The MxMIndia Code of Ethics
This code of ethics is not meant to be a treatise in ethics. We believe all MxMers are mature professionals, of sound character and have values we agree with.
However, since a Code of Ethics is not really followed in organizations that some of our employees may have worked with in the past, we have a formulated an easy-to-follow set of Dos and Don’ts that each and every employee has agreed to follow. Also, there’s a general belief that many media companies (business-to-business and mainstream) follow unethical practices. It’s hence critical to put the record straight on why MxMIndia isn’t like the ‘many’ others.
1.While the objective of MxMIndia is to be a profitable enterprise, our revenues will not come from compromising editorial standards. Excellence is what we are setting out to achieve, Ethically and with Integrity.
2.We will not be influenced in any way by advertisers – past, present or future, and will write or comment on an individual, service or organisation regardless of whether or not it advertises with MxMIndia.
3.We will not sell our editorial content. Content includes text, photographs or any visuals.
4.Accuracy in presenting facts is of utmost importance and facts must be correctly presented.
5.We will not present any bias in our news sections. If, however, MxM India does undertake a campaign, it will clearly state its editorial policy
6.If there’s any advertisement that could be confused with editorial content in appearance, it will be clearly tagged as an Advertisement and be displayed in a style that is different from normal editorial content.
7.Our reports and features will always attribute sources to people. In case, the source does not want to be named for fear of loss of employment or due to some sensitivity, every attempt must be made to look for an alternate source who could be named. If that fails, every attempt should be made to make the reader rest assured that our source is authentic and this may be done by describing who the source is.
8.We have a no tolerance policy towards plagiarism. Employees may be given a warning if found plagiarizing, but in most cases, the services of any employee found plagiarizing – regardless of his/her seniority or utility to the organization – would be terminated within 24 hours of the Editor-in-Chief conducting his/her investigation on the act of plagiarism.
9.If any attempt is made to influence us by way of a threat to withdraw advertisements, we reserve the right to expose such individuals and/or their organisations.
10.We will not publish photographs off the internet. If a picture is be taken from the internet, it will be done only after written permission of the source. Else, we will own the rights for the picture which may be procured by buying rights for appropriate usage. Ditto for text. If we do carry syndicated content, the source needs to be clearly be stated at the end of the article.
11.Our journalists will take the permission of the interviewee to record his/her comments, especially when the meeting is not face-to-face.
12.Unless approved by the Editor, we do not part with the transcript of any interview. A journalist may however play back a few quotes attributed to an individual.
13.We will allow individuals or organisations adequate time to revert with their response to a question. In most case the adequate time would mean four to six hours. If it’s a non-critical story, then we would recommend holding the story for at most a day.
14.We will not accept any gifts that attempt to influence us. These should be returned immediately. Gifts in the form of chocolates, mithai, flowers or basic promotional material that is of reasonable value (of up to Rs 500-750) is fine. Mementos or promotional material of nominal value may be accepted. No gifts must be solicited. If there’s a doubt, please consult the Editor-in-Chief/CEO. If an organisation is found to influence an MxM India journalist, under extreme cases, MxM India may even blacklist the organisation and/or its products and services.
15.We will not solicit any outstation trips. If however there is an invitation for a junket, we will accept it only if the Editor believes there is a news value in the event. In such a case, MxM India will mention that the journalist concerned has visited an outstation venue at the invitation of the company which must be named. For local travel, all our employees are defrayed expenses towards local travel, and hence we discourage taxi pick-ups or drops, as is the norm in some sections of the media.
16.We will not solicit any invitations for a meal or a drink. We discourage MxM India employees to drink beyond their limits at events, dinners, press conferences etc where they represent the Company. We will also not solicit free books, software, movie tickets etc.
17.MxM India employees are discouraged from moonlighting. If, however, employees do receive requests to write an occasion article for a non-competing publication, the employee could do it after seeking permission via email.
18.Unlike some media houses, we are happy to see our employees — regardless of their seniority levels – to be interviewed and featured in other media. However, prior permission is desired for every appearance on television. Employees must ensure that their work at MxMIndia doesn’tt suffer due to their appearances on TV, radio etc. While tweeting, participation in social networks like Facebook and Linked In are encouraged, every attempt must be taken to ensure that the values and interests of the organization are not compromised.
19.We will ensure that our ethical standards are followed in all that we do — events, conferences and awards. We will ensure our integrity is not compromised.
20.We discourage the use of pirated products and services for official use. We advise our employees to only use legally procured software. Employees using their personal computer equipment for work are encouraged to switch to legal software.
21.MxM India has a no tolerance policy on sexual harassment.
22.Our employees are not allowed to deal in stocks related to the media and entertainment sector. If they hold shares before joining the organisation, they must disclose their holdings in writing to their immediate boss. They could, however, invest in mutual funds related to the M&E sector.
23.While this Code is only applicable towards conduct as an employee, we advise all MxMers to ensure that they are ambassadors of MxM India and all that it stands for even outside of work hours.
24.Over the last few years, there have been question marks raised about the ethical standards adopted by journalists and media organisations. While a lot of it may be untrue, we believe that journalists and others working in various media organisations are also responsible for this perception. At MxMIndia, our attempt will be to reverse this.
25.This Code is applicable for all employees of MxMIndia. Associates, retainers, columnists, regular contributors are also required to adhere to the above Code.
We encourage all our constituents and advertisers to read the above document and cooperate with us and enable us to abide by it. If you wish to report a dishonest act, write directly to pradyumanm [at] mxmindia.com.
Last updated: September 16, 2011