Survey says Uruguayan journalists want a code of ethics

By Isabela Fraga

Close to 89 percent of Uruguayan journalists agreed to establish a code of ethics for their profession, according to a survey from the Uruguayan Press Association, the Center for Archives and Access to Information, and the Media and Society Group, reported the agency Pulsar.

The research also noted that 77 percent of print journalists in Uruguay think that work conditions and salaries affect the quality of journalism in the country.

The survey consulted 257 journalists working in print, radio, television and online. The poll also showed that 89 percent believe issues like the treatment of information, impartiality and adherence to the truth should be addressed in a journalistic code of ethics.

Of journalists surveyed, 57 percent agree that the code should establish guides for sources; 65 percent think there should be limits on gifts and other offers journalists can receive from businesses and the government; and 82 percent think the code should explain conflicts of interest. The biggest point of consensus between journalists was the need for the code to address plagiarism and inadequate attribution, with 96 percent in agreement.

According to the Uruguayan Press Association's website, four conferences took place before the survey between journalists and experts from Uruguay, Argentina, Brazil and Chile to discuss the ethical challenges facing journalism in the country. Both the survey and the conferences were part of a project from UNESCO's International Programme for the Development of Communication in Uruguay.

Note from the editor: This story was originally published by the Knight Center’s blog Journalism in the Americas, the predecessor of LatAm Journalism Review.