APPEAL ON THE OCCASION OF THE PRESS FREEDOM DAY
Next parliament election will be held in June 2020. Every election campaign is a challenge for professional journalism and requires that much high-level professionalism.
In recent years, social media has been spreading more to become public platform and one main information source. It means social network is a special platform. Online environment provides possibilities to spread information without verification or fact-checking and defaming someone’s reputation compared with a traditional media.
During the recent election campaign, social media had spread rapidly. Election observers noted that some media players tend to unfollow professional ethics during the election campaign period.
Pursuing the professional ethics is the golden rule for journalists. In any circumstances, especially during severe war of information - the election campaign, journalists must follow the professional ethics. The Media ethics principles shall be followed regardless of which media platform is it whether traditional media or online social media.
On the other hand, a principle to distinguish professional journalism content than PR contents by clearly defining them for the purpose of not misleading readers is included in the media ethics principles.
The Media Council of Mongolia sees its responsibility is not to spread misinformation/disinformation in online environment (social media). Fulfilling this responsibility ensures public’s right to know and role of media in democratic society.
Therefore, the MCM amended an article to regulate complaints received end of the election campaign period or just before the election vote day in the Complaint Procedure. The Media Ethics Principles was updated because voters’ right to know whether media published materials with ethical errors or not when the election campaign period ends.
A new principle is defined as “Media shall avoid to publish any information about candidates during the period of time when a person, who is accused, cannot make any comment before the vote day”.
Thus, the Mongolian Media Ethics Principles now has 10 principles.