9 11 2007

I mentioned a while ago that I was going to write a defense of al-Jazeera, but their code of ethics says why I love them better than I ever could. If CNN has such a code in their “about” section, it’s very difficult to find.

There are 10 points, and every progressing number fills me with love, but for the sake of brevity I’ll just quote the first three and you can check the rest out yourself.

1. Adhere to the journalistic values of honesty, courage, fairness, balance, independence, credibility and diversity, giving no priority to commercial or political considerations over professional ones.

2. Endeavour to get to the truth and declare it in our dispatches, programmes and news bulletins unequivocally in a manner which leaves no doubt about its validity and accuracy.

3. Treat our audiences with due respect and address every issue or story with due attention to present a clear, factual and accurate picture while giving full consideration to the feelings of victims of crime, war, persecution and disaster, their relatives and our viewers, and to individual privacy and public decorum. Read the rest of Al-Jazeera’s code of ethics

It’s fair to say that having a good code of ethics doesn’t mean an organization will always follow it, but if you compare al-Jazeera’s coverage of world events to say, CNN’s, I think you’ll agree that a good code of ethics definitely helps.