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Fundamental principles

Prachatai: an independent and reliable media organization for democracy

Prachatai operates under the Foundation for Community Educational Media.

Prachatai aspires to be an independent media organization to present news and information for the development of a progressive democratic society.  Prachatai is an online media organization which presents news, information, analyses, criticism and comment on issues which are important to the development of democracy.

Prachatai is a pro-democracy media organization which does not disguise its political stance, but shows it in a clear and straightforward manner.  Any acts deemed undemocratic or against democratic principles will be strongly criticized.

Prachatai is not attached to any political group, nor is it a mouthpiece for any group.  

Rights and freedoms are crucial components of democracy.  Prachatai strongly aspires to uphold all freedoms in every aspect.  Prachatai will always provide the public with the opportunity to express their opinions and protect their rights and freedoms, even when Prachatai does not agree with them.


Section 1.  Definitions

‘Prachatai’ means an organization presenting news through online and other media.

‘Editor’ means the person who supervises the operation, edits news reports, articles, images and sounds, and gives directions for news coverage and articles.

‘Editorial team’ means the editor, news editors, reporters, webmasters, and other staff members involved with production and presentation.

Reporters have the responsibility to produce news reports, articles and analyses for publication in various forms.

‘Other personnel’ means administrative, financial and business staff members.


Section 2.  Professional Operating Principles

1.  Professional Operating Principles must be upheld and executed by the editorial team, reporters and other Prachatai staff.

2.  News coverage must always clearly identify sources.  The publication of articles written under pennames or aliases shall be allowed, provided that the author has contacted, and identified her/his identity to, the editorial team or the editor.

Any source shall be accessed in a clear and transparent manner.

3.  The publication of news and information which conceals the identities of sources will be done for the safety of the sources only.

In protecting the safety and wellbeing of sources, the identity of the sources of news and information shall not be disclosed, except when required by law or a court order.

4.  Reporters shall exercise their discretion in disclosing the names, status and positions of sources or persons mentioned in news reports.  However, in exercising such discretion, the safeguarding of lives, property and their fundamental rights must be taken into account.

5.  Any disclosure of personal information about individuals in news coverage, such as residence, age, marital status, sexual orientation, phone numbers or religious beliefs without their consent shall not be allowed.

The editorial team shall exercise its discretion in disclosing any personal information as described in the previous paragraph, when such information is considered essential to the news coverage.

6.  Any quotation from interviewees or documents must be done accurately and correctly according to the context.  Any out-of-context quotation is not allowed.  Any modification of the words of interviewees shall not be allowed.  Any text appearing within quotation marks must belong to interviewees verbatim.

7.  Any mistake found in news coverage must be corrected immediately.  If such mistake has caused damage to any person, an explicit apology must be given.   

8.  The editor will immediately order a stop to any publication of news or information found to be seriously incorrect, and suspension of publication of news or information with minor but important inaccuracies will be considered in order to make corrections.  

9.  Upon receiving complaints from readers or persons affected by news coverage, articles or comments published by Prachatai, or complaints that any reporter or staff member has violated this code of conduct, Prachatai will conduct an immediate and fair investigation, and will notify complainants about the findings and corrections as far as its powers allow.

In considering a complaint, the editorial team will set up a committee to investigate, without the involvement of those against whom the complaint is made.

10.  In covering issues of conflict, consideration must be given to a balance between those who have differing views.

11.  In reporting news, special consideration must be given to safeguarding the lives, property and rights of children and youths.

Children and youths protected of the previous paragraph are those under 18 years old.

12.  Any disclosure of the physical appearance of a child who has been subject to abuse or fallen victim in any incident, whether through still photographs, video, or written description shall not be allowed.

13.  Any news report, article or comment which is discriminatory in terms of gender, race, religion, social class or education is prohibited.

14.  Any mockery of a personality or disability, whether through text, image or sound, is prohibited.

15.  The main languages of communication used by Prachatai are Thai and English.  Translation between the two languages or the translation of proper names from other languages must be done with the greatest accuracy.

16.  Any news report or writing must use polite language in accordance with the context and social culture appropriate to the occasion.

17.  The editorial team will not publish texts, images or sounds insulting to any individual, legal entity or institution.

18.  Still photographs, video, sound or information in any other form which has not received permission from the owners of the copyright or other legal rights will not be published for commercial purposes by Prachatai.

The rights to still photographs or video, sound or information in any other form which Prachatai is the copyright holder, are not restricted for those who re-publish them with citation, except for commercial purposes.

19.  The rights to articles, reports, images, poems or content in any other form which are not produced by Prachatai staff shall be the property of the owners who produce them.

20.  Prachatai is a non-profit organization.  Individuals shall have the rights and freedoms to present news, information or comment through Prachatai.  Any articles or reports which are not initiated by the editorial team are not entitled to any fee.

Opinion concerning any report or article shall be freely expressed.  Suppression of such opinions shall be avoided, except at the wish of the author, and to prevent the expression of opinions that insult or violate other individuals.

21.  The publication of any news, information or writing shall be done clearly without ambiguity or causing doubt or suspicion.  There shall be abridgement of information only as a result of legal provisions.  

22.  Images and/or news about dreadful crimes or acts showing brutality and cruelty which the editor considers do not benefit the public shall not be published.


Section 3.  Conflict of interest

23.  The editorial team is independent of the business department and is free from domination by any powers or interests.

24.  The duties of the editorial team and the business department must be clearly specified to guarantee the independence of the former.  Transfer of personnel between both sides may occur, but the division of authority and duties must be clearly specified.

25.  Information and sources acquired by Prachatai staff are considered resources belonging to the organization, which are shared by the editorial team.  Members of the editorial team shall properly guard such resources, shall maintain information acquired in the course of duty and shall not disclose this in an inappropriate way.

26.  A member of the editorial team who is a member of any political group or organization shall not publish in Prachatai media any material concerning their group or organization in the manner of advertising for the benefit of the group or organization.

The publication by any member of the editorial team of material for personal gain is considered serious misconduct.

27.  Any writing that boasts about any member of the editorial team or other personnel of Prachatai shall not be published.

The editor has discretion to publish materials concerning a member of the editorial team or other personnel of Prachatai who is in the news or involved in any acts which affect the public or for the benefit of the development of democracy.

28.  Prachatai shall disclose its funding sources.

Prachatai submits financial reports to the Foundation for Community Educational Media.

Section 4.  Personal behaviour

29.  Any member of the editorial team and other personnel of Prachatai shall have freedom of politics, belief, religion, education and sexual orientation, and shall be able to join any organization or activity according to her/his beliefs.

The conduct of such activities shall be in accordance with the provisions concerning conflict of interest.

30.  Seeking extra income by Prachatai personnel is not prohibited, unless extra work adversely affects or obstructs the practice of their duties.

31.  No member of the editorial team or other person working for Prachatai, whether paid or not, shall use the name of Prachatai for personal gain.

If Prachatai personnel discover acts of this kind, those who are implicated shall identify themselves and notify the editor immediately.

32.  Receiving gifts and presents shall be allowed in accordance with each person’s status and the culture of society, unless the gifts are for the purpose of inducing that person to conduct her/his duties in contravention of this code of conduct.  


Latest review: April 2, 2016


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