FFR Code of Conduct
Members of the Frontline Freelance Register (FFR) are obligated to demonstrate a professional approach to news safety whilst promoting the highest ethical standards in journalism. By applying to join FFR, freelance print, photo, digital, radio, and video journalists commit themselves to the FFR Code of Ethics and Safe Practice. The FFR Code exists to maintain the dignity and professionalism of our members in their safe pursuit of ethical newsgathering worldwide. Any violation of this code may result in removal from the register.
FFR Safety Code
- So that we have the skills to care for injured colleagues, we are committed to completing a recognised industry first aid course as soon as possible. We will carry suitable medical kits for the trips that we undertake and keep our medical skills up-to-date according to best news industry practice.
- To complete an industry recognised hostile environment course as soon as we are financially and practicably able to do so and to continue our professional education to improve our standards of safety and care whilst in the field.
- To take protective ballistic clothing, including armoured jackets and helmets, on stories that require it and wear it when appropriate.
- To plan and prepare in detail our trips to hostile environments. Identifying routes, transport, contacts and a communications strategy with an outside point of contact. Carefully considering the practical value of the equipment that we take according to the nature of the trip.
- To complete FFR risk assessments before travelling to hostile environments and measure the journalistic value of our trips against the physical risks that we perceive.
- To leave next of kin details with FFR, ensuring that these named contacts have clear instructions and action plans in the case of injury, kidnap or death in the field and to ensure our wills or codicils are always up-to-date.
- To seek and take into account the safety information and travel advice of professional colleagues, local contacts and security personnel. To likewise share safety information to help prevent colleagues from being harmed.
- To take a deep professional interest in news safety and its development, seeking to improve our skills, equipment and understanding at every affordable opportunity.
- To take appropriate precautions to secure our mobile and Internet communications from intrusion and tracking.
FFR Ethics Code
- To uphold and defend the principle of free speech and the public right to accurate information by reporting and interpreting facts pertaining to the public interest with scrupulous honesty.
- Not to allow personal prejudices or outside interests influence us in the discharge of our duties nor place unnecessary emphasis on ethnicity, gender, religion, disability or sexual orientation.
- To correct any harmful inaccuracies, never to plagiarize the work of another nor falsely claim to work for a news organisation to access a story.
- To protect the identity and confidences of any source who supplies information to us and to ensure that our digital security skills and procedures match this requirement.
- Not to allow threats, gifts or benefits lead us to adjust our reporting, distort or suppress information or falsely endorse an interest, product or service. Nor to take unfair personal advantage of information that we gain while conducting our work.
- To respect individual privacy unless there exists a genuine need of public accountability for those concerned.
- To work in an open and straightforward manner except where we are convinced of the importance of our story and our reporting requires us to do otherwise.
- To do our utmost to maintain full confidence in the integrity and dignity of the calling of a professional freelance journalist.
- To apply a duty of care to our colleagues and an intolerance of sexual harassment and bullying in our trade.
Breaches of the FFR’s Code of Conduct may lead to a member’s suspension or expulsion. To report any incidents where a member’s conduct is allegedly in breach of our Code, you can contact us confidentially by email. Any reports received will be subject to the process set out in our Disciplinary Procedure.