OANA CODE OF PRACTICE AND EDITORIAL GUIDELINES
The Organisation of Asian-Pacific News Agencies represents a diversity of news providers and sources from across a wide region of the globe.
OANA acknowledges that this diversity also brings a range of political, cultural and social outlooks that inform the news content generated by these agencies.
OANA encourages this diversity in order to provide a balance of news and information to the rest of the world.
OANA recognises the cultural norms and sensitivities of member countries, and how those unique issues may affect journalism practices at a local level.
OANA also upholds the principles that guide journalism to allow for independent and unbiased news coverage.
This document outlines these principles, as well as providing the ethics and standards to which all member agencies should adhere.
ETHICS AND STANDARDS
OANA values its reputation as a reliable source of news and information.
All information comment and opinion must be authoritatively sourced and verified.
Photographic images must not be altered in a way that misrepresents the subject matter.
OANA does not promote particular views or commercial interests, either through undue emphasis or by supressing relevant material.
OANA always seeks to include a fair balance of all views.
Any comment or conjecture by writers must be identified as such.
OANA does not sanction misrepresentation, deceit or subterfuge to obtain information.
OANA members should ensure that their journalists clearly identify themselves when interviewing and gathering information.
OANA members should ensure that their journalists do not obtain information clandestinely by using listening devices or by intercepting telephone conversations.
OANA does not sanction unnecessary emphasis on personal characteristics, including gender, religion, minority groups, sexual orientation, race, colour or physical or mental disability.
OANA members should ensure their journalists respect privacy unless it interferes with the publication of matters of public policy or of significant public interest.
Approaches to people suffering trauma or grief should be undertaken with care and sensitivity.
OANA recognises that social media are useful news gathering tools and, if used effectively, can promote the reach and activities of OANA.
However, the use of social networking sites should be carefully governed to ensure adherence to the tenets of accuracy, verification and fairness.
OANA EDITORIAL GUIDELINES
OANA has established broadcasting principles regarding coverage of terrorist attacks, acts of violence and natural disasters.
1. Acts responsibly in covering terrorism, acts of violence and natural disasters bearing in mind the public interest in full and accurate reporting, universal human rights, national security and public order.
2. Refuses to publish stories or visual material that will be deemed discriminatory on the basis of class, race, language, religion, gender, and region that will generate feelings of hostility among people and further incite them to violence and terror.
3. Abstains from all sorts of reporting that vilifies groups of people, encourages extremism, or generates feelings of hatred, fear, chaos, hostility and panic.
4. Exercises care and judgment regarding quality and style of its stories ensuring they do not encourage violence, spread fear, traumatise, damage the principles of equality and justice, degrade human dignity and foster discrimination.
5. Covers stories of terrorism and acts of violence without exaggeration or bias, and are founded on reliable information that is as far as is possible verified by authorised sources; and abides by the broadcast bans imposed by legal authorities.
6. Avoids reporting that will directly or indirectly serve terrorist organizations; and accordingly does not use their rhetoric, language, jargon, images and symbols that will help their propaganda.
7. Avoids reporting the names of those who lost their lives in accidents, disasters or acts of terror before their next of kin are informed.
8. Accepts the sanctity of human life and avoids running pictures or video footage that will hurt the dignity of victims and cause further suffering to their families.
9. Will respect - in covering wars, conflicts, terrorism and disasters - the privacy and dignity of the dead, apart from exceptional circumstances.
10. Avoids publishing graphic pictures and video of executions, killing of people.
11. Does not transmit close-up shots of dead or wounded and mutilated bodies, limbs degrading human dignity and causing psychological distress in public.
12. Does not condone the practice of children under the age of 16 being unduly prompted in interviews or given inducements to co-operate.
13. Will not transmit sensational and shocking news and images captured by its staff in any natural disaster, violence or act of terror that would be damaging to public order and solidarity. At all times it will present pictures and sound which are true and accurate. Any manipulation likely to mislead must be disclosed.
14. Will only use content from social networking sites when the material is publicly available and the bona fides of the source has been established and checked.
Aside from the reporting and broadcasting principles, OANA members will at all times exercise care for its reporters and photographers assigned to cover natural disasters and major traumatic events and where appropriate will provide counselling support for staff affected by what they’ve witness in the line of duty.