1.Everyone shall possess the right to freely express and publicise his thoughts in words, images or by any other means, as well as the right to inform others, inform himself and be informed without hindrance or discrimination 2.Exercise of the said rights shall not be hindered or limited by any type or form of censorship Constitution of the Portuguese Republic, Article 37.º

Uma lembrança para os próximos dias / A reminder for the coming days

Os jornalistas portugueses regem-se por um Código Deontológico que aprovaram em 4 de Maio de 1993, numa consulta que abrangeu todos os profissionais detentores de Carteira Profissional. O texto do projecto havia sido preliminarmente discutido e aprovado em Assembleia Geral realizada em 22 de Março de 1993.

1. O jornalista deve relatar os factos com rigor e exactidão e interpretá-los com honestidade. Os factos devem ser comprovados, ouvindo as partes com interesses atendíveis no caso. A distinção entre notícia e opinião deve ficar bem clara aos olhos do público.

2. O jornalista deve combater a censura e o sensacionalismo e considerar a acusação sem provas e o plágio como graves faltas profissionais.

3. O jornalista deve lutar contra as restrições no acesso às fontes de informação e as tentativas de limitar a liberdade de expressão e o direito de informar. É obrigação do jornalista divulgar as ofensas a estes direitos.

4. O jornalista deve utilizar meios leais para obter informações, imagens ou documentos e proibir-se de abusar da boa-fé de quem quer que seja. A identificação como jornalista é a regra e outros processos só podem justificar-se por razões de incontestável interesse público.

5. O jornalista deve assumir a responsabilidade por todos os seus trabalhos e actos profissionais, assim como promover a pronta rectificação das informações que se revelem inexactas ou falsas. O jornalista deve também recusar actos que violentem a sua consciência.

6. O jornalista deve usar como critério fundamental a identificação das fontes. O jornalista não deve revelar, mesmo em juízo, as suas fontes confidenciais de informação, nem desrespeitar os compromissos assumidos, excepto se o tentarem usar para canalizar informações falsas. As opiniões devem ser sempre atribuídas.

7. O jornalista deve salvaguardar a presunção da inocência dos arguidos até a sentença transitar em julgado. O jornalista não deve identificar, directa ou indirectamente, as vítimas de crimes sexuais e os delinquentes menores de idade, assim como deve proibir-se de humilhar as pessoas ou perturbar a sua dor.

8. O jornalista deve rejeitar o tratamento discriminatório das pessoas em função da cor, raça, credos, nacionalidade ou sexo.

9. O jornalista deve respeitar a privacidade dos cidadãos excepto quando estiver em causa o interesse público ou a conduta do indivíduo contradiga, manifestamente, valores e princípios que publicamente defende. O jornalista obriga-se, antes de recolher declarações e imagens, a atender às condições de serenidade, liberdade e responsabilidade das pessoas envolvidas.

10. O jornalista deve recusar funções, tarefas e benefícios susceptíveis de comprometer o seu estatuto de independência e a sua integridade profissional. O jornalista não deve valer-se da sua condição profissional para noticiar assuntos em que tenha interesses.

fonte: Jornalistas - O Sítio do Sindicato dos Jornalistas


The Portuguese journalists are ruled by an Ethics Code that they approved on the 4th of May, 1993, within a consultation that covered all the professionals that hold a Professional Card. The project’s text had been subject to a preliminary discussion and was approved in a General Assembly that took place on the 22nd of March, 1993.

1. The journalist shall report the facts with rigour and exactness and interpret them with honesty. The facts shall be proved, hearing the parties that have a right interest in the case. The distinction between news and opinion shall be made very clear to the eyes of the public.

2. The journalist shall combat censorship and sensationalism and consider accusation without evidence and plagiarism as serious professional errors.

3. The journalist shall fight against restrictions in the access to information sources, and any attempts to limit freedom of expression and the right to inform. It is the journalist’s obligation to divulge any offences against these rights.

4. The journalist shall use loyal means to obtain information, images or documents, and forbid him/herself from abusing the good faith of whomever. The identification as a journalist is the rule, and other processes can only be justified out of motives of incontestable public interest.

5. The journalist shall assume all responsibility for all of his/her work and professional actions, as well as promote the immediate correction of information that is revealed as inexact or false. The journalist shall also refuse actions that abuse his/her conscience.

6. The journalist shall use the identification of sources as fundamental criterion. The journalist shall not reveal, even in court, his/her confidential information sources, nor disrespect the assumed compromises, except when there is an attempt to use him/her to channel false information. Opinions shall always be attributed.

7. The journalist shall safeguard the presumption of arguidos’ innocence until the sentence is definitely validated by a court. The journalist shall not identify, directly or indirectly, the victims of sexual crime and the underage criminals, and also shall prohibit him/herself from humiliating people or disturbing their pain.

8. The journalist shall reject discriminatory treatment of people according to their skin colour, race, religious beliefs, nationality or gender.

9. The journalist shall respect citizens’ privacy except when public interest is at stake or the person’s behaviour manifestly contradicts the values and principles that he/she publicly defends. The journalist obliges him/herself to respect the conditions of serenity, freedom and responsibility of the persons involved, before collecting statements and images.

10. The journalist shall refuse functions, jobs and benefits that are susceptible of compromising his/her independence status and his/her professional integrity. The journalist shall not use his/her professional condition to report on matters in which he/her have an interest.

source: Jornalistas – The Portuguese Journalists’ Union's Website


  1. It seems like a lot of journalist have not been doing their job properly then, because they have taken as FACT the abduction scenario that the McCanns have been telling them.

    They should be reminded there is no proof of this.

    Quite the contrary.

    Maybe they will wake up to their mistake by this court hearing and recitify it.

    The McCanns have been allowed to get away with this spin for too long.

  2. Perhaps you could send the Portuguese code to the UK the journalists there seem to need some guidance.

  3. The rules the Portuguese journalists work by is not the same as the British. They have their own rules and to hell with the truth if they can sell their propaganda!

  4. A bit like doctors taking the hypocratic oath. Some live by it others don't. I guess it's a matter of having a conscience or not.

  5. British code of ethics for journalists:

    Code of conduct
    The NUJ's Code of Conduct has set out the main principles of British and Irish journalism since 1936. It is part of the rules and all journalists joining the union must sign that they will strive to adhere to it.

    Members of the National Union of Journalists are expected to abide by the following professional principles:

    A journalist:

    1. At all times upholds and defends the principle of media freedom, the right of freedom of expression and the right of the public to be informed

    2. Strives to ensure that information disseminated is honestly conveyed, accurate and fair

    3. Does her/his utmost to correct harmful inaccuracies

    4. Differentiates between fact and opinion

    5. Obtains material by honest, straightforward and open means, with the exception of investigations that are both overwhelmingly in the public interest and which involve evidence that cannot be obtained by straightforward means

    6. Does nothing to intrude into anybody’s private life, grief or distress unless justified by overriding consideration of the public interest

    7. Protects the identity of sources who supply information in confidence and material gathered in the course of her/his work

    8. Resists threats or any other inducements to influence, distort or suppress information

    9. Takes no unfair personal advantage of information gained in the course of her/his duties before the information is public knowledge

    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

    11. Does not by way of statement, voice or appearance endorse by advertisement any commercial product or service save for the promotion of her/his own work or of the medium by which she/he is employed

    12. Avoids plagiarism.

    The NUJ believes a journalist has the right to refuse an assignment or be identified as the author of editorial that would break the letter or spirit of the code. The NUJ will fully support any journalist disciplined for asserting her/his right to act according to the code.

  6. Parece que os códigos deontológicos ficam muitas vezes encerrados e esquecidos no fundo de uma gaveta, lá muito ao fundo, a fazer companhia ao segredo de justiça e...ao socialismo...

  7. In view of comments 2 and 3, what about getting two (or more) journalists from both Portugal and Britain/England to discuss their processes, their freedoms and resctrictions? These obviously are impacting heavily in the McCann case.


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