The International Federation of Journalists today gave its backing to a new initiative to eliminate the practice of bribery in journalism.
The IFJ is one of six organisations supporting a set of principles designed to foster greater transparency in the dealings between public relations professionals and the media, and to end bribery for media coverage throughout the world.
“The problem of ‘journalism for sale’ or paid-for material posing as legitimate news reporting is one of the greatest challenges facing media today,” said Aidan White, IFJ General Secretary. “The practice erodes public confidence, undermines professionalism and makes a mockery of ethical values.”
The IFJ Congress in Athens in May this year called for action to promote quality in journalism. “This set of principles is a welcome step from within the industry to get the mission of journalism back on track and to eliminate all forms of corruption,” said White.
The other groups supporting the statement of principles are the International Press Institute, Transparency International, the Global Alliance for Public Relations and Communications Management, the Institute for Public Relations Research and Education, and the International Public Relations Association.
The principles, embodied in the Charter on Media Transparency developed by the International Public Relations Association, are that:
“This initiative is most welcome,” said White. “It sheds a welcome light on the often shadowy dealings between the business world and journalism and helps us focus on the need for quality media.”
Last year the Institute for Public Relations Research and Education and the International Public Relations Association released an index ranking 66 nations for the likelihood that print journalists will seek or accept cash for news coverage. Frank Ovaitt, President and CEO-Elect of the Institute says: “We believe this is a critical issue that serious journalists and public relations people must address together.”
The Institute’s study of bribery for news coverage can be accessed at: Bribery Study
Further Information: Aidan White, +32 2 235 2200, Aidan White