Maintaining the standards of digital publishing and also to protect, maintain the independence of journalists, content entities and publishers are the basic principles of the Code of Ethics.
The Code of Ethics, as voluntarily drawn by the Digital News Publishers Association for its members, has been outlined below. The Code of Ethics demonstrates their commitment to responsible digital publishing, in order to protect 19 (1) (a) and other constitutionally mandated freedoms. It also keeps under review and scrutinizes any developments likely to restrict the gathering and dissemination of news and current affairs of any other continent.
The Code of Ethics’ objective is to outline high standards, ethics and practices in digital news publishing. It also does not attempt to get involved in the day-to-day operations of the publishers. These publishers have complete editorial and content independence.

Maintaining the standards of digital publishing and also to protect, maintain the independence of journalists, content entities and publishers are the basic principles of the Code of Ethics.

  • 1. The laws of the land including the Constitution of India are followed by digital news websites. It follows over 30 laws relating to the media, relevant provisions of the IPC, CrPC, Information Technology Act, 2000, where it is applicable.
  • 2. Digital news websites diligently follow accepted norms of journalistic ethics, practices and also maintain the highest standards of professional conduct. Several layers of self-regulatory ethics and codes are present. These include those outlined by specific entities as well as rigorous processes in newsrooms at the level of journalists and editors.
  • 3. Accuracy, Transparency & Fairness
    Members should abstain from publication of inaccurate, baseless or distorted material. The verification of pre-publication should be compulsory. Defamation should be avoided and following applicable laws and rules is necessary.
  • 4. Right of reply
    • a. News reports and articles should include comments or versions of person or party in terms of whom allegations have been made. If not carried, the person or party’s response if received later must be included.
    • b. In case there are developments in the news and the concerned person or party has requested for an update, it must be carried appropriately. The date of the update should appear in the news item published.
  • 5. Take down, delete or edit
    • a. If any news report or article is found to contain false or inaccurate information and if any concerned person or party approaches, then providing correct information, identifying himself or herself, providing required documents or material, the portion of the news report or article should be edited or deleted.
    • b. If the entire news report is found to contain false, inaccurate information, the entire article should be deleted.
  • 6. Respect Intellectual Property Rights
    • a. Copyright in text, photographs, plans, diagrams, cartoons, etc must be respected. If copyrighted material is used, then prior permission should be taken and publication must acknowledge moral and ownership rights.
    • b. If permission requires payment of fee or royalty, the same must be paid.
    • c. Trade Marks and Service Marks of third parties not to be used except with prior permission or if such use constitutes fair use.
    • d. In case infringement of intellectual property – upon receiving any request and after getting the necessary documents, the concerned content should be edited, deleted or take down if necessary.
  • 7. Care to be taken for reporting sensational matters and crime. Presumption of innocence must be preserved. Comments and speculation on evidence, witness and witness conduct, accused and victim and their respective conduct to be avoided. Such reporting should be based on facts and unbiased.
  • 8. Special care to be taken while reporting on sexual harassment in workplace, child abuse, rape, where accused or victims are minors, matrimonial, riots and communal disputes / clashes, divorce and custody cases, adoption matters, etc.
    Care to be taken, to follow Sections 67, 67A and 67B of the Information Technology Act, 2000 where applicable — which provide for penalties for publishing or transmitting obscene material, sexually explicit material and also material depicting children in sexually explicit acts, in electronic form.
  • 9. Grievance Redressal Mechanism
    Members –when intermediaries as defined under the Information Technology Act, 2000— follow the grievance redressal mechanism as outlined therein and are cognizant of the liabilities and safe harbor protections under Section 79 of the IT Act 2000. Hence, as relevant, they follow the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines) Rules, 2011 including appointing a grievance officer whose contact details are displayed on the website and who acts within 36 hours of receipt of complaint by affected person and redresses the complaint within one month from its receipt.
  • 10. Training and Awareness Programs
    Conduct periodic training and awareness programs with editorial staff about existing laws including Constitution of India, the over 30 laws relating to the media like The Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act, Copyright Act, Right to Information Act, relevant provisions of Indian Penal Code and CrPC, civil and criminal defamation, IPR, Juvenile justice, POCSO, relevant provisions relating to reporting on rape and molestation, harassment in the work place, caste or gender related crime, domestic violence, etc.

    • a Names of victims and details leading to identification of victims or perpetrator, if juvenile or in the workplace, to be strictly avoided.
    • b Photographs of victims, their residence, workplace, etc to be avoided.
    • c Special care and caution must be exercised at all times while reporting matters related to communal or religious disputes/clashes. Such news items shall be published only after a proper verification of facts and should be presented with due caution and restraint, ensuring an environment that is conducive to promoting communal harmony, amity and peace.
    • d Special care in reporting on Courts and judicial matters. Create awareness among editorial staff about legislative privileges and correct reporting of Court hearings, judicial matters, etc. To ensure that versions of victim and accused are covered, without comments thereon.
    • 5. Respect for privacy especially persons not in public life.