The Media Code of Ethics

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The Media Code of Ethics

By Fr. Dr. Rif’at Bader

During the international conference titled, "Media and their role in defending the truth"--held in Amman on June 18-19, 2019 under the patronage of Minister of State for Media Affairs Ms. Jumana Ghnaimat and organized by the Council of Catholic Patriarchs of the East, the Catholic Center for Studies and Media, as well as the Platform for Dialogue and Cooperation among Religious Leaders and Institutions in the Arab World--an assertion was made on the real and effective role of media outlets, particularly the modern and the socially-interactive ones, in the dissemination of truth and the verification its validity as well as in defense of the truth particularly at difficult and confusing times.

It is worthy to note that this conference was in compliance with both the Royal and Papal media messages. The first one, by His Majesty King Abdullah II, was issued late last year titled, “Social or Antisocial Media?” and the second one, by His Holiness Pope Francis, issued early this year titled, “From social network communities to the human community.” The conference also gathered several representatives of media centers affiliated with the seven Catholic Patriarchates of the East in addition to Secretary General of the Council of Catholic Patriarchs of the East Fr. Khalil 'Ulwan and Mr. Andrea Tornielli, editorial director of the Vatican’s Dicastery for Communications. However, the attendees were not confined to Catholics, as representatives of fraternal churches were also invited in addition to a number of journalists from several countries and others from dear Jordan.

The highlight of the conference was the launching of "The Media Code of Ethics’’ for the first time in our dear country. It is hoped that the participants in the conference will disseminate it in their relevant countries. The 10-point Media Code of Ethics focuses on proper use of social media networking sites as well as on serving morality and respect for human dignity on the one hand in addition to ensuring the dignity of religions and religious symbols of the other.

According to the Media Code of Ethics, sound media reporting should be committed to the ethics of humanitarian messages, so journalists and clergymen were asked to sign it. It calls for the following:

1. Commitment in the field of media to highlighting the bonds of closeness and cordiality among all people.
2. Commitment to moving away from whatever incites racial or sectarian strife and whatever triggers schism.
3. Commitment to supporting a climate, that strengthens the common relationship designed to develop the concept of the homeland, as a model in which everyone enjoys equality, and characterized by good citizenship as well as same rights and duties.
4. Commitment to respecting the rights of individuals and families regarding their private affairs and their human dignity.
5. Commitment, through the media message whether through the traditional media outlets or the social media, to show sublimity as well as respect for human rights, women, family and childhood.
6. Commitment to combating tendentious rumors as well as relying on credibility by referring to reliable sources, since people have the right to know the truth.
7. Commitment to respecting dignity of religions and religious symbols.
8. Commitment to stay away from the distorted and fake news, whereby truth would be the prime source and goal.
9. Supporting efforts that refrain from disseminating hate discourses with religious, national, sectarian or ethnic grounds aimed at any person or group.
10. Supporting cooperation with individuals as well as public and private institutions in order to serve and defend the truth.

Greetings and appreciation to all parties that contributed, alongside the Catholic Center for Studies and Media, to organizing the conference particularly the Jordan Tourism Board that arranged a trip to the guests of Jordan and journalist in order to acquaint them with the Baptism Site, Mount Nebo and other holiest sites in the world.

abouna.org@gmail.com

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