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- Agence France-Presse is a multi-lingual, multi-cultural news agency whose mission is to provide accurate, balanced and impartial coverage of news wherever and whenever it happens in the world on a continuous basis.
- Be it in text, photo, video, graphics or any other format, AFP’s duty is to seek and publish the truth in an increasingly disrupted world of information.
- As guaranteed by its founding statute, AFP speaks with an independent voice free of political, commercial or ideological influence.
- Agence France-Presse supports freedom of expression and the right of journalists to exercise their profession without fear of intimidation, incarceration or physical harm.
- Agence France-Presse is committed to protecting the safety of all of those who work for it.
- Agence France-Presse rejects discrimination based on race, gender, nationality, religion, sexual orientation or any other factor.
AFP Editorial standards and best practices
The following document on editorial standards and best practices sets out the guiding principles for AFP’s editorial operations at a time of fast-moving changes in the news media.
It incorporates the universally accepted ethical principles of providing accurate, impartial and balanced coverage, and codifies and elaborates on the ethical guidelines listed in our editorial stylebooks.
It is a living document that will be updated as the news business develops and we encounter fresh challenges.
The guidelines and rules in this document are not designed to be a substitute for, or to take precedence over, local labour legislation or existing company agreements.
It is divided into eight sections – the 10 key principles, the fundamentals, areas of concern, conduct, financial reporting, security and hostile environments, UGC and images.
This document was drawn up after extensive research into the ethics codes of other major media around the world, historical documents such as the 1971 Munich Declaration of the Duties and Rights of Journalists, and contemporary research and guidelines published by such institutions as the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma and the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University in New York.
Thanks above all are due to the members of the AFP editorial team who contributed to the drafting of this document.
Twenty principles of sourcing
The credibility of Agence France-Presse depends largely on the transparency and quality of its sourcing.
With the amount of rumour and noise circulating online and in social networks, AFP’s role of providing accurate and verified news via identified and trustworthy sources has never been more important. The following document explains the fundamentals of the Agency’s rules on sourcing and how we should manage relationships with sources. These guidelines should be respected and should be applied using professional judgement, experience and common sense. The chief editor’s department is available 24 hours a day for advice or for a final decision. If you have any questions about these rules, feel there are omissions or come across any situations that raise new questions, please contact the chief editor’s department.
Eric Wishart, Michèle Léridon