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CJE states that pressure on journalists covering the war is unacceptable

14.06.2022, 16:31
Photo: Yaghobzadeh Alfred/ABACA/DW
Photo: Yaghobzadeh Alfred/ABACA/DW

The Commission on Journalistic Ethics has stated that pressure and the application of double standards to journalists covering the war are unacceptable.

This was stated on CJE website.

The Commission is concerned with the cases when the media faced more severe demands than provided by certain rules or when journalists were "verbally banned from visiting the military on the front lines, and some politicians were trying to put pressure on journalists covering the war."

The Commission on Journalistic Ethics calls on politicians, military unit representatives, and law enforcement departments to respect the rights of journalists and adhere to the approved rules of accreditation and procedures in combat areas.

The CJE believes that the Armed Forces and law enforcement departments should strike a reasonable balance between security and defense measures and the society's right to receive verified information from professional media.

"It is unacceptable to give preference to certain media or journalists over others, to ban some from working without explanation, and to allow others. The Commission encourages journalists to not only use the official information, but also to look for immediate participants of the events, to add facts and context," the statement reads.

In addition, the Commission condemns the practice of online harassment of journalists, "spreading baseless accusations against the media of allegedly exposing the positions of the Ukrainian military, the addresses of important civilian objects, and of disclosing other information that is useful to the enemy."

"While realizing the importance of non-disclosure of certain information during wartime, we consider it necessary to emphasize: unfounded accusations and statements undermine the credibility of all media, complicate the work of journalists on the front line. Such accusations from politicians or officials look like pressuring of journalists and provoke online bullying. Criminal offense accusations must be proven in court; publishing unproved accusations is a violation of the Code of Ethics of Ukrainian Journalists," said CJE.

The Commission reminds that any citizen or organization may file a complaint against journalists for violating the Code of Ethics when covering war-related topics.

The CJE also condemned the abuse of journalist status or abuse of access to combat areas. "It is unacceptable to use accreditation to address any non-journalistic issues or to obtain personal preferences," the statement said.

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