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Journalists cannot be forced to reveal their source: Shaikh Sultan
February 24, 2014, 10:05 am

A journalist’s rights are protected by law and he or she cannot be forced to reveal their source of information and news, says Sharjah Ruler

A journalist’s rights are protected by law and he or she cannot be forced to reveal their source of information and news, said His Highness Dr Shaikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Member of Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah.

Addressing the opening session of Sharjah International Government Communication Forum (IGCF) 2014 which is concluding today, Dr Shaikh Sultan said: “Arab world today stands at a critical phase in time. Things are changing at a rapid speed. The regional landscape is in some sort of flux, making it difficult to differentiate right from wrong.”

“We see the enlightened moving towards darkness. Honesty is being taken over by falsehood. The virtuous are being forced to surrender to base desires. Where is the media in this chaotic landscape and what is its role here?”

He added that media and journalism is dangerous when it dedicates itself for spreading misleading and false information. The journalist must respect the reader, audience, privacy, and public interest while delivering news and information. A journalist of various means of media must have personal sense of morality, ethics, accuracy, credibility and fairness.

He stressed that the journalist has rights that are protected by law. These rights include freedom of speech and criticism and access to news and information as well as freedom to investigate without interfering in confidential public or private affairs, unless of course, the exception is clearly justified.

The journalist’s main right is not revealing the sources of his news which he/she receives in secrecy.

He directed his message to TV channels that broadcast imported pictures or films. He encouraged the local channels to avoid delivering fabricated, false information and prevent themselves from getting involved in violating copyrights, staying away from laziness, cowardliness, hatred, or any criminal act.

“The TV channels must contribute in strengthening the human spirit among individuals by spreading ethical and, cultural values to impose love and happiness in the society.

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