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Online Editorial Code of Ethics

The Jewish Report is committed to the highest standards of independent journalism.


As the Jewish Report, we commit ourselves to the highest standards of independent journalism. We serve the right to know of the Jewish community, in line with section 16 of South Africa’s constitution which guarantees this fundamental right in order to allow citizens to make decisions and judgments about their society. We pledge to exercise our role with great care and responsibility to safeguard public trust in our integrity. We salute those in our history who fought racism and oppression and created a democratic order which guarantees this right, and we pledge to defend it at all times.

1. Accuracy & sourcing

Our first duty is to report accurately. We will take care to evaluate information provided to us and to cross-check it as much as possible before publishing. We will show readers and users the chain of evidence we have.

1.1 The more serious and controversial a claim is, the more corroboration will be required before it can be published. A single source will not usually be sufficient.  Secondary sources like other media reports will be treated with caution, and clearly identified.

1.2 Anonymous sources will be avoided unless there is no other way to handle a story and there is extensive additional evidence available. Where sources cannot be named, they will still be identified as closely as possible by reference to their organisation, position and relevance to the story.

1.3 Anonymity will only be granted if the source can persuade us that they have sound reasons for the request. It is not available to people peddling rumour, comment or spin. However, once it has been granted, the Jewish Report will protect the identity of the source.

1.4 We will take particular care with information that is passed on to us in furtherance of a particular agenda, and will seek additional corroboration in the light of the motives and interests of a source.

1.5 Headlines and captions will fairly reflect the content of articles.

1.6 Special care will be taken with details like numbers, dates and names.

2. Fairness

We will not publish a report without relevant responses from affected parties unless the opportunity to comment has been declined – in which event we will stipulate this, or if the editor is satisfied that all reasonable measures have been exhausted.

3. Independence

Our journalistic duty to inform the community trumps all other considerations, whether they are financial, political, personal or any other non-professional interests. We will avoid conflicts of interest as well as any appearance of conflicts of interest.

3.1 Factual news content will be kept clearly distinct from comment and opinion and from any paid-for content.

4. Minimising harm

We recognise that the media can have a harmful impact on the subjects of our reports, our sources, our audiences and society in general, and pledge to minimise it. We will take particular care when dealing with vulnerable people and groups.

Any infringement of an individual’s privacy – a right guaranteed in the constitution – must be fully justified by a clear and strong public interest. It must be carefully considered, and proportionate to the level of public interest. We recognise that people in positions of importance or who have sought a life in the public eye have a reduced right to privacy.

5.  Reporting methods

We will use open, honest means to gather information. Exceptions can only be made when there is strong public interest in a story and there are no alternative methods available.

5.1 We will respect off-the-record and similar arrangements. Agreements with sources must be clear, and are binding on the Jewish Report and its journalists.

5.2 We do not pay for information.

5.3 We do not allow sources to vet our reports before publication. Sometimes, however, it is advisable for reporters to check back to ensure the accuracy of technically complex information, quotes, etc.

6. Accountability

We accept the same level of public scrutiny and accountability as we subject others to. At all times, responses to complaints will be generous, helpful and governed by the need to make sure readers get the fullest information available.

6.1 We will correct errors with due prominence as soon as we become aware of them. Errors will not be invisibly corrected. Instead, a note with the correction will be posted with the original article.

6.2 In addition to corrections of factual errors, the Jewish Report offers the following corrective measures:

A clarification, where an article may have led to a mistaken impression even though it does not contain factual mistakes;

A right of reply, where a full response was not initially included;

An apology; where justified.

These measures can be used in conjunction, and are at the editor’s discretion.

6.3 If you wish to register a complaint with the Jewish Report group editor in this regard, CLICK HERE

6.4 We accept the jurisdiction of the South African Press Ombudsman.

7. General

7.1 Jewish Report reviews of artistic work are written fairly, in order to help readers decide what to see and how to understand it. They do not offer an opportunity to degrade or humiliate.

7.2 Columnists and commentators are expected to write fairly and honestly, but this does not suggest a bar on strongly-opinionated writing. Fact and opinion will be clearly distinguishable. The Jewish Report Online will seek out a wide range of views.

7.3 The Jewish Report Online will encourage users’ involvement in discussion through comments to content, discussion forums, use of our shout-box, etc. Criticism of the website and its approach is welcome, but basic standards of decency will be enforced.

Social Media Editor’s Note: Many of these points are based on those to be found on the excellent Reuters social media guidelines.