EDITORS' CODE OF PRACTICE COMMITTEE | OUTLINE OF THE CODE

The Code includes not only the 16 Clauses specific to various areas of journalistic activity - including accuracy, privacy, the protection of children and vulnerable groups, the need to avoid harassment, limitations on the use of subterfuge and clandestine devices and so on - but also the Preamble and the Public Interest exceptions.

The Preamble sets out the "spirit of the Code" - that it should balance freedom of the individual and freedom of expression, and should be interpreted not just to the letter but also in the spirit. This is important because it places an extra obligation on editors that would not be possible within a statutory system using a legal framework.

The Public Interest exceptions give an indication of the areas where publication of material that might normally breach the Code would be allowed in the wider public interest. These include - although the list is not exhaustive - the exposure of crime, or impropriety; safeguarding public health and safety; protecting the public from being misled, and preserving freedom of expression.
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» The Code
» History of the Code
» A4 printable version of the code (.pdf)
» A3 printable version of the code (.pdf)