The right of the media to gather information, including from confidential sources without government interference, should be assured.
- State Parties shall take necessary measures to ensure the freedom and independence of the media.
- The disclosure of information identifying a source should not be deemed necessary unless in can be convincingly established that: i. reasonable alternative measures to disclosure do not exist or have been exhausted by the persons or public authorities that seek the disclosure, and ii. the legitimate interest in that disclosure clearly outweighs the public interest in the non-disclosure, bearing in mind that: an overriding requirement of the need for disclosure is proved, the circumstances are of a sufficiently vital and serious nature, the necessity of the disclosure is identified as responding to a pressing social need, and member states enjoy a certain margin of appreciation in assessing this need, but this margin does hand in hand with the supervision by the European Court of Human Rights.
- Media practitioners shall not be required to reveal confidential sources of information or to disclose other material held for journalistic purposes except in accordance with the following principles: the identity of the source is necessary for the investigation or prosecution of a serious crime, or the defence of a person accused of a criminal offence; the information or similar information leading to the same result cannot be obtained elsewhere; the public interest in disclosure outweighs the harm to freedom of expression; and disclosure has been ordered by a court, after a full hearing.
- The Human Rights Council, (…) 13. Further calls upon States to protect in law and in practice the confidentiality of journalists’ sources, including whistle-blowers, in acknowledgement of the essential role of journalists and those who provide them with information in fostering government accountability and an inclusive and peaceful society, subject only to limited and clearly defined exceptions provided for in national legal frameworks, including judicial authorization, in compliance with States’ obligations under international human rights law.
- Declare that in the field of information and mass media they seek to achieve the following objectives: absence of censorship or any arbitrary controls or constraints on participants in the information process, on media content or on the transmission and dissemination of information.
- The following enables journalism to contribute to the maintenance and development of genuine democracy: d) the protection of the confidentiality of the sources used by journalists.
- Domestic law and practice in member States should provide for explicit and clear protection of the right of journalists not to disclose information identifying a source in accordance with Article 10 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms...The right of journalists not to disclose information identifying a source must not be subject to other restrictions than those mentioned in Article 10, paragraph 2 of the Convention.
- The practice of journalism in a genuine democracy has a number of implications. These implications, which are already reflected in many professional codes of conduct, include: e) observing professional secrecy with regard to the sources of information.
- Journalistic activities must be guided by ethical conduct, which should in no case be imposed by the State.
- Every social communicator has the right to keep his/her sources of information, notes, personal and professional archives confidential.
- Urges States parties to raise public awareness of corruption and laws and regulations against it, as well as the existing rights of and possibilities for the general public with respect to obtaining information on the organization, functioning and decision-making processes of their public administration and raise public awareness of the responsibilities of public officials with respect to the performance of their functions, with due regard to the protection of privacy and personal data.
- The confidentiality of journalists’ and other media actors’ sources is protected in law and respected in practice.
- Public authorities should refrain from interfering in the activities of journalists and other media personnel with a view to influencing the elections.
- Alerts member states to the risk of the power of the media in a situation of strong concentration of the media and new communication services, and its potential consequences for political pluralism and for democratic process and, in this context: 1. Underlines the desirability for effective and manifest separation between the exercise of control of media and decision making as regards media content and the exercise of political authority or influence.
- Access by the public to information should be guaranteed by the diversity of the sources and means of information available to it, thus enabling each individual to check the accuracy of facts and to appraise events objectively. To this end, journalists must have freedom to report and the fullest possible facilities of access to information.
- The media should be assured by the government of: (1) the right to gather and report objective information without intimidation; and (2) no arbitrary or discriminatory obstruction or censorship of campaign messages.
- The authorities should ensure that the media have the right to gather and report information freely, without intimidation or obstruction, and that there is no censorship of either the media or candidates.
- The international obligations presuppose freedom of expression including access for the media to information and freedom to independently report on matters of public interest.
- Journalists have an important role to play in providing independent coverage of public assemblies. As such, they must be distinguished from participants in the event, and be given as much access as is possible by the authorities.
- States also have a positive obligations to protect media freedom, including through the following measures: (...) vii. guaranteeing the right to protect confidential sources of information, including through protection of source-identifying material such as notes and professional archives in different ways, including through the encryption of communications.
- Special restrictions on commenting on courts and judges cannot be justified; the judiciary play a key public role and, as such, must be subject to open public scrutiny...Courts and judicial processes, like other public functions, are subject to the principles of maximum disclosure of information which may be overcome only where necessary to protect the right to a fair trial or the presumption of innocence.
- In accordance with their role providing access to information and ensuring public accountability, media access to and ability to provide coverage of assemblies must be assured.