Ethical Charter

"Ethical Charter for Syrian Media" Principles


Media plays a major role in shaping the public opinion, monitoring, holding authorities accountable and professional objective indiscriminate publishing of truth. Which Syrian media have for decades lacked those merits. And to contribute to the continuously and rapidly evolving media industry in Syria.

In the absence of inclusive and regulatory laws, there was an urgent need for a media charter which obliges the signatories ethically.

Therefore, a group of independent Syrian media foundations approved with consensus, after long debates among different aggregates, a dedicated set of principles within a charter which contributes to the creation of a state of balance and stability; in favour of the welfare, development and progress of the Syrian society. The founders named the charter, “Mithaq Sharaf”, hereinafter, the “Ethical Charter for Syrian Media” (ECSM). All stakeholders are to respect and abide by all that contained therein.

“Media” is a profession and a mission, concerned with the publishing and delivering of Truth to the audience indiscriminately, freely, impartially and sincerely.

In the charter, hereinafter, ‘media foundation’ refers to a foundation working in the media industry, constantly creating and publishing informative journalistic content in all forms of media.

The charter is concerned of all written, audio and visual media outlets, and any other form of journalist media products.

  • This charter is based upon general ethical professional principles as stated in international charters, declarations and covenants. These principles include, but not limited to, accuracy; authenticity; credibility of information; objectivity; integrity; commitment to independence of media coverage; respect for Truth and freedom of expression; observance of balance, fairness and diversity; and providing the right of response and correction to all components of society, if they are mentioned in news, researches or pictures, or if they are offended.
  • ECSM Signatory Media foundations should not be subjugated by authorities and political bodies. They must respect the speciality of audiences, both individuals and groups, and respect their right to access information. Besides, they must commit to non-discrimination among various categories of the audience based on religion, ethnicity, sect, race, language, sex, culture or color; respect the freedom of thought, belief and expression; and enhance participation and communication between the media foundation and the audience.
  • Media foundations should ensure that they practice their work ethically and professionally, and commit to credibility and integrity. They must differentiate, when publishing any press material, news from opinions and individual points of view, in order to prevent confusion and out of respect for the audience’s freedom to shape their own opinions.

–  Media foundations should respect, in the course of their work, the fundamental general principles declared in international and neighbouring countries charters, covenants and declarations; in particular those concerned with the preservation of human dignity; safeguarding the rights of the disabled and the legally or medically incapacitated; and cautious treatment of children and minors and refraining from exploiting them during any media operation, taking into account the need for elaboration on media coverage caveats regarding children, especially those provided by the Convention on the Rights of Children.

–  Media foundations must refrain from publishing any media materials that encourage crime; violence; hate speech; sectarian, racial, or regional incitement; abetting family breakdown or violence against woman; or human trafficking. They must seek justice and national and international peace.

 – Media foundations must abide, during operations, to the following:
1- Seek Truth, actively pursue it, and cover incidents truthfully and honestly without negligence or snipping.
2- Professional integrity in addition to acting in favor of the public 3- interest and prioritizing it over the interests of media foundations themselves.
4- Respect privacy, avoid harm to individuals or foundations as a result of press publishing, respect the desire of individuals and their relatives not to disclose their names or addresses, for moral or security-related reasons.
5- Avoid prejudice, seek accuracy and clarity when using terms and expressions during journalist coverage.
6- Avoid social, humane, and economic exploitation in coverage areas.
7- Cite resources precisely, referring to non-disclosure reasons if needed, secure sources and witnesses and refraining from disclosing their identities except for legal necessities.
8- Refrain from publishing pictures or videos offending the inviolability and dignity of victims (dead or injured).
9- Respect copyrights and citing resources when quoted.
Inform the public in the case that authorities conceal some information which may lead to damaging the public interest.
10- Differentiate advertisement, commercials and sponsorship materials from journalistic materials and refrain from promoting products, policies or organizations through introducing them as news items.
11- Avoid vilification, libel and insulting of individuals, groups, foundations or/ and agencies.

Signatories to this charter are jointly liable to address any violation or threat against members; particularly those resulting from compliance with the charter provisions.

ECSM invites all Syrian media foundations to sign the charter and abide by its provisions.

Signatories will abide by all above-mentioned articles. ECSM organization will monitor their compliance.