As the world and our region moves to more tumultuous times, as humanity faces growing financial and social problems, as we witness more conflicts and natural disasters and as the media world faces a huge shift;
We, the delegates at the 50th Anniversary Celebration of the Organization of Asia-Pacific News Agencies (OANA), gathered here in Bangkok, the Kingdom of Thailand, from December 13th to the 15th, commemorating 50 years of our noble responsibility of upholding the fundamentals to our founding charter, to transcend all known barriers to the free flow of information necessary to securing lasting peace, the recognition of ethnic and cultural wealth beyond traditional borders, and the safeguarding of human rights and dignity, hereby declare our collective commitments to:
1. Act responsibly in covering wars, conflicts, terrorism, violence and natural disasters bearing in mind the public interest in full, fair and accurate reporting, respect for privacy and universal human rights.
2. Take great care about the quality and style of our stories that they do not encourage violence, spread fear, traumatise, damage the principles of equality and justice, degrade human dignity and foster discrimination.
3. Refrain from publishing stories or visual material that will be deemed offensive and discriminatory on the basis of class, race, language, religion, gender, and region that will generate feelings of hostility among people.
4. Accept the sanctity of human life and avoid running pictures or video footage that will hurt the dignity of victims and cause further suffering to their families and psychological distress in public.
5. Respect the privacy of the individual and the dignity of the dead regardless of who they are.
6. Avoid publishing graphic pictures and videos of executions, close-up shots of dead or wounded people and mutilated bodies and limbs, degrading human dignity.
Acknowledging our inevitable responsibility to incorporate the above stated guidelines into our editorial principles, we pledge to work closely with one another in implementing this declaration.
Bangkok, December 14th, 2011