Principles of journalistic ethics

OKO.press journalists and editors are required to observe the principles of ethics that apply to the editorial team as a medium and as a non-governmental organisation. The set of principles consists of requirements and recommendations about the journalistic workshop, contacts with external persons and organizations, as well as principles of social coexistence.
Polish version

I. Principles of verifying and reporting information

  1. 1. When describing reality, journalists and editors aim towards reaching the truth, avoiding any uncertain information and unreasonable generalizations.
  2. 2. When preparing publications, OKO.press journalists must pursue the principles of journalistic integrity and diligence.
  3. 3.Descriptions of events should be based on reliable sources. Whenever possible, there
    should be at least two independent sources. One source may be used if we are certain that it is credible.
  4. 4. Whenever possible, descriptions of events from individuals should be confronted with documents, audio and video materials, etc.
  5. 5.People described in publications (especially those with negative overtones for them) should be given the opportunity to respond to the information that is published (in particular to the accusations made against them). This does not apply to publications repeating facts that are already commonly known and have previously been confirmed, as well as the verification of public statements, for instance in the form of fact-checking.
  6. 6. Analyses of events, facts and social phenomena should be based on a reliable assessment, confrontation with the facts, verified statistical data, research conducted by verified and reliable research centres and opinions of experts in a given field.
  7. 7. OKO.press journalists and editors are required to clearly separate the description of events and facts from their own opinions.
  8. 8. OKO.press journalists and editors are required to quote the words of their interviewees and statements of public personalities in accordance with their wording and sense; statements must not be presented in a false context or shortened in a biased manner.
  9. 9. OKO.press journalists are required to authorize statements in accordance with the applicable regulations.
  10. 10. OKO.press journalists and editors are required to correct published information if it is found to be untrue.
    Information about the corrections made to materials that have already been published must be posted in the OKO.press website at the beginning of the material to which the correction applies.
  11. 11. OKO.press journalists and editors are required to observe journalistic confidentiality.
  12. 12. OKO.press journalists and editors are required to protect their sources and must not disclose their identity to third parties.
  13. 13. OKO.press journalists may only organize journalistic provocations with the consent of the management of the editorial office.

II. Contacts with external people and organisations

  1. 1. Employees of the editorial office must not inform external entities about the work being conducted by OKO.press journalists on publications or disclose details of this work, unless this has been agreed upon with the management of the editorial office.
  2. 2. OKO.press editorial staff may not accept any financial benefits from lobbyists, political parties, business entities, which includes accepting invitations to restaurants.
  3. 3. It is inadmissible to publish sponsored materials or materials constituting hidden advertising of business entities or political organizations.
  4. 4. Cooperation or promotion may only apply to public benefit organizations, pro bono activities, campaigns promoting the values on which OKO.press is founded (freedom of speech, minority rights, the rule of law, social justice) and other promotional campaigns, promotional campaigns, to which the editorial board, agrees, as long as they are not of a commercial nature and do not involve financial benefits.
  5. 5. OKO.press journalists and editors may not sign advertising contracts with external
    entities unless approved by the management of the editorial office.
  6. 6. OKO.press journalists and editors may not be members of political parties or participate in political activities (e.g. election campaigns as experts, etc.).
  7. 7. OKO.press journalists and editors may not provide advisory or PR services to political parties.
  8. 8. When preparing and publishing journalistic materials, journalists and editors should only take into account their quality, truthfulness and reliability of the analysis. It is inadmissible to be guided by political sympathies when assessing the suitability of materials for publication.
  9. 9. OKO.press journalists should not publish articles that could expose them to accusations of a conflict of interest (especially if this is related to their finances).

III. Principles of social coexistence

  1. 1. Journalists and editors are required to look after OKO.press’s good image.
  2. 2. It is unacceptable to state and publish false content or content that insults or slanders other people and organizations in public space (including in the social media).
  3. 3. OKO.press journalists and editors are required to act in compliance with the law.
  4. 4. The only permissible exception is that of activities in the public interest, especially and exclusively in the case of a conflict of values, where arriving at the truth, determining the course of events or establishing the facts, behind which there is an important public interest, may involve a risk of a conflict with the applicable law. In every such case, OKO.press journalists and editors are required to inform their immediate supervisors of
    such a risk.
  5. 5. At OKO.press, we are particularly concerned about the safety of people who voice critical opinions about the authorities, as well as opinions that can expose them to hate campaigns or other forms of harassment. People mentioned in our materials must not be pressured into revealing their identity.
  6. 6. If action is taken by the authorities, which is in conflict with human and civil rights, such as unjustified police intervention or harassment of protesters, OKO.press will report on the events and allow the people being victimised to speak up, even if this means becoming exposed to conflict with the authorities.

IV. Principles of correction

  1. 1. OKO.press journalists and editors are required to correct published information if it is found to be untrue. Information about the corrections made to materials that have already been published must be posted in the OKO.press website at the beginning of the material to which the correction applies.
  2. 2. This principle is applicable, even if nobody draws our attention to this or requests a correction.
  3. 3. OKO.press journalists and editors are open to criticism of OKO.press journalistic material, provided this criticism has rational grounds or arises from a different socially valuable worldview. In such a case, they should encourage the preparation of a discussion with OKO.press.
  4. 4. OKO.press takes advantage of criticism and errors pointed out by its readers on an ongoing basis. Our readers frequently review our texts and other materials on the OKO.press FB profile and in the comments on the OKO.press website. In addition, they can submit comments to [email protected]