Code of Conduct of the Georgian Charter of Journalistic Ethics

The Georgian Charter of Journalistic Ethics (hereinafter the Charter) is an independent association of journalists whose mission is to raise social accountability of media by complying with professional and ethical standards and developing self-regulation mechanisms. The aim of the organization is to establish the norms of journalistic ethics and improve professional standards. Corporate ethics is essential for the Charter, the professional ethics-oriented organization. Therefore, persons employed in the Charter shall observe the code of conduct envisaged under this document.

1. Key Principles

Credibility - credibility is a crucial value for the Charter. The organization thrives to maintain the trust of the member and non-member journalists and citizens since this contributes to the sustainability of the organization and helps to further strengthen it.

Impartiality - the Charter is an impartial organization and does not represent the interest of either party.

Transparency –the Charter's activities are transparent. The information about all its activities and finances is open and accessible. The information regarding projects is published on the website.

Commitment - the Charter fully understands the commitment undertaken in terms of the development of ethical journalism in the country. Therefore, the Charter pays great attention to the results of the implemented projects and other activities.

Accountability - the Charter is accountable to its members. The organization presents a report once in every quarter and in December of each year, submits to the general meeting a report concerning the activities carried out throughout the year.

2. Conflict of interests

2.1. The Executive Director and all employees working for the organization are obliged to avoid any conflict between the individual and the Charter’s interests. Detail rules on how to avoid conflict of interest are defined on a specific document.

3. Personal relationships

3.1. The employees of the Charter are certainly having a private life, which is inviolable. However, the employees should fully understand that their actions in any virtual and real space outside work shall not damage the reputation, impartiality, and reliability of the Charter.

3.2. Publication of any information, whether posted in private or public mode, on any social network shall be deemed a public statement. Consequently, the employees of the Charter shall be careful not to harm the impartiality and credibility of the Charter when exercising their right to expression.

3.3. A public appearance or interview of any employee in the public space where he/she might be speaking on behalf of the organization shall be agreed in advance with the Executive Director.

3.4. It shall be inadmissible to publicly evaluate and discuss any media product in relation to which the Board is considering a complaint.

4. Relations with other organizations

4.1. Civil society - the Charter cooperates with local and international civil organizations who aim at improving the media environment in the country and work on the issues that are in conformity with the organization's mission.

4.2. Donor organizations- the Charter's cooperation with donor organizations is based on accountability and transparency. The Charter carries out project activities and submits the detailed reports thereupon.

4.3. Media organizations- the Charter cooperates closely with media organizations, treats each of them with respect, assists them to overcome professional dilemmas and promotes media standards.

5. Financial independence

5.1. The Charter maintains impartiality despite the sources of funding it receives. The Charter does not earn any funding from the State or the entities that may subsequently influence the independence of the Charter.

5.2. The Charter disposes of its funds transparently based on project needs. At the end of each year, the Charter publishes a report to provide information on the accumulated funds and expenditure. The financial control of the Charter is carried out by the Audit Committee, which submits a report to the General Meeting at the end of each year. The projects funds are administered by the Projects Manager who is accountable to the Executive Director.

5.3. The finance administration procedure is determined in a separate document.

6. The validity of the code of conduct

The Code of Conduct of the organization shall be mandatory for all employees of the Charter. Any employee of the Charter may submit an application regarding any alleged violation of the Code of Ethics in writing to the Board and request it to be reviewed. The Board shall consider the case at the earliest meeting and render a relevant well-reasoned decision.

Note: For the purposes of this document, an employee shall be a person who is in whatsoever contractual relationship with the Charter to fulfil a particular piece of work for a specific project.