Non Discrimination Provisions in Codes of Practice/ Ethics of Journalists in 27 EU Member States

Among other things the Mediva Project has been exploring issues connected with the media representation of, and the involvement in media of,  third country nationals who may be the subject of discrimination or a hostile media culture in the EU states to which they have migrated within the EU. To this end the codes of practice/ethics of journalists in the 27 EU member states have been examined and relevant 'non-discrimination' provisions have been identified.


The Mediva Project would like to thank John Hogan, Irish Press Ombudsman, who has suggested and has kindly helped the project to gather the information on the existence of such provisions in the codes of ethics/practice of journalists, etc. in the EU member states.






Code of Ethics for the Austrian Press


5.5. Any discrimination for reasons of race, religion, nationality, sexuality or for any other reason shall be inadmissible


Code of Journalistic Principles


Respect for diversity of opinions

The press recognises and respects the diversity of opinions, it defends

freedom of publishing different points of view. It opposes all discrimination based on sex, race, nationality, language, religion,

ideology, culture, class or conviction, provided that the convictions thus

professed are not in contradiction with the respect for fundamental human





Ethical Code of the Bulgarian Media


Article 2.5.2: We shall not refer to a person's race, colour, religion, ethnic background, sexual orientation, mental or physical condition, unless it is of importance to the meaning of the story





Journalists' Code of Practice


12. Discrimination.

The media will avoid any direct or other reference to a person which contains elements of prejudice on the basis of race, colour, language, religion, political or other conviction, national or social origin, property or origin or age or other status, including physical or mental illness or invalidity.



Journalists’ Code of Ethics


3. i) journalists must not create or shape any subject in such a manner as to incite discrimination on the basis of race, skin colour, religion, gender, or sexual orientation,



Press Ethical Rules 


No non-discrimination provisions are present


The Code of Ethics for the Estonian Press


4.3. It is not recommended to emphasize nationality, race, religious or political persuasion and gender, unless it has news value.



Guidelines for Journalists


26. The human dignity of every individual must be respected. The ethnic origin, nationality, sex, sexual orientation, convictions or other similar personal characteristics may not be presented in an inappropriate or disparaging manner.



Charter of the Professional Duties of French Journalists


No non-discrimination provisions are present


Press Code



Section 12 -  Discrimination:

There must be no discrimination against a person because of his/her sex, a disability or his membership of an ethnic, religious, social or national group.

Guideline 12.1 - Reports on Crimes:


When reporting crimes, it is not permissible to refer to the suspect's religious, ethnic or other minority membership unless this information can be justified as being relevant to the readers' understanding of the incident.

In particular, it must be borne in mind that such references could stir up prejudices against minorities.



Code of Ethics for Professional Journalists


Article 2: The journalist is competent and obliged: a. To address citizens equally, without distinction of national origin, sex, race, religion, political views, economic situation or social position.


Ethical Code of the National Association of Hungarian Journalists


2.1.1. Journalists are obliged to respect human rights. They must not incite hatred or propagate racial discrimination against peoples, nations or ethnicities. They must not spread libel about anyone, or attempt to defame anyone because of his/her religion, beliefs, gender, physical or mental state, age or difference in way of living.




Code of conduct (National Union of Journalists)


9. Produces no material likely to lead to hatred or discrimination on the grounds of a person’s age, gender, race, colour, creed, legal status, disability, marital status, or sexual orientation



Code of Practice for Journalists  (Press Council of Ireland)

Principle 8 - Prejudice:


Newspapers and periodicals shall not   publish material intended or likely to cause grave offence or stir up hatred against an individual or group on the basis of their race, religion, nationality, colour,   ethnic origin, membership of the travelling community, gender, sexual orientation, marital status,. Disability, illness or age.




Charter of Duties of Journalists


DUTIES. A journalist's responsibility.

A journalist cannot discriminate against people on grounds of race, religion, mental and physical conditions or political opinions.



Charter of Rome

Code of conduct regarding asylum seekers, refugees, victims of trafficking and migrants








Deontology Code regarding the handling of personal data in the practice of journalism


Article 9. 1. In exercising the right and duty to report, a journalist is bound to respect the right of the individual to non-discrimination on grounds of race, religion, political opinion, gender, physical or mental condition.



Code of Ethics


5.2. In publication journalist must always respect a person's private life, nationality, race identity and religious beliefs.


Code of Ethics of Lithuanian Journalists and Publishers


Article 54. The journalist and public information organizer shall not humiliate or mock an individual's family name, race, nationality, ethnicity, religious convictions, age, sex, sexual orientation, disability or physical deficiencies even if such individual has committed a crime. In addition, the journalist and public opinion organizer shall neither stress nor associate the nationality, ethnic origin or social group and sexual orientation of the suspect, accused or offender with a crime committed by him/her.




Code of Deontology


Art. 5 Respect for the Other

a) The press agrees to avoid and oppose to any discrimination based on differences regarding gender, race, nationality, language, religion, ideology, ethnicity, culture, class or convictions, and this respecting the fundamental civil rights.



Code of Journalistic Ethics


No non-discrimination provisions are present


The Guidelines of the Netherlands Press Council

1.6. A journalist reports on the ethnic origins, nationality, race, religion and sexual nature of groups and persons only if this is required for the context of the news item reported on."


Code of Ethics of the Norwegian Press



Article 4.3. Always respect a person's character and identity, privacy, race,

nationality and belief. Never draw attention to personal or private aspects if they are





The Code of Ethics


V. Any publications which propagate war, violence, outrage or injure the feelings of the religious persons and unbelievers, the national feelings, the human rights, cultural individualities or propagate pornography are absolutely prohibited.



Journalists' Code of Ethics


8. A journalist must not treat people in a discriminatory way, based on their colour, race, nationality or gender



The Journalists’ Code of Ethics


2.1.5. A journalist has the responsibility not to discriminate against any person on the basis of race, ethnicity, religion, sex, age, sexual orientation or any kind of disabilities and also he/she should refrain from any incitement to hatred and violence while stating facts or expressing opinions. 


Code of Ethics of Slovene Journalists


23. The journalist should avoid stereotyping by race, gender, age, religion, ethnicity, geography, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance and social status. Discrimination based on sex, ethnicity, religion, social or national origins, insults about religious feelings and customs and incitement of conflicts between nationalities are not permissible.



Deontological Code for the Journalistic Profession


7. A journalist shall exercise extreme professional caution in respecting the rights of the weak and discriminated. Therefore, discriminating information or opinions or such information or opinions which incite to violence or to inhuman or humiliating practices, must be handled with special sensitivity.

a) One must, therefore, avoid alluding in a pejorative manner or with prejudice to the race, colour, religion, social class or sex of a person, or to whatever sickness, physical or mental handicap he/she might have.

b) One must also avoid publishing such data, unless it is directly related to the issue being published.



Code of Ethics for the Press, Radio and Television


10. Do not emphasize ethnic origin, sex, nationality, occupation, political affiliation, religious persuasion or sexual disposition in the case of the persons concerned if such particulars are not important in the specific context and demeaning.



Code of Conduct


10. Produces no material likely to lead to hatred or discrimination on the grounds of a person's age, gender, race, colour, creed, legal status, disability, marital status, or sexual orientation



Editors' Code of Practice


12 Discrimination

i) The press must avoid prejudicial or pejorative reference to an individual's race, colour, religion, gender, sexual orientation or to any physical or mental illness or disability.

ii) Details of an individual's race, colour, religion, sexual orientation, physical or mental illness or disability must be avoided unless genuinely relevant to the story.


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