Style Guide

Identity Manual

It is difficult to maintain quality and consistency in a newspaper in the absence of a style book. Our website The Indus Tribune, which was launched on December 16, 2020 has had its fair share of challenges when it comes to use of language, choice of design and editorial discretion. But we have emerged stronger because of this exercise. As a result, The Indus Tribune has its momentum not only because of its stunning design but also the quality of its content.

To continue to work towards maintaining these standards, we thought it best to publish our style book for our

staff. But it would be unfair not to share this style book with our readers, with journalists in the industry and with students of journalism, who can better understand the effort that goes into ensuring quality and consistency.

The style book will remain a work in progress and we will do our best to continue to update it.

Editorial

The following rules have been made to make our style guide easy to follow, without compromising the quality of the language.

Style Guides

  • British spellings and style will be followed primarily.
  • The BBC style-guide will be referred to in case of doubt. If that doesn’t answer the query, we will try to reach in-house consensus.
  • All desks will use the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, latest edition.

Language

Headlines and catch lines should always be active. Instead of ‘orders violated’, it should be ‘violating orders’. Sentences should be active, not passive. A hit B describes the sentence more concisely then B was hit by A.

Never start a sentence with a figure; write the number in words instead.

Use ‘that’ in defining clauses, for example, the cup that cheers. Reserve ‘which’ for formative clauses, for example, ‘the cup, which was blue, was full of water’. Avoid the unnecessary use of ‘that’, for example ‘He said that he was going to …’

Who is the subject, whom the object of a verb. As a rough guide as to which word to use, substitute he or him for the who or whom and see which makes sense. But we should follow common usage and be ready to use who as the object where this sounds and looks more natural, for example, ‘Who she met at the midnight rendezvous was not yet known.’

If an abbreviation can be pronounced it usually does not require the definite article. Such as Unicef and Nato. Other abbreviations, except for names of companies, are usually preceded with ‘the’, for example, the BBC, the IMF.

Phrases such as affordable housing or affordable clothing should not be used unless parameters for affordability are defined such as a person or a household income bracket.

Things are agreed upon, to or about. Nothing is such agreed.

Do not use the word likely to mean probably.

Not third world countries, but developing or less developed countries.

Some political parties do not have the word party as part of its name, therefore the word party should be lowercase. Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf and Pakistan Muslim League States, provinces, rivers, banks, city should be in lower case when not necessarily part of the name.

Deleting unnecessary adjectives makes sentences stronger. ‘Ali is a good boy’ is a stronger sentence than ‘Ali is a very good boy’.

Do not meet with people, just meet them. By contrast is used when comparing two things, while in contrast is used only to note a difference.

A is compared with B when you draw attention to the difference. A is compared to B only when you want to stress their similarity. Alternate means that A and B take turns, alternative that you have a choice between A and B. There can only be two alternatives. Any more and you face choices, options or possibilities.

Labels starting from proper names should start with a capital letter. For example, Leninist, Buddhist, Islamic.

Use the word terrorist with care, preferably only to mean someone who uses terror as an organised system of intimidation. Do not, however, refer to elements attacking civilians, infrastructure, installations et al as  suspects. For example: Suspected terrorists/militants attack school. Simply use terrorists/militants.

Use terms such as suspect, accused and convict with care. A suspect is an individual thought to be guilty of a crime or offence. The accused (individual or plural) are charged with a crime. A convict has been found guilty of a crime.

Do not use analysts alone, but qualify – political analysts, stock market analysts. 

You may program a computer, but in all other contexts the word is programme.

‘An’ should be used before words beginning with a vowel sound (an elephant, an elevator, an MP) or an h if the h is silent. But a university, a U-turn, a hospital.

While is best used temporally. Do not use it in place of although or whereas. Centred on, not around or in.

Continuous describes something uninterrupted. Continual admits of a break. If your neighbours play loud music every night, it is a continual nuisance; it is not a continuous one unless the music is never turned off.

Put ‘only’ as close as you can to the words it qualifies. Thus, ‘These animals mate only in June’, to say ‘They only mate in June’ implies that in June they do nothing else.

Always use politically correct language: Avoid the use of the words ‘masses’, ‘ladies’, instead say ‘public’, ‘women’ Instead of retarded and handicapped, say differently abled. Sex worker instead of prostitute. Anti-abortion rather than pro-life. Where possible, use gender neutral language, example, humanity, chairperson, etc. Exceptions can be made on account of official designations. Example: PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari.

‘Assassination’ is only used for prominent people.

‘Execute’ means putting to death after a legal process.

Forensic expert should not be a substitute for scientific expert. Forensic experts are experts in legal angles.

Things are free of charge not free of cost.

Avoid don’t, didn’t etc. specially in headlines

Sex is what you are biologically born with: male or female. Gender is what you acquire as identity.

Transgender is used for someone whose identity does not conform unambiguously to conventional norms

of male or female gender.

Note: Prefer transgender person not a transgendered person as transgendered has the feeling of it being

foisted on them, rendering them as passive receivers and not decision makers.

Transsexual: Men and women whose gender identity more closely matches the other physical sex aretermed transsexual. 

Transvestite—male to female or female to male—takes on presentation in the opposite gender role on ashort-term basis without wishing to be the opposite gender. A transsexual on the other hand considers tobe born in the wrong body and identifies as the opposite gender to their birth assigned sex.Eunuch is a man who has been castratedThere is no English translation to the term hijra or khwajasaraa so we will be using the local terms. 

Puncuation

CommasAny sentence studded with commas could probably benefit from a rewrite. Use commas as a guide tosense, to break a sentence into logically discrete parts, but do not use them to the extent that theybreak the flow of a sentence.

Use commas to mark off words and phrases that are in apposition to, or define other words or phrases inthe sentence e.g. Qaim Ali Shah, Sindh chief minister, said … Rudolf Nureyev, most prominent of thedefectors from the Bolshoi, has danced … 

Use commas to mark off a clause that is not essential to the meaning of a sentence, e.g. The airliner, whichwas seven years old, crashed … But a clause that cannot be removed from the sentence withoutaffecting its meaning is not marked off by commas, e.g. The airliner that crashed on Thursday wasseven years old but the plane lost the previous day was brand new. 

Use commas to separate items in a list, e.g. cheese, fruit, coffee or Sarah despised classical dance, hatedthe theatre and was bored by opera. Note that there is normally no comma before the final and.However, a comma should be used in this position if to leave it out would risk ambiguity, e.g. Headmired Irving Berlin, Rodgers and Hart, and Leonard Bernstein. 

As in the sentence above, a comma follows an initial however. But as long as there is no risk of ambiguitythere is no need for the comma after opening phrases like On Wednesday the committee decided … Inthe first four months of 2002 Britain exported …

 Apostrophes 

Use the ending s’ on plurals that end in s—Danes’, bosses’, Joneses’—including plural names that take asingular verb, eg, Reuters’, Barclays’, Stewarts & Lloyds’, Salomon Brothers’. 

Although singular in other respects, the United States, the United Nations, the Philippines, etc, have aplural possessive apostrophe: eg, Who will be the United States’ next president? 

People’s : of (the) people. Peoples’: of peoples. 

Do not put apostrophes into decades: the 1990s not 1990’s (that would be belonging to the single year)Remember, too, that phrases like two weeks’ time, four days’ march, six months’ leave, etc, also needapostrophes. 

Tenses

Any account of events that have taken place must use a past tense. Yet articles may have greaterimmediacy if they use the present or future tenses where appropriate.

He died on April 11th. If you cannot, or do not want to, pin down the occasion in this way, use the perfecttense, He has died, or the present, He is dead. These imply continuance. 

So does the imperfect tense: He was a long time dying. The pluperfect should be used for events thatpunctuate past continuance: He grew up in post-war Germany, where he had seen the benefits of hardwork.

If you use indirect speech in the past tense, you must change the tense of the speaker’s wordsappropriately: Before he died, he said, “I abhor the laziness that is commonplace nowadays” becomes“Before he died, he said he abhorred the laziness that was commonplace nowadays.” 

If you wish to quote someone, either give a date or use the present tense: “He leaves a legacy of wisdom,”said John Smith the next day or…says Mr John Smith.

Hyphens

Use hyphens for fractions (whether nouns or adjectives): two-thirds, four-fifths, one-sixth, etc.Most words that begin with anti, counter, half, inter, non and semi. Thus anti-aircraft, anti-fascist, anti-submarine (but antibiotic, anticlimax, antidote, antiseptic, antitrust); counter-clockwise, counterespionage, counter-intuitive (but counteract, counterpane); half-baked, half-hearted, half-serious; interagency, inter-county (but intermediate, international, interpose); non-combatant, non-existent, nonpayment, non-violent (but nonaligned, nonconformist, nonplussed, nonstop); semi-automatic, semiconscious, semi-detached.

Hyphenated titles include vice-president, director-general under-secretary secretary-general attorneygeneral lieutenant-colonel major-general, field-marshal etc. However, General secretary, deputysecretary, deputy director and district attorney is not hyphenated.

Some nouns formed from prepositional verbs: bail-out, build-up, call-up, get-together, lay-off, pay-off,round-up, set-up, shake-up, stand-off, etc (but fallout, handout, lockout, turn. Also for ages: eight-yearold or 20-year-old.

Gerunds 

Using a verb+ing is weak. For example, ‘Dr Rizvi said that the country had no law for regulatingtransplantations.’ Instead write, ‘Dr Rizvi said that the country had no law to regulate transplantations’. 

Never start a sentence with a gerund. For example, ‘Speaking at the seminar, he said that it mattered’. It isbetter to write, ‘He said that it mattered while he was speaking at the seminar’. 

Brackets 

Square brackets should be used for interpolations in direct quotations: “Let them [the poor] eat cake.” Touse ordinary brackets implies that the words inside them were part of the original text from which youare quoting

When quoting from a text, example a court judgment, and removing a part of the sentence, the ellipsis willbe placed in square brackets […]. 

In-house rules on punctuation 

Single quotes will only be used in headlines, for ironic references, or for a quote within a quote. 

Parentheses will not be used unless absolutely necessary. 

Semi colons and colons will be avoided unless absolutely necessary. 

Medium sized dashes (Alt 0150) will be used when breaking or offsetting a part of a sentence. 

Ellipsis will only be three dots, unless it is the end of the sentence when the three dots will be followed by aperiod, making it four dots. When trailing off a sentence (a practice to be avoided) there will not bespace between the last word and the dots. Example, ‘and it continued…’. When denoting a missingchunk of the sentence, there will be space on both sides of the dots. Example, ‘she said … nothing’.

Punctuation will be inside the quotation marks only when part of the quote. In all other instances, it will beoutside. 

We will not use accents except when they are part of the official name of a place or person.

Full stop will go inside the bracket only when the entire sentence is in brackets. Example, “It was cold. (Toobad.)” 

Italics 

Non-English words will not be italicised. However, if entire sentences are in Urdu, they will be italicised tomake them easier to read. If there is more than one word, it should be italicised. 

Films, books, journals, newspapers, and albums will be italicised. For example: The Life of Pi, Kurban.Songs, paintings, articles, research papers and television programmes will also be italicised. For example:Tunnel of Love, Dhoop Kinaray.

Names of exhibitions and festivals will be in uppercase. Example, Rafi Peer Festival of Performing Arts,Ishq Vishq.  

Names

Prophet Muhammad will be followed by (pbuh). Caliphs’ names are followed by (RA).Names of all other

Prophets will be followed by (AS). Hazrat can be used ahead of names of sufis and saints.

Names of province will be written as: Sindh, Balochistan, Punjab, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Gilgit-Baltistan. GB and K-P in short or in second reference or in headlines.

Imams, muftis, ayatollahs, rabbis, gurus etc should be given an appropriate title if they use one, and it

should be repeated on second and subsequent mentions, so, Ayatollah Hossein-Ali Montazeri (Ayatollah

Montazeri), Sri Sri Ravi Shankar (Sri Sri Ravi Shankar).

Pakistan Peoples Party will be written without an apostrophe. We will follow the official names of all parties.

For example, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf.

Wherever we can, we will use single ‘a’ instead of double ‘a’. For instance: insaf, Shaban.

Ubaro tehsil not Tehsil Ubaro.

If we have to choose between ‘e’ and ‘i’ we will go with ‘e’ but will not change the official spelling of a person or an organisation.

Where we have to choose between an ‘a’ or an ‘e’, we will go for ‘a’. For eg, Muhammad, Rahman, Ahmad.

Where we have to choose between an ‘o’ and ‘u’, we will go for ‘u’ – except for Balochistan. For example, Muhammad, Quran, Zuhr, wuzu.

‘Ul’ and ‘ur’ in names will be added to the first name, thereby getting rid of hyphens. For example: FazlurRahman, InzimamulHaq, ZiaulHaq.

When there is a Jan Mohammad or Shahi Syed, sometimes their names need to be kept as two and not

just the surname. Referring to someone as Mohammad or Syed may sound inappropriate.

We will not use a hyphen when names of places / organisations start with ‘al’, and ‘a’ will be lowercase unless it is the start of the sentence. For example: al Qaeda.

al’ in names will be attached to the last name. For example: Saud alBusaidi. ‘a’ will be lowercase.

In Arab names such as Yousuf bin Alawi, bin will be written with a small ‘b’, and when referring to the person again only the last name will be used, for example Alawi. However, the exception will be Osama bin Laden, who will be referred to as Bin Laden, and in this case the ‘b’ will be in uppercase.

When referring to a person less than 16 years of age, the first name can be used to refer to them again.

Second references: We will use the last name of a person in second reference. When the last name of two or more people is common, we will use the full/first name when referring to the person(s) again. We can use the first name if the person is more recognised by it.

Following is a list of well-known personalities and

how to use their names in second reference:

Nawaz Sharif – Nawaz

Shahbaz Sharif – Shahbaz

Imran Khan – Imran

Aisamul Haq Qureshi – Aisam

Younus Khan – Younus

Misbahul Haq – Misbah

Actors: Veena, Meera, Reema, Shaan

General Ziaul Haq – Gen Zia, Zia

Ayub Khan – Ayub

Benazir Bhutto – Benazir

Sherry Rehman – Sherry

Mujibur Rahman – Mujib

Converse:

Zulfikar Ali Bhutto – Bhutto

Bill Gates – Gates

Salmaan Taseer – Taseer

Raza Rabbani – Rabbani

VS Naipual – Naipaul

Yousaf Raza Gillani – Gillani

Shah Mehmood Qureshi – Qureshi

Rana Sanaullah – Sanaullah

Sanjay Leela Bhansali – Bhansali

Asif Ali Zardari – Zardari

Maulana Maududi – Maududi

Narendra Modi – Modi

General Pervez Musharraf – General (retd) Musharraf, Musharraf

In-house spellings

Holy Quran

Ramazan

Sehri

Iftar

Taraweeh

Shariah

Nauroz

Madrassa

Muzaffarabad

capitals

Following are words that will be capitalised:

1.Constitution

2.Parliament

3.Senate

4.National Assembly

5.Cabinet

6.Article

7.Pakistan Army (When the full name is not used, it will be ‘army’)

8.Partition (of British India)

9.Independence (of Pakistan)

10.Centre (federal government)

Do not capitalise words that informally describe a person’s occupation e.g. farmer Jack Thomas, accountant William Smith.

Name of ministries will be in lowercase, example, the interior ministry. However, the official name (Ministry of Interior) will be title-case.

Designations will be rendered in uppercase if individuals hold official positions. Example: Interior Minister

Ahsan Iqbal, Pakistan International Airlines CEO Rasul Cyan. Converse: PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, Yash Raj Films chairman Aditya Chopra.

Capitalisation rules apply to rivers, barrages and dams. Indus River, river Indus.

Numbers

Numbers: one to nine, 10 onwards.

Decades: 1960s, 1930s.

Date: July 10, 2009.

Am and pm will be in lowercase, without full stops. There will be no space between the number and am/pm.

Example, 11am, 11pm.

A billion is a thousand million, a trillion a thousand billion, a quadrillion a thousand trillion.

We will use % not per cent in headlines and text.

Money:

We will write Rs3 million / $3 million. There will be no space between currency (Rs, $) and number.

If the currency is relatively less known, it will be spelt out. For example: CNY6.3080 will be 6.3080 Chinese Yuan, In headlines money will be written as Rs3m / $3m.

Designations

Designations will be in capital only when followed by the name, example, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif. The chief minister said he will visit Karachi.

The president’s name will always be written with his designation, with ‘p’ in uppercase. For example, President Mamnoon Hussain in first reference and President Mamnoon in second reference and throughout the rest of the text.

Designations will be written in descending order. Examples: Pakistan Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, INC Rajasthan president Sachin Pilot. An exception will be made when it comes to selected military designations. DG ISI will always be written as DG ISI for example.

Former designations will be in lowercase, even when followed by the person’s name. Example, former prime minister Shaukat Aziz.

Acronyms/abbreviations

Abbreviations that can be pronouncedas one word (acronyms) will be written in upper and lower-case format, except in catch lines, headlines (acronyms), shoulders and all highlighted text. For example, PEPCO in headline and Pepco in text. However, abbreviations that can be confused for a person’s name, such as NADRA, will be written in upper-case in both text and headlines.

Acronyms/abbreviations will be given in brackets if the name is repeated in the story. Example, we will use Pakistan Peoples Party with (PPP) – only if there is another reference to PPP in the story.

We will avoid full stops wherever we can (that is, will only use them at the end of a sentence). PPP, US, Mr, Dr

We will not use full stops in names. M.A. Jinnah will be MA Jinnah.

We will write political parties as Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz and PML-N. No space between L and N.

DCO, EDO, SHO, SP, BA, MA, PhD, FIR etc will not be spelt out. Designations will be spelt out only if they are vague.

Kilometres, kilogrammes will be spelt out the first time with abbreviations given in brackets if repeated. The abbreviation will not have ‘s’, example, nine kilogrammes (kg) of explosives.

Local government, union council will be written in lowercase though the abbreviations will be in uppercase. Union council (UC) elections were held.

Credits

When not giving the reporter’s name, the byline will say OUR CORRESPONDENT.

A reporter will only get one byline per desk and two per edition. If she or he has written two pieces, the other one will run under OUR CORRESPONDENT. Bylines will be given for exclusive stories or outer page stories. Discretion of claiming a byline is of the reporter. Discretion of dropping a byline is of the desk.

We will name other news sources when taking any information from them, be they television channels, newspapers, websites. We will not say “private TV channel”.

If the story has been put together from multiple news sources, (other than just the news agencies) the byline will say NEWS DESK. News Desk will show source in the first paragraph. (For example: according to a press release). If there are multiple news sources, then they will be mentioned with each bit of information separately.

If a story is by our reporter but also contains information by a news agency, such as PPI (name of the news agency), the byline will say (name of the reporter) and we will give credit to PPI at the end: With additional input from PPI.

If a story has been rewritten, it will say “Edited by XXX” at the end. This is for the section head to decide.

Clarifications

Call the reporter to verify the facts being discredited in a clarification.

Speak to the editor before editing the clarification.

Get the clarification vetted by a senior and send it to the editor for a final approval.

FORMAT:

Clarification – In a story published on March 13, titled ‘Four years on: National Assembly, in retrospect …’the reporter mistakenly reported the number of bills introduced by private members of the National Assembly with the number of bills passed by private members of the NA. The reporter also confused the number of government-sponsored bills with the number of bills passed by the National Assembly. The number of bills contributed by private members of the National Assembly is 147, whereas the number of bills passed by the National Assembly till date is 95. The error is regretted. EDITOR

The last sentence will only be added after consulting the editor.

All clarifications will be approved by the editor. The editor has to be consulted before clarifications go on any page.

Most clarifications will go on the back page. However, some clarifications that are city specific may go on city pages, but only if the editor decides to do so. Placement of clarifications must always be done on the advice of the editor.

Editor will decide whether it will be called clarification or rejoinder.

House Rules

Exclusive stories on kidnapping negotiations will not be reported. All stories on cases of kidnappings must be sent to the editor for approval.

Email / email will be without a hyphen.

The ‘i’ in internet will be lowercase.

War on terror will not have a hyphen.

We will use Pashtun and not Pakhtun.

Titles such as Madar-i-Millat or shaheed will not be used unless we are mentioning how others refer to certain people in this manner. For instance, “Fatima Jinnah is known as Madar-e- Millat,” or “Benazir Bhutto is seen as a shaheed by many”.

The words Islamic/Islamist will not be used with militants. Similarly, we will not use such terms with other religions. We will not say “Hindu extremists”.

We will not use italics in headlines, even if mentioning a book or a movie.

Headline will be lowercase except for the first letter of the first word.

We usually will not quote our staff members in our own stories. But in some instances where staffer merits such a mention, will do so for e.g. winning an award, speaking at a public forum.  Quotes can be edited for clarity.

Code of Ethics

All members of the press have a duty to maintain the highest professional standards. The Code, which includes this preamble and the public interest exceptions below, sets the benchmark for those ethical standards, protecting both the rights of the individual and the public’s right to know. It is the cornerstone of the system of self-regulation.

It is essential that an agreed code be honoured not only to the letter but in the full spirit. It should not be interpreted so narrowly as to compromise its commitment to respect the rights of the individual, nor so broadly that it constitutes an unnecessary interference with freedom of expression or prevents publication in the public interest.

It is the responsibility of the editor and publisher to apply the Code to editorial material in both printed and online versions of publications. They should take care to ensure it is observed rigorously by all editorial staff and external contributors, including non-journalists, in printed and online versions of publications.

Accuracy

We take care not to publish inaccurate, misleading or distorted information, including pictures.

A significant inaccuracy, misleading statement or distortion once recognised must be corrected, promptly and with due prominence, and – where appropriate – a contradiction or correction published.

We must distinguish clearly between comment, conjecture and fact.

We must report fairly and accurately the outcome of an action for defamation to which we have been a party, unless an agreed settlement states otherwise, or an agreed statement is published.

We will only run stories that have at least one on-the-record quote.

Informed sources add to a story, they are not the basis of the story.

opportunity to reply

A fair opportunity for reply to inaccuracies must be given when reasonably called for. We will publish a correction or a clarification. We must also, however, ensure that all stories filed by our reporters have all points of view relevant to the story.

Our readers may also refer the matter to The Express Tribune ombudsman.

harassment

Our staffers must not engage in intimidation, harassment or blackmail.

Our staffers must identify themselves as and when required.

privacy

Everyone is entitled to respect for his or her private and family life, home, health and correspondence, including digital communication.

The editor will be expected to justify intrusions into any individual’s private life without the individual’s consent.

We will not report on the family or personal lives of public personalities unless there is a justification for doing so.

It is unacceptable to photograph individuals in private places without their consent.

Note: Private places are private property where there is a reasonable expectation of privacy.

intrusion into grief and shock

In cases involving personal grief or shock, inquiries and approaches must be made with sympathy and discretion and handled sensitively. This should not restrict the right to report legal proceedings, such as inquests.

Note: When reporting suicide, care should be taken to avoid excessive detail about the method used. It is the discretion of the desk to edit details that may seem to glorify a crime.

hospitals

Journalists must identify themselves and obtain permission from a responsible executive before entering non-public areas of hospitals or similar institutions to pursue enquiries.

children

Young people should be free to complete their time at school without unnecessary intrusion.

A child under 16 must not be interviewed or photographed on issues involving their own or another child’s welfare unless a custodial parent or similarly responsible adult consents.

Pupils must not be approached or photographed at school without the permission of the school authorities.

The press must not, even if legally free to do so, identify children under 16 who are victims or witnesses in cases involving sex offences.

In any press report of a case involving a sexual offence against a child

  • The child must not be identified.
  • The adult may be identified.
  • The word “incest” must not be used where a child victim might be identified.
  • Care must be taken that nothing in the report implies the relationship between the accused and the child.

reporting of crime

Relatives or friends of persons convicted or accused of crime should not generally be identified, unless they are genuinely relevant to the story.

Particular regard should be paid to the potentially vulnerable position of children who witness, or are victims of a crime. This should not restrict the right to report legal proceedings.

We will report the facts not speculation.

We will report on the record statements of police officials and avoid quotes by unnamed officials.

clandestine devices and subterfuge

The press must not seek to obtain or publish material acquired by using hidden cameras or clandestine listening devices; or by intercepting private or mobile telephone calls, messages or emails.

Engaging in misrepresentation or subterfuge, including by agents or intermediaries, can generally be justified only in the public interest and then only when the material cannot be obtained by other means.

victims of sexual assault

The press must not identify victims of sexual assault or publish material likely to contribute to such identification unless there is adequate justification and they are legally free to do so. However, if the victim willingly identifies himself or herself in public, then the press may do so too.

witness payments in criminal trials

No payment or offer of payment to a witness – or any person who may reasonably be expected to be called a witness – should be made in any case once proceedings are active.

This prohibition lasts until the suspect has been freed unconditionally by police without charge or bail or the proceedings are otherwise discontinued; or the suspect has entered a guilty plea to the court; or, in the event of a not guilty plea, the court has announced its verdict.

discrimination

We must avoid prejudicial or pejorative reference to an individual’s race, colour, religion, gender, sexual orientation or to any physical or mental illness or disability.

Details of an individual’s race, colour, religion, sexual orientation, physical or mental illness or disability must be avoided unless genuinely relevant to the story.

We will avoid mentioning sectarian and ethnic background of victims in killings unless absolutely necessary. We will not use them at all in headlines.

We will not point or print comments of others which make fun or degrade another person’s race, colour, religion or sexual orientation.

financial journalism

Our journalists must not use financial information to make profit of something before general publication, nor should they pass such information to others.

We must not write about shares or securities in whose performance our journalists know that they or their close family members have a significant financial interest without disclosing the interest to the editor.

We must not buy or sell, either directly or through nominees or agents, shares or securities about which we have written recently or about which we intend to write in the near future.

When writing about sister companies within the Lakson Group, we will mention this fact at the end of the story.

public interest

The public interest includes, but is not confined to:

  • Detecting or exposing crime or impropriety
  • Protecting public health and safety
  • Preventing the public from being misled by an action or statement of an individual or organisation

There is a public interest in freedom of expression itself.

Whenever the public interest is invoked, we will demonstrate fully that we reasonably believed that the publication, or journalistic activity undertaken with a view to publication, would be in the public interest and how, and with whom, that was established at the time. The Indus Tribune will consider the extent to which material is already in the public domain, or will become so.

In cases involving children under 16, we must demonstrate an exceptional public interest to over-ride the normally paramount interest of the child.

confidential sources

We have a moral obligation to protect confidential sources of information.

A reporter must have all relevant documents that pertain to a story when doing an investigative story.

 

 

Back to top button