Conscience clause, a legal restriction on journalists’ employers, should allow journalists to turn down dubious work orders without fear of being fired. Despite being long in place in Spain, the clause offers little actual protection, claim Carmen Fuente-Cobo, of Complutence University of Mardid, and José García-Avilés, of Miguel Hernández University of Elche.
According to the authors, Spanish journalists experience growing pressure from their employers. The conscience clause is rarely enacted, for which the authors cite several reasons. Among others, the legal definition of a journalist is too vague to be effectively evoked. Part of the blame is also on the journalists’ associations and unions, which are not cohesive enough to enforce their members’ rights.
The results were published in an article of the journal Cuadernos.info, and it can be accessed freely online here (in Spanish).
Edited on 13.1.2015: Stock image added.