Code of Conduct and Ethics

This document constitutes a guideline to the values of Jordan News, and those affiliated to it. These principles are to be adhered by all editors, journalists and freelancers working for Jordan News. These rules are to be read and understood by all employees and contributors of Jordan News.

Article 1: Five core principles of Journalism

  1. Truth and Accuracy

    The main pursuit of journalism is to seek the truth and inform the public of it. Journalists and editors must be accurate and clear when reporting facts, comments, or otherwise, and shall refrain from misleading the public by vague insinuations, be it intentionally or otherwise, including headlines not accurately corroborated by the story text, or distorted information or images. Stories must always distinguish between, corroborated facts and comments, opinions, and sponsored content, which, in all cases, must be attributed to credible sources and evidence.

  2. Independence

    Jordan News is an independent media organization, and its journalists must conduct themselves accordingly. Journalists must act autonomously and are only questionable by the company and their superiors and must not be influenced or directed by any other parties.

  3. Fairness and Impartiality

    Journalists shall strive to cover the news in a fair and balanced manner, based on objective criteria without bias towards any person, entity, or point of view. You must remember that when you are covering a story that you are not part of it unless you are. When covering incidents, news, events you must refrain from reflecting your opinion or agenda. If you were to become part of the story, i.e., arrested, beaten, or abused you will inform your direct superior who will determine how to reflect that in the report.

  4. Humanity

    It is your responsibility as a representative and member of Jordan News to treat colleagues, sources, subjects, and members of the public with respect and dignity, and with the utmost consideration to the principles of human rights.

    When dealing with subjects, whether directly or indirectly, it is crucial to act with compassion and empathy and be especially mindful when working with children, inexperienced subjects/sources, or victims of trauma (e.g., war, disaster, prosecution, discrimination).

    Journalists must remain conscious of the effect that gathering information, reporting, or publishing may have on those with whom you interact whether they are sources, subjects, or members of the public. If in doubt, consult your superiors to avoid risking the wellbeing and safety of the groups.

    Journalists must always remain extremely careful when deciding to publicise the identities of sexual-assault or juvenile victims or other survivors of human rights violations.

    Journalists must remain aware of potential triggers to victims of trauma in whichever form it may take. This may require the modification or omission of planned questions in an interview setting.

  5. Accountability

    We are accountable to our readers to deliver accurate and timely news, content and information. Whenever we make a mistake, we shall promptly make corrections and clarifications to the public, and we shall explain our process and defend our work to readers when they request it (refer to corrections and clarifications section).

Article 2: Abidance by legal parameters (pursuant to Jordanian laws and context)

Awareness of violations that leave staff vulnerable to libel/slander suits (emphasis on accuracy and truth as the most effective protection against such misconduct).

Ability to make sound judgment when balancing the right of individuals to privacy against public interest.

  1. Confidentiality of sources

    The protection of a journalists’ sources of paramount in the eyes of the Jordanian law even before the judiciary.

  2. Publishing information during ongoing investigations

    Materials and information that arise in the context of an active investigation are deemed secret and may not be published while the investigation is ongoing, unless approved by the Public Prosecutor.

  3. Publication of prohibited materials/information
    1. Any material containing slander, libel or defamation directed at, or offensive to, any religion, freedom of which is enshrined in the Constitution.
    2. Any material offensive to or implying vilification of founders of religions or prophets, whether by means of writing, drawing, symbols, pictures, or any other means.
      1. Any material offending religious feelings or beliefs or inciting sectarian or racial hatred.
    3. Any material undermining the dignity and personal freedoms of individuals or containing false information or rumors about them.
      1. Violation of points (a), (b) and (c) incurs a JD10,000 – JD20,000 fine.
      2. Violation of point (d) incurs a JD500-JD1,000.
    4. We do not republish any offensive material in any form or under any pretext.
    5. We act with utter caution to other issues and materials offensive to local communities or social groups. If editors encounter such materials in wires, JN-generated stories or op-eds, they need to share with the editorial board and chief editor before they go to print or online.

Note: It goes without saying that we will not endeavor to summarise or address the entirety of Jordan’s press and publications law. Nonetheless, it may be important to include some of the highlights such as the points above. The following links are quite helpful:

Article 3: Responsibility to the readers

We must treat readers with respect and integrity in both public and private dealings. Listen to and account for the interests of our readers and the public without prejudice, observing the principles of neutrality, objectivity and morality.

Article 4: Non-discrimination

Reporters and editors shall conduct their respective duties without placing emphasis or exhibiting bias pertaining to the race, gender, religion, beliefs, social group, ethnicity, or nationality of individuals, whether colleagues, sources, readers, subjects or otherwise.

Article 5: Conflict of interest

Media professionals are obligated to disclose it when faced with a conflict of interest. Failure to disclose/avoid conflict of interest may result in discontent or the loss of trust on the part of the readers, which in turn may incur permanent damage to the newspaper and jeopardize its credibility. Refer to the clause below on accepting bribes/gifts as those comprise key cases of conflict of interest.

Avoiding conflict of interest:

  • Do not accept gifts, freebies or offerings of any kind (refer to section on bribes and gifts). Report to the editor-in-chief when you are offered any of these. Normally, we accept that hosts, especially states, corporations, our government, and international organizations pay for travel, meals and accommodation when they invite us to events inside Jordan or abroad, but we do not accept cash or any other form of gifts beyond these expenses. All such invitations must be addressed to the chief editor, who will apply a rotation policy in consultation with the head of the editorial board and the team. Per diems are decided in line with budgetary considerations.
  • Maintain reasonable distance between yourself, subjects and sources. Our subjects and sources are not our friends or enemies; they are our subjects and sources. We do not get emotionally or personally involved with them or their accounts of the story. Should you become personally invested or are no longer able to remain objective, those views should be expressed in an op-ed on the issue.
  • Do not cover stories pertaining to family members or friends or use them as sources. Report immediately if that was the case so that the issue can be reassigned to someone else. Sometimes a source or an authority on a certain topic happens to be related to one of the team members other than the reporter and the editor involved in the story, in which case it must be reported and a decision will be made on a case-by-case basis.
  • Ensure a clear separation between your political affiliations and your journalistic duties. When in an interview or a press conference, your questions must be free of your personal opinions and DO NOT get into an argument with the source over any issue unless it is within professional boundaries.
  • Avoid financial conflict of interest (e.g., investing in the stock of a company that you are covering – the responsibility of covering such a story should be relegated to a neutral journalist by a chief reporter/editor).