock should be treated with empathy and respect. If published, information received from such persons can cause them even more suffering.

Information on children. The Collegium strongly recommends that anyone planning to publish any information about children or teenagers should consult the provisions of special reference documents such as Guidelines and Principles for Reporting on Issues Involving Children (adopted at the Annual Congress of the International Federation of Journalists in Seoul in 2001) and the UNICEF Ethical Guidelines for Reporting on Children .

Media coverage of crimes . Noting the presumption of innocence principle as one of the key civilisational values, the Collegium would like to reiterate the well-known provision of the Declaration of the Court Reporter Guild : 'investigative journalism cannot be prevented by the mere legal concept of presumption of innocence.' Supporting this idea, the Collegium wishes to reiterate the special responsibility a journalist has when they interview a person being publicly accused by the journalist (editorial team). Unless specific consent has been obtained, journalists should avoid mentioning the identity of family members and friends of suspects or convicts when making their accusations.

Particular care must be taken to prevent any further harm to children who are witnesses or victims of crime.

Principle 6. Making a distinction between public interest and public curiosity

Professional standards of journalism include respect for diversity of public interests, democratic institutions and social morality.

A journalist should distinguish between the public interests in a broad sense and public curiosity inherent in human nature but not directly related to the issues of public authority, the function of democratic institutions or the prospects of social development.

A journalist should differentiate the public interests they seek to meet in the media on a daily basis from the public interest narrowly defined but extremely important for both the profession and society, which causes them to make informed, morally hazardous professional efforts when exceptions to some restrictions or even prohibitions of journalism rules are possible (such efforts must be substantiated and driven by a clear necessity).

Indicators: ability to identify a situation essential to social well-being and development, critical both for the society and profession, and making a journalist breach professional standards.

Professional rules and standards

Taking the approach of the UK Editors' Code of Practice (2004), the Collegium agrees that the public interest in journalism includes, but is not confined to:

  • detecting or exposing crime or serious impropriety;
  • protecting public health and safety;
  • preventing the public from being misled by an action or statement of an individual or organisation.

Whenever there is a reference to the public interest, the Collegium expects editors to explain how their actions based on such reference have served to protect the public interest in question.

Principle 7. Respect for and protection of cultural diversity

A journalist should adhere to the professional principles, that are based on the high humanistic ideas, and respect the special character, values and achievements of each culture, including the right of each nation to freely choose and develop its political, social, economic and cultural systems.

Indicators: ability to check professional values against general cultural values; using professional tools to oppose the destruction of society's cultural norms protecting the common good.

Professional rules and standards

In stressful situations which can emerge nowadays in any society under the pressure of terrorism, minority discrimination, bigotry or war, the media has a moral responsibility to protect democratic values and human dignity, encourage the search for peaceful settlement, nurture tolerance, refuse to participate in any activities stimulating intolerance in society. The media and journalists must use a professional approach in order to resist violence, hatred, confrontation, discrimination on cultural, religious and other grounds.

Principle 8. Protection of the right to freedom of speech

A journalist should consistently oppose any attempted censorship of their professional activities, understand the meaning of the protection of freedom of speech, contribute to the development of free, independent and accountable journalism as the utmost prerequisite for the existence and development of a democratic state and civil society.

In their relations with public authorities or economic organisations, a journalist should avoid doing anything which has the potential to undermine the journalist's independence or make text consumers doubt their critical approach and impartiality.

A journalist should value the trust of their audience in their personality and texts, remain editorially independent while taking each reasonable step to prevent the media from transforming into power/anti-power or getting out of democratic civil control.

In their relationships with colleagues, journalists should seek to maintain a fair competition/professional solidarity balance.

A journalist should understand the media's social accountability as an essential component of the stability of both the profession and civil society.

Indicators: the reputation component; professional consistency; accountability.

Professional rules and standards

A journalist and the editorial team must respond to any identified sign of attempted 'indirect' censorship by publishing information about such attempt in the first place.

A journalist should avoid both actual and perceived conflicts of interest. A journalist, therefore, may not:

  • accept any gifts or offers which could undermine their status of an independent, honest and impartial worker of the media;
  • use their professional status to exert pressure on any person for the purpose of taking advantage or meeting the journalist's personal needs;
  • use unpublished materials for their own or a third party benefit;
  • offer the editors materials containing hidden advertising. A journalist's words and deeds must guard the professional dignity and the prestige of their work. A journalist should not cooperate with media which tolerates the violations of the honest journalism principles.

A journalist should agree that accountability is the norm for the media in a democratic society and, therefore, it is reasonable and appropriate to have any professional and ethical conflicts related to their publications settled by the national media self-regulatory body.

Special notes

If at any stage, a text or a situation referred to the Collegium for settlement as part of an information dispute is found to be inconsistent with the norms of journalism and in marked contrast to the provisions of this Standard of Media Ethics , the Collegium reserves the right to dismiss such dispute declaring itself out of jurisdiction. An ad hoc committee which began the processing of a complaint per se is expected to carry out a qualified assessment of the elements of the text/situation in dispute that either cause the committee members to doubt that the Collegium is dealing with journalism/work of a journalist or make a definitive, supposedly expert conclusion.

The Collegium would like to note that this version of the Standard of Media Ethics does not regulate the relationships between a journalist/an editorial team with bloggers and the 'new media' in general, the significant yet special, 'non-linear' actors of the contemporary mass media landscape, essentially not accountable to consumers either professionally or ethically (having no media ethical responsibilities) as in journalism or the work of 'traditional' media editors. The Collegium is planning to develop a special section within this document at a later stage, having reviewed the international and Russian cases of referring to assumed norms in this area, and, therefore, recommends that the media editorial teams:

a) take into account the general approach and key provisions related to the media ecology formation practicalities proposed by the Recommendation CM/Rec (2017) of the Committee of Ministers to member states on a new notion of media and *the Annex 'Criteria for identifying media and guidance for a graduated and differentiated response' to Recommendation CM/Rec (2017) of the Committee of Ministers to member states on a new notion of media;

b) use as a model or a guideline the structured editorial approach developed by the editors of the Echo of Moscow website in the relations with bloggers.

With regard to any information disputes related to blogging made by the workers of specific Russian media, the Collegium:

a) will address this category of disputes temporarily being guided by the specialised BBC Academy recommendations until the Collegium develops a sufficiently reliable system of criteria, assessments, and guidelines (based on the Russian practices in dealing with the emergence and settlement of this kind of conflicts);

b) recommends that the media editors formulate their own rules for blogging made by their staff by using the specialised BBC Academy recommendations and respective Russian experience, whenever possible reviewing and analysing their own media best practices and expert suggestions.

The Collegium invites the media editorial teams to notify their staff without unnecessary delay on the adoption of such rules and post them on the media website so that they can be accessed by the regular users (clients) of the media and the other actors of the mass communication area.

The Collegium believes that if a media editorial team notifies its consumers and clients (readers, listeners, viewers) about the text, contents or at least a brief overview of a specific resolution passed by the Collegium in respect of a complaint about such media's particular publication, it will be a sign of the editorial team's professional integrity and social accountability as well as an anticipated demonstration of their professional self-esteem and respect for their audience, consumers and clients.

The Collegium would like to thank everyone who is willing to disseminate and promote the provisions of this document in both the multifaceted area of work of the Russian media and their own editorial zone in the first place.

The current (third) Collegium understands that the Special Notes part of this Standard of Media Ethics must be substantially improved and is anticipating doing so prior to the expiry of its appointment.

The Collegium is planning to use the lessons learnt from the implementation of this Standard of Media Ethics elaborating both its specific provisions and the approach to a range of issues which have not been so far regulated herein and will appreciate everyone's efforts in supporting and providing hands-on assistance with the work performed by the Collegium in this regard.

Annex 1 to Standard of Media Ethics adopted by Public Collegium for Press Complaints



The rapid development of information and communication technology, dramatic change in the media ecosystem, emergence of new actors in the media environment and new media content producers (from bloggers, robotic media, virtual reality and augmented reality experts to social media users and the so-called 'citizen journalists') have caused challenges and risks that modern journalists have never faced before, which require a thorough update and clarification of the professional ethics standards. These main risks and challenges are the following: the speed and globality of information dissemination; visual content is gradually replacing the 'text-centric' media; the loss of online 'privacy'; the boundaries of a private life are getting smaller while the author can still remain anonymous; the development of technology for copying, processing, dissemination and manipulation of information; etc.

In these contexts, the significance of some traditional values of journalism decrease (e.g. published material will only remain exclusive and unique for a limited period of time before it is reposted online), while others become much more appreciated (e.g. the value of accuracy: the need for fact-checking and verification of information is higher in the media environment with multiple performers), and other values are getting more challenging in practice (e.g. the widespread rewriting techniques have reshaped the take on literary property: compliance with the plagiarism intolerance principle today means making mandatory citations rather than total refusal to use other authors' materials).

However, problems are caused by both the new 'universal' offline principles of journalist ethics and the ethical postulates which additionally emerge as a result of social transformation of the value perceptions and the digital audience's updated needs.

It seems fair to say that the pre-Internet journalism values of impartiality, accuracy and pre-publication fact-checking are currently clashing with the digital journalism culture with its emphasis on simplicity, emotionality and the possibility to make clarifications and other amendments after publication. This does not mean, however, that the professional journalist community refuses to actively oppose against things which are morally unacceptable - it only means they recognise that today's mass media operate in the context of high mobility and the 'fluidity' of the media environment with its technologies which change before the new rules of work can be formulated.

Realising that a) a professional journalist can exist and operate in the current media environment playing many roles at the same time - of a media worker, social media user, blogger, etc.; and b) the contemporary media world lacks the uniform and versatile ethics policies (bloggers, digital photographers, entertainment content producers, etc. set for themselves different rules of conduct online while actively contributing to the creation and dissemination of information), the Collegium believes that this does not prevent anyone from the development of strong ethical values, norms and principles of a professional journalist behaviour in the new media environment and the complicated media ecology.

The Collegium understands that no ethics policy can regulate any of the professional conflicts that may arise or propose the universal standards suitable for work in any context, therefore, the Collegium recommends that the editorial teams comply with the following general guidelines for journalists working in the new media environment.

Journalist behaviour in social media

Social media is a sort of information space where the mass media audience currently 'lives', and a significant portion the media content flows to. Social media are also the media environment where a professional journalist can play the role of both an agent of a press corporation (e.g. on the official pages of media outlets) and as a private person, which creates the ground for a conflict of interest between:

a) the corporate interests of the editorial team and the journalist's right to personal judgement and freedom of speech;

b) confidentiality of internal media information and the journalist's 'continuous publicity';

c) the content created for 'home use' and press materials that serve as the background context of the social media account;

d) the publisher's institutional reputation and the journalist's personal image.

Professional rules and standards

The second-pair-of-eyes rule. Any content posted by a journalist in the social media on behalf of or under the name of the editorial team or any of its divisions is subject to editorial approval, editing or moderation. The editorial team's official account may contain publications in various formats (texts, videos, images, etc.), the style and forms of maintaining web pages can be different, but the professional and ethical regulations are the same as those applied to the editorial team's main activities.

Corporate responsibility in journalism. Even if journalists use social media as private persons, other users perceive them as representatives of their respective media outlets, which means that journalists must not undermine the audience's belief in the impartiality, independence and competence of the organisation. A journalist who has disclosed their affiliation with a specific media outlet should not share any confidential corporate information, run any political campaigns or criticise their colleagues. Journalists should make a disclaimer that any opinions expressed by them in their personal accounts are those of their own and they do not purport to reflect the opinions of the editorial team.

Professional responsibility in journalism. On their personal pages in the social media, journalists should comply with each professional standard related to respect for privacy and human dignity, avoid being offensive to people or events, be careful in their statements on the issues that can potentially cause public conflict. As in their professional activities, they must make sure that no inaccurate, misleading or distorted content is published in the social media under their name.

Interaction with blogosphere and UGC (user-generated content)

With the development of blogging (online journaling) and UGC (user-generated content) current information has become faster and more complete, yet it sparked controversy about the responsibility for accuracy and the amount of the content published

in the new media. Working with bloggers and using the content created by non-journalism organisations, journalists should understand that, by contrast with 'traditional' press, these media actors have no professional or ethical responsibility to society and, therefore, it is journalists' duty to exercise reasonable care disseminating such content.

Professional rules and standards

Differentiation of user-generated content. Any user-generated content (such as posts made by persons carrying out information work on their own initiative, news from bloggers, etc.) should be clearly differentiated from the content prepared by professional journalists and editorial teams.

Verification and fact-checking. When using any content created and posted by bloggers or other online users, each journalist should thoroughly check such content to make sure that it is accurate, impartial, honest, respecting personal dignity and is compliant with other general norms and standards of ethics applicable to the professional media.

Labelling unverified or erroneous information. Any relevant but not finally verified information received from a blogger or other online user should be labelled as such. If new facts are further discovered or it becomes clear that a previous publication contained errors, a journalist should amend such content and/or add an error notification.

Robot automation of news journalism

Algorithm-driven technology, including robots writing news stories, is no longer a rare exception in journalism and it is becoming the new normal in the foreign and Russian press. However, the algorithm-driven tools, which not just collect and structure information but also highlight newsworthy events, generate text and perform many more things, have increased the demand for special journalism roboethics which the journalist community is only beginning to comprehend.

Professional rules and standards

The authorship and responsibility issue. There is no consensus about the authorship of the machine-generated content (the area of responsibility of programmers, journalists and managers), but the editorial team and the journalists who use such content are still responsible for the publication of false, misinterpreted or distorted data. This is because journalists must verify each source of information, including internal and algorithm-driven ones.

The labelling issue. There is no consensus on whether to label machine-generated content as such, yet it is better to mention it to the audience so that they know they are reading a text created by a robot.

Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) journalism

VR and AR journalism (also known as 'immersion journalism' or 'presence journalism') has become a part of the modern media and offers new breakthroughs in the media enhancement as technology continues to develop. However, a journalist's reputation could be undermined if technology innovation and the emotional involvement of the audience are prioritised over the accuracy and impartiality of the content.

Professional rules and standards

Fair presentation of images. A journalist using VR and AR technology and, therefore, having multiple options for digital processing and modification of the 'picture' for the sake of influencing the audience, must nevertheless comply with the standards of professional ethics, particularly provide an accurate and fair representation of the scene.

Limits of 'immersion'. A journalist using VR and AR technology to increase empathy in the viewers should be careful about the effects their publication may have on the audience: a journalist should add a warning of shocking or scary content, observe the personal data protection principle, etc.