CWA No. 17493

CEN Workshop Agreement published on December 19th, 2019

I. Introduction

Quoted from the approved JTI Project Plan:

The ultimate goal of the “Journalism Trust Initiative” (JTI) is to support the universal, individual freedom of opinion through access to information and independent, pluralistic media. By safeguarding professional standards, a healthier digital media landscape should emerge, from which each citizen and media worker, but also societies at large, could benefit.

In our digital age, it has become increasingly difficult to distinguish information shaped by vested interests from that produced by independent and fair news professionals. An open and honest public debate, aimed at informing the general public, is more and more difficult to sustain, especially when propaganda and ‘fake news’ seem on the rise and trust in institutions and the media is declining.

To face those challenges, in line with the fight for freedom of information, this Initiative aims at concretely enhancing and safeguarding journalism worthy of this name, complying with ethical rules, approved journalistic methods, and guarantees of independence. In a context of growing distrust towards the media, we consider it important to set up a transparent framework to promote principles of ethical journalism, both to provide guidance to the public and to encourage news providers to raise their professional norms and practices.

We put the term “trust” at the centre of JTI because it signifies the level of credibility that journalism enjoys – or the lack thereof. This trust has of course to be earned. Journalists work in the public interest only if they act as “trusted third parties,” spreading information that enables people to be aware of, and fully comprehend, the challenges they face in their environment, and to form their own opinion.

Trust is deeply intertwined with transparency, responsibility, and accountability.

We believe in self-regulation of journalism, which requires agreed norms, standards or equivalents that function as a verifiable set of rules and benchmarks, and that define the best practice of our profession. This is what JTI aims to provide.

It also means implementation through tangible benefits to incentivise compliance.

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II. Preamble

This introductory declaration reflects the spirit and philosophy upon which the document was drafted by the consensus of a broad coalition of media companies, professional bodies and media development organisations. In this preamble the authors and stakeholders of the process wish to express their mutual understanding of the ethical dimension of journalistic activity as follows in this preamble.

Acknowledging the fact that values are not always objectively measurable, it is considered even more important to state them clearly.

Wherever possible, these principles are further detailed and translated into verifiable criteria in The Standard found in Chapter V.

Compliance with this CEN Workshop Agreement requires a pledge and an explicit commitment to both the principles outlined in the following preamble and to the Standard that implements them.

Declaration on Ethical and Professional Journalism

Please refer to the JTI Pledge.

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III. The Scope

The JTI Standard that begin below in Chapter V have two main sections: “Identity and Transparency” [Section A] and “Professionalism and Accountability” [Section B].

This chapter describes those two sections.

A.        Identity and Transparency

The first section (A) has been drafted to define standards of “Identity and Transparency”.

The JTI promotes the disclosure of information regarding:

  • The persons or organisations involved in the activity of the media (“Identity”);
  • Owners who control the media and the sources of revenue (“Transparency”).

It could be understood as “Tell us who you are”. The more transparent news Media Outlets are about their direct and/or indirect ownership, the more trustworthy they are likely to be in the eyes of the public.

Faced with the proliferation of online information sources, the public needs access to trustworthy information revealing basic identity data (name, activity, contact details, etc.) as well as all relevant information on ownership and sources of revenue of news media organisations.

Such information can reduce levels of scepticism among readers and viewers caused by potential media concentration and conflicts of interests, and can reinforce public attachment to and respect for high-quality news media that are characterized by, if not financial, at least editorial, independence.

All news providers, old or new, print or digital, big or small, including individual media, should be interested in engaging in this process: the traditional media will take a better look at themselves, and new media players will be encouraged to be clear about their business models. In both cases, it will help increase their credibility.

This section contains relevant indicators about the identity and transparency status of a content provider, and requires Media Outlets to list information such as names, contact details, founding date, activity, location, ownership, sources of revenue, means of distribution, etc.

B.        Professionalism and Accountability

The second section (B) has been drafted to define standards of “Accountability and Professionalism".

This section could be understood as “Tell us how you work”. It focuses on the professional and enabling environment of editorial work and journalistic production at the organisational level. It consists of agreed criteria and organisational benchmarks to secure best practice in professional working methods, as well as upholding principles of ethical journalism and promoting public accountability. These include, in particular, the existence and functioning of complaints and correction mechanisms, the presence and implementation of Editorial Guidelines as well as the organisation of management and newsroom structures.

This section contains indicators on accountability and professionalism in the activities of a Media Outlet that facilitate the provision of trusted and pluralistic journalism. They are meant to ensure that news media operate according to criteria that promote transparency and accountability and are thereby deserving of public trust.

IV. Terms and Definitions

This chapter includes a definition of mandatory and optional clauses, indicating the respective wording and tags used.

An additional glossary is to be found as Annex C [in the original Standard document, and online also here].

Language (ISO standards) and Format

In order to be clear about what is mandatory and what is not, and to facilitate machine-readability, we use different verbal forms and respective tags in the questionnaire in {braces}, as defined in the ISO/IEC Directives, Part 2, 2018 :


Mandatory requirements: shall, shall not {M}

A requirement is defined as an "expression, in the content of a document that conveys objectively verifiable criteria to be fulfilled and from which no deviation is permitted if conformance with the document is to be claimed".


Optional recommendations: should, should not {O}

A recommendation is defined as an"expression, in the content of a document that conveys a suggested possible choice or course of action deemed to be particularly suitable without necessarily mentioning or excluding others".


Permission: may, need not

A permission is defined as an "expression, in the content of a document that conveys consent or liberty (or opportunity) to do something".


Possibility and capability: can, cannot

A possibility is defined as an "expression, in the content of a document that conveys expected or conceivable material, physical or causal outcome".

A capability is defined as an "expression, in the content of a document that conveys the ability, fitness, or quality necessary to do or achieve a specified thing".


The format of the question response is indicated in [brackets].

Answers that are dependent on a previous answer are indicated with {D}.

“N/A” means “Not Applicable” and is an acceptable answer when shown.

‘Media Outlet’ - the Conforming Entity

We put Media Outlets at the centre of this process as the Conforming Entity.

Irrespective of size or legal form, a Media Outlet is defined as an entity, composed by means, procedures and individuals, which produces and disseminates journalistic content. As a legal entity or through its legal representatives or staff, it carries operational editorial responsibility for such content. The objective of this definition is to allow for a variety of entry points to achieving conformity with this Standard. A Media Outlet can be a single individual (e.g. a blogger), one team or department within a larger media organisation (e.g. a certain radio channel, a newsroom, a show, website or paper) or a whole media organisation with many outlets and brands.

Regardless of the organisational structure of an entity, working with this document and the subsequent conformity assessment should always start where the editorial decisions are being made on a day-to-day basis.

In case they exist, additional layers above – such as a combined media organisation, owners, shareholders – and ‘downstream’ below – like brands and products – are then defined according to their relationship with the entity conforming to this Standard.

In other words, the applicant decides what the entities are that will follow this Standard, and then those entities are responsible for conforming with it.

Individual journalist and Small Enterprises

We believe that professional standards should be alike for all types and sizes of media. At the same time we understand that a certain level of differentiation is needed as large, well-resourced organisations might be better positioned to comply with the clauses of this document, simply because of management capacity to handle such a process.

In addition, some clauses might not apply to certain types of Media Outlets.

In order to not disadvantage small entities, but rather encourage them to conform with this Standard, it includes special clauses for individual journalists, one-person enterprises and very small Media Outlets. Disclosure rules are specified for different types of media and some clauses may not apply.

Editorial Guidelines

According to the Preamble, the implementation of transparent Editorial Guidelines is fundamental to the ethical performance of a Media Outlet. These guidelines can be self-sourced or adopted by subscribing to existing ones (of which one model is referenced in chapter VII), but shall at least include the minimal requirements of the Standard in Chapter V.

Safety Concerns

Safety of news media staff and freelancers is paramount. We understand that full transparency, although desirable in principle, can in certain conditions create unacceptable levels of risk to Media Outlets and journalists. Legitimate reasons exist not to disclose a physical address, a name or phone number. However, in those exceptional cases, the reasons shall be stated and explained to the fullest extent possible. Safety concerns shall not be misused to refrain from disclosure for other reasons.

The protection of journalistic sources is considered to be a separate issue and is dealt with separately in this document.

V. The JTI Standard – Clauses

Section A: Identity and Transparency

1. Basic Requirements on Media’s Identity

1.1. Legal Entity Name

The Media Outlet, as Conforming Entity, shall provide the name designating the Legal Entity or entities under which it is conducting business. In some cases, this will be the company or public entity (branch of government, parliament, legally authorised state institution, etc.) that has ultimate legal ownership of the Media Outlet. This usually is the body that would be held liable in a court case. It is the body that enters into transactions such as paying employees and suppliers or receiving funds from readers, viewers, customers, advertisers and other sources of funding.

1.2. Contact Details and Identifiers

The contact details that shall be provided are the postal address and both a general telephone number and email address for the Legal Entity or entities designated in clause 1.1 “Legal Entity Name”, as well as existing identifiers.
Clarification: This should be the contact details for the Legal Entity. Elsewhere in this document, means of contact for reader, viewer or listener enquiries, editorial input and other purposes are required.

1.3. Description of Media Outlet

The Conforming Entity shall list all brand names, titles, publication names, etc. under which its Content is published, broadcast, printed or otherwise disseminated to the public or customers. These will be known for this document and this process collectively as the Media Outlet. It is that Media Outlet that will conform with this Journalism Trust Initiative Standard. This is the Conforming Entity. These include all names used on website URLs and on social media accounts, etc.

1.4. Distribution Channels and URLs

The Media Outlet shall list all URLs on which it publishes. If broadcast or audiovisual, the Media Outlet shall list all terrestrial frequencies, satellite, cable, streaming and other platforms on which it is distributed.

1.5. Safety Concerns

The Media Outlet shall at all times keep the safety (including digital safety and cybersecurity) of staff, contributors and owners as a primary concern. If full transparency of contact details or other information might endanger individuals, the Media Outlet shall describe what it can about the legitimate reasons for a lack of disclosure or use of pseudonyms for that purpose. Safety concerns shall not be misused to refrain from disclosure.

1.6. Location

The Media Outlet shall provide the physical address of the headquarters of the legal entity referred to above in 1.1 Legal Entity Name.
Clarification: This is necessary in cases where the address listed in the Contact Details clause (1.2) does not specify a physical location, or where the location designated by the contact details referred to in 1.2 is not the same location as the headquarters. Clause 1.5, Safety Concerns, may be applied.

1.7. Founding Date

The founding date of the Legal Entity referred to in clause 1.1 “Legal Entity Name” shall be specified. If the Media Outlet designated in clause 1.3 “Media Outlet” has a different founding date, the history of former legal entities and their founding dates shall be listed.

2. Editorial Mission

2.1. Editorial Mission Statement

The Media Outlet shall disclose its editorial mission statement which shall be consistent with the fundamental ethical principles of trustworthy journalism, and, as described in the Preamble, should incorporate principles of: ethical practice, good governance, self-regulation and Engagement with the public. A Media Outlet shall set out how it proposes to uphold these journalism principles through its Editorial Guidelines and processes which shall include arrangements in relation to internal accountability and of appropriate external accountability (see clauses 9 – 15). Best practice is to have these arrangements codified and made available publicly.

3. Public Service Media

3.1. Public Service Media Mission, Governance and Independence

The Media Outlet shall describe its public service mission and the legal instrument on which it is based. It shall describe its governance structure, including the role of all relevant governance bodies or organisations (for example, regulator, supervisory board, government/parliament role). It shall state how its financial income is generated and what proportion of its financial resources are totally or partially provided by public funds. It shall state if both external and internal governance measures guarantee its editorial independence.

4. Disclosure of Type of Ownership

4.1. Privately held

The Media Outlet shall declare its legal status clarifying what type of company it is registered as. For example, if it is a limited or incorporated company. It should use the legal definition used in its country of registration and provide the relevant registration information.

4.2. State or Publicly Owned

The Media Outlet shall state clearly if it is fully or partly owned by the government, a state institution, or other public body, providing information on the specific department, entity, or body that exercises that ownership and its relationship with the government.

4.3. Publicly Traded Company

The Media Outlet shall indicate if it is a publicly traded company and where it is legally registered and where its shares are traded. The company shall also provide its share name and indicate what proportion of its ownership is publicly traded.

4.4. Other

If the ownership of the Media Outlet is different from the above, for example if the organisation is a co-operative or member-owned, the Media Outlet shall indicate its form of ownership and provide links to local legal definitions of the type of ownership.
If the ownership of the Media Outlet is made up of a combination of the above types of ownership, then it shall provide a breakdown of the ownership indicating clearly which share is which ownership type.

5. Requirements on Owners’ Identity

The identity of owners shall be disclosed: including direct owners, indirect or beneficial owners, shareholders, indirect or beneficial shareholders. Information on any type of influence and/or conflict of interest should be provided and monitored internally. The information shall be updated on an annual basis and easy to access, preferably online. If the Outlet has no website, the information should be published or communicated clearly in all its publications or transmissions.

5.1. Names of Owners and Board Members

The names of direct, indirect, controlling or beneficial owners shall be disclosed. If any of these is also the beneficial owner of another company, the name and main activities of that company shall be clearly stated. The business sectors in which these other companies are operating shall also be indicated. The names of the members of supervisory structures, like the board, shall also be disclosed. If any of these persons is an active member of a political party or movement, holder of an elected office, or a candidate to a political election, the name of that party or movement shall be clearly stated.

5.2. Contact Details of Direct and Indirect Owners

The contact details of direct and indirect owners shall be disclosed, preferably online, along with the contact details of the members of the board of directors.

5.3. Names of Shareholders

The names of direct and beneficial majority or controlling shareholders shall be disclosed. If the shareholder is a company, the name and main activities of that company shall be clearly stated. The business sector in which this company is operating shall also be indicated.

5.4. Percentage of Shareholdings

The percentage of the controlling shareholdings should be disclosed, regardless of the percentage.

5.5. Exception for Member-owned Media Outlets

The names and contact information for all owners is not required to be disclosed, but it is required for the leadership, e. g. the Board of Directors according to clauses 5.1 and 5.2.

6. Disclosure of Identity of the Management Team and its Location

The organisational structure of the Media Outlet shall be publicly available with up-to-date information on the names, positions and contact details of the people in charge. The address, usually the headquarters, shall be clearly indicated. If the company has several offices based in different places, their addresses shall also be disclosed. If the physical address cannot be stated for security concerns a correspondence address shall be provided.

6.1. Management Directory

Chief executive officer, managing director, directors, all the people holding responsibility in the company shall clearly be identified. Their name, position and professional contact details shall be disclosed.

6.2. Location of Branches and Offices

The location of the headquarters, main branches and offices of the Media Outlet shall be disclosed, including the full address, a contact phone number and email address.

7. Disclosure of Editorial Contact Details

7.1. Social Media

The Media Outlet shall provide the contact details of the professional social media accounts of those responsible for interacting with and responding to public queries about the organisation’s editorial content. This can be management, senior editorial staff, the ombudsperson, readers editor or equivalent.

7.2. Newsroom Contact Details

The Media Outlet shall provide public contact details that will facilitate communication with the newsroom(s). The editorial staff, when informed of the public's queries, should be able to communicate back to the public.

7.3. Customer Service Contact Details

The Media Outlet shall provide all available contact details: telephone numbers, email addresses, and correspondence address of its customer service. If the organisation does not have a department, a contact should be provided for readers or other stakeholders to be able to get in touch with the Media Outlet.

8. Disclosure of Revenue Sources and Data Collection

The aim of disclosure is to be able to assess potential conflicts of interests. Media Outlets are encouraged to exceed the financial disclosure requirements mandated by their national laws in order to achieve this goal. In cases where the requirements cannot be met, a justification for non-compliance should be published.

8.1. Sources of Revenue

The Media Outlet shall disclose a list of its sources of revenue, ranked from largest to smallest. These may include subscriptions, advertising, major donors and donations, subsidies, fees, sales, memberships, sponsorships, events, etc.

Organisations obliged to publish or make public their financial information shall provide a reference to the source where the data is accessible.

The Media Outlet may disclose its revenue and/or the categories of its sources of revenue, including the respective ratios.

A Media Outlet owned by the state or the government, or financed with public money, shall disclose the nature of its source(s) of revenue: license fees, government budget, partnerships, public subscriptions, grants, commercial advertising, or other.

Where a media entity deems itself precluded from disclosure of information due to safety and security concerns as outlined in the Terms and Definitions section, these shall be explained.

8.2. Data Collection Disclosure

Where a Media Outlet processes personal data from its audiences, on its own or by engaging with third parties, that shall be disclosed.

The Media Outlet shall describe what personal data is processed, by which methods and for what purpose.

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Section B: Professionalism and Accountability

9. Accountability for Journalism Principles

9.1. Editorial Guidelines

A Media Outlet shall produce a set of Editorial Guidelines or adhere to an external set of guidelines (for example the Model Editorial Guidelines provided as a reference document to this Standard), to which its journalistic operations comply. They should govern meaningful principles of journalistic content, dissemination and conduct. These guidelines, and the identity of the person or group of persons with ultimate responsibility for them within its organisation, shall be made available to the public in a readily accessible and understandable form. Best practice is to have these guidelines available publicly rather than on request.

9.2. Purpose of Guidelines

A Media Outlet shall ensure that these Editorial Guidelines set clear expectations of the behaviour it requires from its own staff, its contractors and from all other contributors to its editorial content. It should also set out the structure of responsibility within the organisation, making sure it is clear who is accountable for each stage of the process that leads to publication.

9.3. Guidelines and Journalism Principles

A Media Outlet shall ensure that these Editorial Guidelines embody the core ethical principles of journalism. The Editorial Guidelines may impose specific requirements in addition to these core ethical principles; but any additional requirements shall not compromise these core ethical principles as described in the Preamble of this document.

9.4. Conflicts of Interest

Editorial Guidelines shall ensure that there are no conflicts of interests – real, potential or perceived – damaging the integrity of the story or the editorial independence of those working on it. They should have guidance on how to deal with conflicts related to political, business and personal interests. Editorial structures should protect the journalism from any undue influence by the Media Outlet’s executive management or ownership authorities outside the formal editorial process and from any external interests, commercial, social or political.

10. Accuracy

10.1. Processes for Ensuring Accuracy

The Media Outlet shall have internal rules with a systematic editorial process to make sure that the content is accurate and the Editorial Guidelines are adhered to. This may include the verification process for the content and the role of editorial oversight.

10.2. Process Review

There shall be a mechanism for the periodic review of the editorial processes to ensure that they are in compliance with the Editorial Guidelines and that the accountability processes are effective and being used to support them.

10.3. Statistics and External Content

Statistics and external photographs/video/audio content should be sourced and verified.

10.4. Identification of Journalists, Agencies

Principle and secondary authors should be identified, or if not, then recorded via publishing mechanisms, so that this information can be accessed if there is a query. This includes any news agency material subscribed to by the Media Outlet. Any details of individuals should be subject to the legal requirements of data protection and security considerations.

10.5. Location Reporting

In news reporting, it should be clear to any reader or audience where a report is being written from, and if it includes location reporting. Where location reporting is constrained due to the mechanism or conditions of the facilitation this should be identified, e.g. an embed with an official army or independent travel with local militias. This may also include occasions where the reporting has been facilitated by a commercial, NGO or governmental organisation and labelling is necessary for transparency.

10.6. Automatically Generated Content

News content generated, wholly or partly, automatically by means of algorithmic processes (such as but not limited to text generating systems, bots or artificial intelligence) shall be clearly indicated.

10.7. Algorithmic Dissemination and Curation

A Media Outlet shall indicate its policy on the use of algorithms for news content dissemination or curation and its adherence to best practice requirements from regulatory or advisory bodies.

10.8. Treatment of Explicit Content

Editorial processes shall ensure the ethically appropriate treatment of violent and explicit content, of content which features children or other vulnerable people, and of live content.

11. Responsibility for Content Provided by the General Public

11.1. User Generated Content/Eyewitness News

A Media Outlet shall ensure that the same principles of checking for accuracy, legal, and ethical compliance are applied to journalistic content sourced from the general public (UGC or Eyewitness News content) as with all content it publishes.

11.2. Editorial Guidelines for UGC/Eyewitness News

There should be specific categories within the Media Outlet’s Editorial Guidelines for dealing with User Generated Content (UGC) or Eyewitness News and these should be publicly accessible.

In relation to this type of content the guidelines shall indicate the verification process to be used, how the content should be published with any labelling required and include guidance on dealing with the content providers in a responsible manner.

11.3. Opinion Guidelines

In relation to opinion or comment pieces the guidelines should set clear requirements of the ethical principles expected which may include but is not limited to prohibition of comment due to defamation, privacy, hate speech and harassment. The Media Outlet should make clear its policy on the moderation of such content, whether it is pre or post publication, and its policy on take-down, notice and appeal provisions.

12. Responsibility for Sources

A Media Outlet shall ensure that the sources used for its journalism are dealt with responsibly and their anonymity protected when justified.

12.1. Anonymity

The procedures for granting anonymity to sources shall be covered by the Editorial Guidelines. The reason for anonymity should be clarified for the public.

12.2. Privacy Rights

Editorial guidelines should protect the privacy rights of individuals and their safety.

12.3. Independence and Sources

There should be guidelines on establishing relations with sources which protect the independence of the journalism.

12.4. Diversity of Sources

Editorial guidelines should ensure that a diversity of sources are consulted in producing journalistic content with adequate time for response.

13. Professionalism for Affiliations

13.1. Sponsored Content Policies

Professional journalism principles shall have clear and distinct editorial practices in distinguishing advertising and sponsored content, commercial or commissioned, from editorial content independently produced by the Media Outlet.

13.2. Sponsored Content Indicators

In Media Outlets, sponsored content shall be clearly identified with the words content 'sponsored by’, ‘paid by’ or other explicit and easy to understand terms. Particular care should be taken in distinguishing so called ‘native’ content (where the item is sponsored but is published or broadcast next to ordinary editorial content) from its surrounding material.

13.3. Separation of News and Opinion

Editorial Guidelines shall ensure that there is a clear distinction between news content and opinion and between news content and other content provided by an external non-journalistic body by requiring labelling or an equivalent mechanism.

14. Internal Accountability

14.1. Dealing with Inaccuracies

There shall be a systematic editorial structure in the Media Outlet to ensure that any inaccuracies in its content are corrected in a timely and transparent manner. This shall include a clear process to allow potential errors to be communicated to the Media Outlet by the public and those with knowledge of the story and for assessing and dealing with the claims.

14.2. Publishing Corrections

In particular, in relation to inaccuracies, a Media Outlet shall adopt good practice for correcting inaccuracies, such as making a clear indication of the correction in a similarly prominent place and manner as the original version, such as the same URL or in similar time and format of broadcast.

14.3. Contact and Process for Complaints

A Media Outlet shall have a designated person and/or contact information in place for complaints. A process shall exist for members of the public to open a dialogue with the organisation in the event of potential breaches of its journalism principles or Editorial Guidelines. This information shall be easily available.

14.4. Internal Process for Complaints

The Media Outlet shall have a clear procedure in place to ensure that all staff are aware of the process that must be followed when such a complaint is received. For example in larger Media Outlets, it must be known and accepted that the creator of a piece of journalism that is subject to such a complaint must escalate the issue to a designated third person. A Media Outlet shall ensure that complaints are addressed within the Media Outlet in a fair, reasonable and timely manner.

14.5. Independence of Ombudsperson

Where a Media Outlet’s internal accountability mechanism takes the form of an ombudsperson, that person may be appointed by the Media Outlet; but in this case there shall be a transparent process for his/her appointment and the ombudsperson’s independence shall be protected to ensure that he/she cannot be removed from the position simply for challenging journalistic or editorial decisions or actions.

14.6. Powers of Ombudsperson

Where a Media Outlet’s internal accountability mechanism takes the form of an internal or external ombudsperson or equivalent, it should take steps to ensure that this person has powers to remedy any breaches of its Editorial Guidelines, provide redress to affected parties, deter future guidelines’ breaches and provide an opportunity for its decisions to be appealed or reviewed.

15. External Accountability

15.1. External Oversight

Trust in the Media Outlet is enhanced if it is subject to a form of external accountability that is effective and independent. To this end where appropriate, a Media Outlet may wish to commit to an independent and effective form of external accountability for its journalism principles, which may take the form of an external ombudsperson, press or media council or statutory regulator.

15.2. Compliance with External Accountability

Where a Media Outlet commits to a form of external accountability, it shall comply with any guidance, structures or best practice directions issued by that body.

15.3. Absence of External Oversight

External accountability is not always possible due to the absence of such mechanisms in many countries or a lack of confidence in the efficacy, independence or trustworthiness of existing mechanisms. Where this is the case it may be helpful for the Media Outlet to state the reasons for non-compliance, taking into account the legal requirements applicable to particular media. The Media Outlet may in certain cases align with other media entities to participate in a more appropriate mechanism.

15.4. Contact Details of External Accountability Bodies

Where a Media Outlet commits to a form of external accountability, it shall publicise the process by which the public can contact that body to complain about potential breaches of its Editorial Guidelines in a manner that is easily accessible for all.

15.5. Other Associations

The Media Outlet may publicly list its membership of all bodies that require members to adhere to published guidelines, standards or norms to maintain status in that organisation. Best practice is to publish which associations a Media Outlet is a member of, listing the names and contact details.

16. Professionalism in the Media Outlet

16.1. Recruitment and Training

There shall be professional guidelines for the recruitment and training of editorial staff. This includes responsibilities for implementing diversity policy and staff welfare. Recruitment policy, (use of open competition etc.) and staff welfare principles should be publicly available.

16.2. Working Conditions, Contract Policy and Labour Relations

Journalistic principles and practice should be supported by the organisational environment including protection for journalistic integrity through adherence to labour laws and regulations, transparency of contract policy and freedom to organise. The duration or nature of the contract should not inhibit a journalist from operating in an ethical manner and the organisation structure should protect that principle.

16.3. Staff Welfare

Responsibility for the welfare of staff and those contracted on a freelance basis should be an important part of a Media Outlet’s role. Organisational Editorial Guidelines should be protective against any form of discrimination and supportive of equality of opportunity. It should ensure safety at work and in the working environment (including remote and online) and have guidelines, which support staff who have been exposed to material of a sensitive or upsetting nature or have suffered physical or psychological harm in the course of their work.

17. Training

17.1. Training in Editorial Guidelines

A Media Outlet should have a structured mechanism to ensure that its employees or operators have full training in journalism principles, Editorial Guidelines and the demands laid down by legal and ethical compliance.

17.2. Continuous Training

Its training process should be continuous to ensure content creators, including technical staff developing new editorial tools, are fully acquainted with changes in relevant laws or ethical requirements.

17.3. Support and Advice

A Media Outlet should provide a support structure to ensure all its employees feel they can seek expert advice when necessary, for example when reporting court or legal proceedings.

18. Publication of Self-Assessment

18.1. General Public

After conducting a self-assessment according to this Standard, a Media Outlet should publish the results in ways visible to the public, preferably online. Best practice is to publish the full text of the questions and answers on an “about” or similar page on the website of the Media Outlet.

18.2. Machine-readability

A Media Outlet should publish the answers from the self-assessment in a format making it easily visible to machine readers employed by advertisers, social media and related platforms, researchers and others.

Annex A – Guidelines

Principles and Potential Usage of JTI by External Parties

A. Preamble

Trustworthy journalism requires an enabling environment to thrive. External parties such as regulatory authorities and governments, the private sector, civil society and NGOs as well as advertisers have an impact upon and therefore a responsibility to shape this environment. To that end, the Journalism Trust Initiative Standard (JTI) can provide a useful instrument for enabling trustworthy journalism if it is implemented according to its intended aims.

At the same time any misuse must be prevented. Non-compliance or non-participation with JTI shall not be treated as a single indicator of non-trustworthy journalism. A media site’s non-compliance or non-participation shall never be used to justify any violations of its freedom of expression or justify penalties against it.

The authors of this document wish to encourage those entities and individuals to make use of the JTI in order to advance its goal: to support the universal, individual freedom of opinion through access to information and independent, pluralistic media (see Chapter I, Introduction).

The principles of Annex A address different parties wishing to support trustworthy journalism through the application of the JTI mechanism or through data that JTI provides. Any reference or use of the JTI Standard should always be in accordance with the principles outlined in this document.

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B. Principles

1. Nature

JTI is a voluntary self-regulatory instrument and should be applied accordingly.

JTI requires as well as contributes to contexts based upon the rule-of-law and democracy. Respect and fulfilment of these principles should be the guiding force in using the JTI Standard.

2. Attribution

Whoever makes use of JTI should publicly commit to its goals and reference the Standard.

3. Transparency

The JTI Standard should be applied and implemented in a transparent manner. For example, the JTI Standard should be explained appropriately and proactively to all those it affects, including the general public.

4. Benefits

All JTI compliant entities should be eligible for any related benefits by external parties using JTI, based on their adherence to the Standard. These benefits should be made available to all JTI compliant entities in an equal manner, following a transparent and due process.

5. Impact

Those who use JTI should self-monitor and self-evaluate its impact, in order to identify and address any unintended issues that might arise as part of JTI’s use.

6. Feedback

Feedback and findings from those who implement JTI should be publicly accessible to one another – for example through regular reports – in order to share knowledge, learn from experiences, and stimulate debate.

C. External Parties and their Potential Usage of JTI

The application of JTI might include, but is not limited to the following external parties and ways of usage.

1. Regulatory and self-regulatory Entities (“regulators”)
All media regulators​ could:
  • use JTI as a tool for media and information literacy (MIL);
  • use JTI to identify the media actors that value the production of reliable information as their core mission.

Independent regulatory authorities ​could:
  • use the JTI information relating to transparency of media ownership to establish or update a map of ownership of the media landscape, and to analyse and promote pluralism in the media market;
  • use JTI as an indicator that media have complied with certain legal requirements related to the production of reliable and accurate information recognising that JTI cannot be the sole basis of a legal justification of their decisions; where it is in charge of allocating public subsidies, the regulator could use JTI to verify if certain criteria or conditions for allocation of public subsidies are met by media actors;
  • promote the benefits of JTI to their discussion partners such as Media Outlets or platforms and to the public.

Self-regulatory entities​ could:
  • use JTI to raise awareness about the importance for media to abide by external media accountability mechanisms and thereby increase the visibility and outreach of their work;
  • use JTI to encourage Media Outlets to voluntarily join press and media councils in the country where they exist, in particular small online media or bloggers;
  • use JTI to encourage the creation of external media accountability systems where they do not yet exist.
2. Entities using Algorithmic Systems (“information intermediaries”)

Entities using algorithmic systems that automatically structure results or recommendations related to news could apply the JTI Standard as an indicator of trustworthy journalism to:

  • use it to support the principle of surfacing (or locating) authoritative sources of information online for the benefit of societies;
  • use it in support of the important efforts to develop and make available a rich sense of enhanced and visible signals and cues that publishers and others can employ to convey how a particular piece of content originates within the context of commonly accepted principles of journalistic practice;
  • use it to benefit from a Standard and interoperable ways of locating and ingesting information related to journalistic transparency;
  • use it to support the principle that no single authority should determine what is or what isn’t trustworthy journalism.
3. Entities Supporting the Development of the Media (“media development organisations” and “donors”) could:
  • use the JTI Standard as part of their media assessment framework to help for example more easily determine stakeholders’ training needs or identify potential recipients of support efforts;
  • use JTI as a framework for training or as a goal to be achieved by media as an end in itself or as part of a desired target or impact including the use of JTI compliance as a measurement of impact.
4. Advertisers and Sponsors

Entities supporting Media Outlets financially, directly or indirectly, including their assigned service providers and industry associations, could:

  • use JTI in order to responsibly allocate funds recognising the potential impact on the information ecosystems at large;
  • use JTI to identify and financially support those media that uphold norms of trustworthy journalism in order to achieve their quest to preserve ‘brand safety’;
  • actively engage in exploring both individual and industry-wide advertising and sponsoring best practices, including ‘ad trust’ initiatives, with JTI indicators.

Annex B – Questionnaire

[Note: This Annex has been transferred into the interactive Self-assessment part of this web application.]

Annex C – Glossary

This annex to the Journalism Trust Initiative CEN Workshop Agreement is informative only; nothing in this glossary is a requirement in complying with any of the Standards clauses. It is accessible here via the Help Desk.

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