CostaBlancaToday.com Editorial Code
It is fundamental to the integrity and success of the CostaBlancaToday.com that we uphold the highest possible standards of ethical and professional journalism and that we are seen to do so.
The benchmark for the CostaBlancaToday.com (CBT) journalistic practices is set by our CostaBlancaToday.com Editorial Code. Compliance with the code is an obligation for all CBT editorial staff.
This places a responsibility on every CBT editorial employee and contributor to conduct her/himself according to practices which reinforce the CBTs reputation for accuracy, truthfulness, honesty and authority.
It is essential that CBT titles should have unfettered editorial freedom within the Code and the law, and that they would be free from proprietorial interference in editorial content. It is also vital that no one at the CBT should undertake any activity that could possibly leave them or the CBT open to allegations of having used their position for personal profit or any kind of undue market manipulation.
CBT employees and contributors must follow this code of practice in their work. This code along with the general principles of media law apply equally to writing for our websites, print versions and contributing to social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook, whenever employees and editorial contributors present themselves in their capacity as CBT journalists or contributors. The Code must be followed fully in spirit, as well as to the letter.
Failure by an CBT employee to abide by the Code may result in disciplinary action, including dismissal.
The CBT’s general ethical standards, set out below, are aimed at respecting and protecting the rights of individuals and organisations, and also the public’s right to know.
CBT employees and freelance contributors, even where the law does not prohibit it, must not use for their own profit any information they receive in advance of its general publication, nor should they pass such information to others
The author writing for CBT must ensure that in their materials facts are clearly distinguished from interpretations, estimates, opinions and other types of non-factual information; all the documents, figures, names and other records used are reliable and if there is any doubt as to their reliability that this is clearly indicated; substantially material sources of information are clearly indicated.
CBT Employees should use shorthand to take a note of telephone conversation.
If all parties consent to a particular telephone conversation being recorded, the recording may be sent by CBT employees to an approved third party for transcription. Any recording must be kept safe and secure, and should not be retained without being deleted for any longer than is necessary for the relevant journalistic purposes. This policy is based primarily on the CBT’s view of best ethical practice and law.
In the event of any doubts regarding the provenance or lawfulness of any information or of any journalistic activity involved in obtaining information, no agreement to publish should be reached or commitments made to complainants without prior approval from the relevant CBT Chief Editor or Owner.
CBT editorial employees and contributors must not plagiarise others’ work. That is, they must not knowingly pass-off others’ work as their own: if the essence or a substantial part of another’s work is knowingly included in material to be published by CBT, sufficient acknowledgement of the original author and/or publisher should be provided. (In assessing whether any plagiarism has occurred, regard may be had to all the circumstances, including a person’s state of mind; the extent of any apparent copying or derivation; and, the nature of any original, and subsequent, work. It is recognised that the facts and subject matter of current or historical events may be public-domain details that are legitimately available to be reported by different authors and news organisations in their own right. Principles of fairness and common sense should be applied.)
It is essential that an agreed Code be honoured not only to the letter, but in the full spirit. It should be interpreted neither so narrowly as to compromise the commitment to respect the rights of the individual, nor so broadly that it infringes the fundamental right to freedom of expression – such as to inform, to be partisan, to challenge, shock, be satirical and to entertain – or prevents publication in the public interest.
It is the responsibility of editors and publishers to apply the Code to editorial material in both online as well as printable versions of their publications. They should take care to ensure it is observed rigorously by all editorial staff and external contributors, including non-journalists.
CBT journalists must take care not to publish inaccurate, misleading or distorted information or images, including headlines not supported by the text. A significant inaccuracy, misleading statement or distortion must be corrected, promptly and with due prominence, and – where appropriate – an apology published. In cases involving IPSO, due prominence should be as required by the regulator. A fair opportunity to reply to significant inaccuracies should be given, when reasonably called for.
Everyone is entitled to respect for his or her private and family life, home, health and correspondence, including digital communications.
CBT editors will be expected to justify intrusions into any individual’s private life without consent. It is unacceptable to photograph individuals, without their consent, in public or private places where there is a reasonable expectation of privacy.
CBT journalists must not engage in intimidation, harassment or persistent pursuit. They must not persist in questioning, telephoning, pursuing or photographing individuals once asked to desist; nor remain on their property when asked to leave and must not follow them. If requested, they must identify themselves and whom they represent. CBT editors must ensure these principles are observed by those working for them and take care not to use non-compliant material from other sources.
Journalists must identify themselves and obtain permission from a responsible executive before entering non-public areas of hospitals or similar institutions to pursue enquiries. The restrictions on intruding into privacy are particularly relevant to enquiries about individuals in hospitals or similar institutions.
Relatives or friends of persons convicted or accused of crime should not generally be identified without their consent, unless they are genuinely relevant to the story. Particular regard should be paid to the potentially vulnerable position of children who witness, or are victims of, crime. This should not restrict the right to report legal proceedings.
CBT journalists are not allowed to get or publish material acquired by using hidden cameras or clandestine listening devices; or by intercepting private or mobile telephone calls, messages or emails; or by the unauthorised removal of documents or photographs; or by accessing digitally-held information without consent.
All pupils should be free to complete their time at school without unnecessary intrusion. They must not be approached or photographed at school without permission of the school authorities. Children under 16 must not be interviewed or photographed on issues involving their own or another child’s welfare unless a custodial parent or similarly responsible adult consents. CBT editors must not use the fame, notoriety or position of a parent or guardian as sole justification for publishing details of a child’s private life.
CBT, even if legally free to do so, is not to identify children under 16 who are victims or witnesses in cases involving sex offences. In any press report of a case involving a sexual offence against a child the child must not be identified, though the adult may be identified. The word “incest” must not be used where a child victim might be identified. Care must be taken that nothing in the report implies the relationship between the accused and the child.