These guidelines were drawn up in a workshop, in Beirut, organised by the National Democratic Institute and the Lebanese NGO ASWAT on “Citizen Journalism, Professionalism, and Ethics”. The aim of the workshop was to increase the professional standards of journalistic reporting for citizen journalists. During the last session of the workshop, young citizen journalists from the MENA region, and Iran, along with traditional journalists, namely Kelli Arena [a former CNN journalist] and Magda Abu-Fadil [former editor at AFP], established a code ethics for citizen journalists; which is the following:
- Be accurate.
- Be transparent about who you are/your role in the story, your methodology, any conflicts of interest.
- Be fair.
- Disclose any funding.
- Be careful posting developments that not have not been confirmed or that you have not witnessed yourself.
- Do not distribute copyrighted material or plagiarize.
- Always link to original sources.
- Do not post anything that will endanger someone’s life.
- Do not sell information about your subscribers or followers’ list.
- Do not fabricate stories, or digitally alter pictures or video.
- Avoid profanity.
- Put a disclaimer before especially disturbing post.
The code was also translated to Arabic, and French: