DNPA Code of Ethics
CODE OF ETHICS FOR DIGITAL NEWS WEBSITES
News Source : Kannada News Today
The Digital News Publishers Association has voluntarily drawn up a Code of Ethics
for its members as outlined below, which demonstrates their commitment to
responsible digital publishing –even as it, in order to protect our 19 (1) (a) and
other Constitutionally mandated freedoms, keeps under review and scrutinizes any
developments likely to restrict the gathering and dissemination of news and
current affairs or any other content.
The object of this Code is to outline high standards, ethics and practices in digital
news publishing, and does not constitute any attempt to involve itself in the day to
day operations of the publishers –who have complete editorial and content
The basic precepts of the Code of Ethics are to maintain the standards of digital
publishing as well as protect and maintain the independence of journalists, content
entities and publishers.
1. Digital news websites follow the laws of the land including the
Constitution of India, the over 30 laws relating to the media, relevant
provisions of IPC, CrPC as well as the Information Technology Act,
2000, where applicable.
2. They also diligently adhere to accepted norms of journalistic ethics and
practices and maintain the highest standards of professional conduct.
There are several layers of these self-regulatory ethics and codes –
including as outlined by specific entities as well as rigorous processes
in newsrooms at the level of journalists and editors.
3. Accuracy, Transparency & Fairness
Members should eschew publication of inaccurate, baseless or
distorted material. Pre-publication verification should be mandatory.
Defamation should be avoided. Adherence to applicable laws and
rules is necessary.
4. Right of reply
a. News reports and articles should incorporate comments or version of
person or party in respect of whom allegations are carried. If not carried,
the person or party’s response, if received later, to be incorporated.
b. If there are developments in the news, and the concerned person or party
requests an update, the same must be carried appropriately. Date of
update should also appear in the news item published.
5. Take down, delete or edit
If news report or article is found to contain false or inaccurate information,
then on approach by the concerned person or party, providing correct
information, identifying himself or herself, providing required documents or
material, the portion of the news report or article should be edited or
If entire news report is found to contain false, inaccurate information, the
entire article should be deleted.
6. Respect Intellectual Property Rights
a. Copyright in text, photographs, plans, diagrams, cartoons, etc must be
respected. If copyrighted material is used, then prior permission
should be taken and publication must acknowledge moral and
b. If permission requires payment of fee or royalty, the same must be paid.
c. Trade Marks and Service Marks of third parties not to be used except
with prior permission or if such use constitutes fair use.
d. In case infringement of intellectual property – upon receiving any
request and after getting the necessary documents, the concerned
content should be edited, deleted or take down if necessary.
7. Care to be taken for reporting sensational matters and crime.
Presumption of innocence must be preserved. Comments and
speculation on evidence, witness and witness conduct, accused and
victim and their respective conduct to be avoided. Such reporting
should be based on facts and unbiased.
8. Special care to be taken while reporting on sexual harassment in
workplace, child abuse, rape, where accused or victims are minors,
matrimonial, riots and communal disputes / clashes, divorce and
custody cases, adoption matters, etc.
• Care to be taken, to follow Sections 67, 67A and 67B of the Information
Technology Act, 2000 where applicable — which provide for penalties for
publishing or transmitting obscene material, sexually explicit material and
also material depicting children in sexually explicit acts, in electronic form.
9. Grievance Redressal Mechanism
Members –when intermediaries as defined under the Information Technology Act,
2000— follow the grievance redressal mechanism as outlined therein and are
cognizant of the liabilities and safe harbor protections under Section 79 of the IT
Act 2000. Hence, as relevant, they follow the Information Technology
(Intermediary Guidelines) Rules, 2011 including appointing a grievance officer
whose contact details are displayed on the website and who acts within 36 hours of
receipt of complaint by affected person and redresses the complaint within one
month from its receipt.
10.Training and Awareness Programs
Conduct periodic training and awareness programs with editorial staff about
existing laws including Constitution of India, the over 30 laws relating to the media
like The Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act, Copyright Act, Right
to Information Act, relevant provisions of Indian Penal Code and CrPC, civil and
criminal defamation, IPR, Juvenile justice, POCSO, relevant provisions relating to
reporting on rape and molestation, harassment in the work place, caste or gender
related crime, domestic violence, etc.
Names of victims and details leading to identification of victims
or perpetrator, if juvenile or in the workplace, to be strictly
Photographs of victims, their residence, workplace, etc to be
Special care and caution must be exercised at all times while
reporting matters related to communal or religious
disputes/clashes. Such news items shall be published only after
a proper verification of facts and should be presented with due
caution and restraint, ensuring an environment that is conducive
to promoting communal harmony, amity and peace.
Special care in reporting on Courts and judicial matters. Create
awareness among editorial staff about legislative privileges and
correct reporting of Court hearings, judicial matters, etc. To
ensure that versions of victim and accused are covered, without
Respect for privacy especially persons not in public life.