Our Press Ethics Charter
It meets the requirements of the French law of November 14, 2016, that aims to “strengthen the liberty, independence and pluralism of media”.
This charter aims to guarantee Indigo Publications’ editorial independence and provide its editorial staff with the means to exert that independence.
A. Purpose of the publishing company
Indigo Publications is a media company independent of the interests of any other media organization, government or political party. Our sole source of revenue comes from the sale of our editorial productions, other than potential financial investments. We never make use of advertising nor provide any consultancy services.
Based in Paris, Indigo Publications’ primary vocation is to provide its readers, through the work of its journalists, with information that is of high quality, balanced, checked and reliable. Its publications recognised by the French press agencies and publications parity committee (Commission paritaire des publications et agences de presse, CPPAP) are:
- AFRICAINTELLIGENCE.FR, CPPAP No.: 1225 Y 90644
- AFRICAINTELLIGENCE.COM, CPPAP No.: 1225 Y 92894
- INTELLIGENCEONLINE.FR, CPPAP No.: 1225 Z 90645
- INTELLIGENCEONLINE.COM, CPPAP No.: 1225 Z 92895
- LALETTRE.FR, CPPAP No.: 1225 Y 90643
B. Purpose of the charter
The aim of the present charter is to specify the commitments, duties and principles that govern the Indigo Publication’s editorial approach. These conditions are essential for the company to properly function. Each journalist at the company is given a copy of this charter.
C. Adhesion to the Munich Declaration of the Duties and Rights of Journalists
Indigo Publications is a member of the French online independent media union, Syndicat de la presse indépendante d’information en ligne (SPIIL). As such, the company has accepted to comply with the rules of the SPIIL’s good practices guidelines. This completes the Munich Declaration on the duties and rights of journalists that SPIIL members undertake to respect (see Annexe).
Indigo Publications defines itself as an independent media company. It defends free and independent journalism and does not act in the service of third party interests or influence.
E. Fees and gifts
Except for specific circumstances, Indigo Publications covers all of the professional fees incurred by the journalists that it employees: travel, accommodation, food, etc.
Indigo Publications’ journalists undertake to not directly or indirectly accept any gifts or other benefits as part of their activity or, more generally, under any circumstance where this could affect their work.
These specific circumstances are defined by the person in charge of the editorial team, and each member of staff must refer to this person regarding this matter.
Indigo Publications’ editorial obligations do not oppose its journalists from accepting free entries to certain events or conferences that they wish to cover.
Indigo Publications covers the costs for the participation in a press trip.
F. Separation of commercial and editorial activities
Indigo Publication’s commercial and editorial activities are separated. Those in charge of sales (marketing and management of subscriptions) do not have any editorial responsibilities or direct hierarchical connection with the editorial staff.
G. Social responsibility
Indigo Publications undertakes to permanently employ professional journalists who hold a press card. The company applies the various media company collective employment agreements.
Indigo Publications’ journalists undertake to not take part in any activities that benefit trademarks, companies, governments or organisations.
H. Grants and aids
To offer full transparency about any press grants, Indigo Publications shall inform its readers of the sum of any private or public grants it may receive and for which projects this money is to be used.
I. Shareholder structure
Indigo Publication’s legal notice is clearly visible and available on all of the websites it publishes. This notice details the name of the publisher, the company’s legal statute and the names of all shareholders that hold over 10% of the share capital.
J. Publication of annual statements
Each year, Indigo Publications informs its readers with a summary of its annual financial statements and the broad outlines of its economic activity. These are published on its institutional website. The full financial statements are filed with the Registry of the Paris Court of Commerce where they can be accessed by the general public.
Indigo Publications refuses all forms of advertisement (including brand content and native advertising).
Only notifications of conferences are accepted free of charge, within the framework of our partnerships.
Declaration of the Duties and Rights of Journalists
The right to information, to free speech and to criticism is one of the most fundamental freedoms of every human being. The whole complex of duties and rights of journalists derives from this right of the public to know facts and opinions. The responsibility of journalists vis-a-vis the public has precedence over any other responsibility, in particular towards their employers and the public power. The mission to inform necessarily includes the limits journalists spontaneously impose on themselves. This is the subject of the present declaration of duties. Yet these duties can be effectively respected in the exercise of the journalist profession only if the concrete conditions of professional independence and dignity are implemented. This is the subject of the declaration of rights quoted here.
Declaration of duties
The essential duties of the journalist in gathering, reporting on and commenting on events consist in:
- Respecting the truth no matter what consequences it may bring abut to him, and this is because the right of the public is to know the truth.
- Defending the freedom of information, of commentaries and of criticism.
- Publishing only such pieces of information the origin of which is known or – in the opposite case – accompanying them with due reservations; not suppressing essential information and not altering texts and documents.
- Not making use of disloyal methods to get information, photographs and documents.
- Feeling obliged to respect the private life of people.
- Correcting any published information which has proved to be inaccurate.
- Observing the professional secrecy and not divulging the source of information obtained confidentially.
- Abstaining from plagiarism, slander, defamation and unfounded accusations as well as from receiving any advantage owing to the publication or suppression of information.
- Never confusing the profession of journalist with that of advertiser or propagandist and not accepting any consideration, direct or not, from advertisers.
- Refusing any pressure and accepting editorial directives only from the leading persons in charge in the editorial office. Every journalist worthy of this name feels honoured to observe the above-mentioned principles; while recognising the law in force in each country, he does accept only the jurisdiction of his colleagues in professional matters, free from governmental or other interventions.
Every journalist worthy of that name deems it his duty faithfully to observe the principles stated above. Within the general law of each country, the journalist recognises, in professional matters, the jurisdiction of his colleagues only; he excludes every kind of interference by governments or others.
Declaration of rights
- Journalists claim free access to all information sources, and the right to freely inquire on all events conditioning public life. Therefore, secret of public or private affairs may be opposed only to journalists in exceptional cases and for clearly expressed motives;
- The journalist has the right to refuse subordination to anything contrary to the general policy of the information organ to which he collaborates such as it has been laid down by writing and incorporated in his contract of employment, as well as any subordination not clearly implicated by this general policy;
- A journalist cannot be compelled to perform a professional act or to express an opinion contrary to his convictions or his conscience;
- The editorial staff has obligatorily to be informed on all important decisions which may influence the life of the enterprise. It should at least be consulted before a definitive decision on all matters related to the composition of the editorial staff e.g. recruitment, dismissals, mutations and promotion of journalists is taken;
- Taking in account his functions and responsibilities, the journalist is entitled not only to the advantages resulting from collective agreements but also to an individual contract of employment, ensuring the material and moral security of his work as well as a wage system corresponding to his social condition and guaranteeing his economic independence.
- General principles
- Economic transparency