All India Newspapers Editors Conference that conducted in the year 1968 initiated a Code of Ethics to be followed while commenting and reporting on Communal Incidents.
1) A free press can prosper only in a free society. Communalism is a threat to the nation’s solidarity and our free society.
2) The press has an important role in the attainment of the fundamental objectives embodied in the Indian Constitution, namely, national unity, democracy, integrity, secularism and the rule of law. The press should abstain itself from publishing news that inflames communal hatred or excite communal passions in people and has the duty to promote cohesion and unity in the minds of hearts of the Indians.
3) The press should stick to the below guidelines while reporting communal incidents in India:
- All the expressions of opinions, editorial comments through letters or articles, or in any other form to the Editor should be controlled and free from derogatory attacks against communities or leaders and provoke to violence should not be entertained.
- Generalised allegations that lead to aspersions and doubts on loyalty and patriotism of any community should be avoided.
- Likewise, generalized allegations and charges that stir up distrust and communal hatred must be avoided in case a community involves in unfair discrimination.
- Avoid inclining of news of communal incidents
- News of lawlessness, involving loss of life and arson should be reported, described and headlined in an objective way and limit the display of such news.
- Giving more importance to news that formulates peace and harmony.
- Great care to be taken in selection and publication of cartoons, pictures and poems.
- The terms minority or majority community and names of the communities must be avoided.
- Source must be mentioned when reporting about casualty figures.
- Figure and facts should not be published without proper verification.