NAPA Code of Conduct
1. Members will conduct themselves in a professional manner observing proper ethical considerations at all times.
2. Members will strive to ensure that all stories are fair, balanced and accurate.
3. Information will be thoroughly checked and story subjects will, where appropriate, be afforded every reasonable opportunity to comment, answer allegations or reply to subject matter before publication.
4. It is recognised that many distressed families are willing and indeed anxiousto pay tribute to deceased or injured loved ones if properly approached. It is, however, acknowledged that this is not always the case and where resistance is met journalists have a duty to avoid intrusion into private grief. It is often the mass approach or the constant drip feed of reporters and photographers following each other to the door that causes distress in these circumstances and it is in this area that the special multi-media role of NAPA members can be of most help.
Clearly a gentle approach by a single individual representing everyone is the least intrusive. Most News and Picture Desks recognise this. In the cases of requests to make further approaches common sense must prevail and if these are likely to be considered intrusive then members should fully explain to news or picture desks why they cannot be made.
5. Investigations into an individuals private life without his or her knowledge should only be undertaken when there is over-riding public interest.
6. Members will not generally indulge in subterfuge or misrepresentation save in exceptional cases where information in the public interest cannot be obtained in any other way.
7. Members should not seek to obtain information or pictures through harrassment, stalking, invasion of privacy or hot pursuit. The innocent must be protected at all costs. It is essential, however, that the evil and corrupt should not be allowed to hide behind this clause in an attempt to conceal activities that should, in the public interest be exposed.
8. Members recognise that while there is no intrinsic harm in making payment for stories where it is lawful to do so, offers of payment should never be made to witnesses in current court cases. Criminals and/or their associates (ie. family friends and colleagues) should not benefit as a result of their crimes. Payment may, however, be justified where information in the public interest is not obtainable by any other method.
9. Innocent victims of crime and innocent relatives and friends of criminals should not be named in stories except where it is lawful and necessary to do so. Victims of sexual assaults should not be identified except with consent and co-operation.
10. Children under 16 involved in sex cases either as witnesses, victims or defendants should not be identified nor should information be disseminated that could lead to their identification by association.
11. Children under 16 should not normally be interviewed or photographed without the consent of a parent or other adult responsible for their welfare nor should they be approached at school without permission of the appropriate authority.
12. Members making enquiries at hospitals or similar institutions should properly identify themselves to a responsible official and obtain permission before entering non public areas.
13. References to ethnic origin, colour, creed or sexual orientation will only be made when relevant to a story.
14. Members will observe the rules of copyright as set out in current legislation.
15. It is the duty and moral obligation of all members to protect confidential sources of information.
16. In any areas not covered in this code, and which would directly affect member agencies and the way in which they work, the PCC code shall prevail.