The International Press Institute (IPI), along with five other international organisations, launched a new Global Charter on Media Transparency designed to end the offer of inducements to journalists in return for media coverage.

The Charter contains the following principles:

– News material should appear as a result of the news judgement of journalists and editors, and not as the result of any payment in cash or in kind, or any other inducements;

– Material involving payment should be clearly identified as advertising, sponsorship or promotion;

– No journalist or media representative should ever suggest that news coverage will appear for any reason other than its merit;

– When samples or loans of products or services are necessary for a journalist to render an objective opinion, the length of time should be agreed in advance and loaned products should be returned afterward; and

– The media should institute written policies regarding the receipt of gifts or discounted products or services, and journalists should be required to sign the policy.

Commenting on the new Charter, IPI Director, Johann P. Fritz said, “The International Press Institute’s General Assembly has endorsed these principles because all attempts to corrupt the media compromise the freedom of expression that protects all rights.”

The other organisations offering their support for the Charter are the International Federation of Journalists, Transparency International, the Global Alliance for Public Relations and Communications Management, the Institute for Public Relations Research and Education, and the International Public Relations Association, who initiated the project.