Professional conduct 

Editorial policy and rules of professional conduct 

Respect for the truth and meeting society’s need for information constitutes a fundamental principle of journalism. A journalist has a social responsibility regardless of the media entity for which he/she works.

General principles 

A media entity is guided by the following principles:

- Editorial staff must adhere to the principles of objectivity, accuracy, impartiality and honesty;

- Information must be clarified and checked for its accuracy before being provided;

- Facts and events must be presented in a biased manner;

- Slander, insult and hatred must be avoided;

- Linguistic norms must be observed;

- Journalists must avoid the use of vulgar expressions and jargon; 

- Editorial policy cannot be contradictory to statehood, national and moral values of society, common ethics and the principle of protection of the family institution;

- Issues related to civil rights, solidarity, democracy and equal opportunities must be approached sensitively;

- The editorial office must pay attention to the protection of national and public interests, avoiding content that could affect people’s religious beliefs and self-esteem;

- National symbols must be respected;

- Propaganda of terrorism, violence, cruelty, national, racial, religious and sexual discrimination must be avoided;

- Propaganda of actions contrary to the environment and health must be avoided;

- Freedom of information, transparency, objectivity, impartiality, fairness and pluralism must be observed;

- Materials should be presented accurately, with an emphasis on as many different perspectives as possible; 

- Journalist must not forget his/her educating mission and focus on this aspect of his/her activity; 

- Reasonable critical thinking about events must be followed based on the truth of the facts;

- Information on violence, crime and other negative acts toward the safety of people must be covered in an adequate manner, and their propaganda must be avoided;

- Information, including images, that harms the physical, mental and spiritual development of vulnerable groups, children and minors must not be used;

- Requirements enshrined in the Law of the Republic of Azerbaijan “On protection of children from harmful information” must be taken into account in relation to children;

- Information about the identity of the child sexually abused must be kept confidential;

- Details related to people's race, color, religion, sexual orientation, physical, mental illness or disability must not be revealed if they are not directly related to the topic;

- If necessary, distributed materials must be marked with appropriate age limit indicators

- Propaganda of parapsychology and superstition must be avoided;

- Journalist must respect the presumption of innocence of the suspect.

News and commentaries

- News and comments must be distinguished, the source must be clearly presented;

- Journalists must adhere to the basic principles of professional conduct and journalism in his/her commentaries;

- Editor staff must place NOTE “The author’s views may not coincide with the position of the editorial staff” below the materials by non-staff authors; 

- The journalist must avoid distorting quotations;

- Advertising materials must differ from editorial and author’s materials;

- In case of non-compliance of the editorial assignment with the professional conduct and laws, a journalist is allowed to refuse to perform the assignment;

- In case of distortion of his/her views during the editing, a journalist is allowed to refuse to author the material.

Work with news sources 

- Preference should be given to working with transparent, credible, accurate sources;

- Source anonymity should be followed in case the source does not want to be disclosed;

- Editors, along with correspondents, should have information about confidential sources in order to evaluate them. If the source wants to remain completely anonymous, the information is allowed to be disseminated only if it is of public interest and confirmed by other alternative sources; 

- Factual information should be clarified from at least two different and independent sources;

- A confidential source can only be disclosed at the court’s request;

- Sources should be treated fairly and statements should not be quoted out of context.

Refutation and correction 

Correcting mistakes made in the materials disseminated in audiovisual and digital platforms, as well as in the print media, as editorial materials, aims to provide a prompt response and to give an explanation as clearly and quickly as possible. The user must be able to understand how and why the mistake was corrected;

Once a mistake is corrected, terms such as "correction" or "editorial note" should be used for explanatory purposes;

Correction - if an article, photo, information, title, graphic element, video, or other material is thoroughly corrected, the change must be explained;

Editorial note – if the public opinion claims that the material is not in line with the standards of professionalism, it should be explained under the "editorial note", and the issue should be clarified;

The editorial staff should not delete the materials it publishes, and in case of the lack of any information, it should be updated in detail;

In order to clarify the issues arising in connection with the principles and details of the refutation, reference should be made to the Law of the Republic of Azerbaijan “On Media”.


- Plagiarism and copyright infringement must be avoided;

- Reference is needed when using materials disseminated by other media entities;

- Journalist must clearly distinguish between his own materials and the information he/she receives from other sources;

- Journalist cannot present the material he/she prepares for the editorial office to others without the consent of the management of the media out he/she works for;

- In case of disputes, reference must be made to the articles on the protection of copyright in the Law “On Copyright” and the Law “On the Media”.

Journalist’s behavior on social media 

- Journalist must show professionalism when using social media and avoid actions that could harm the reputation and positions of the media entity he/she works for;

- When publishing audio, photo, video and other materials from social networks, the interests of the persons mentioned in those materials and privacy principles must be respected;

- Attention must be paid to the public importance of the information obtained from social networks and the status of the author, as well as the information, should be clarified from additional sources;

- Journalist must not turn unpublished material into a topic of discussion on social networks without the contest of the editorial office he/she represents.

Professional conduct

Serious journalism is impossible without media ethics. The norms of professional conduct are as follows:

- Journalists in no case should accept a gift for professional activity;

- Invitations to the events that are not open to the public should be accepted;

- Journalists should prepare material for someone else;

- Disclosure of information classified as editorial confidential is prohibited;

- Journalists should not undertake any obligation aimed at restricting his / her professional activity;

- Relationships between the creative team in the editorial office, as well as between management and employees, should be formed in a healthy, legal and transparent manner;

- Journalists must adhere to the principles of professional solidarity;

- Editorial staff must avoid non-editorial behavior and actions that could harm the reputation of the media entity they represent.