Principles and Guidelines




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Principles and Guidelines

Axel Springer is the only independent media company to have a corporate constitution. The five principles expressed therein serve as a foundation for publishing operations. They define fundamental convictions on social policy, yet do not set out an opinion. The principles are supplemented by the guidelines for safeguarding journalistic independence at Axel Springer and an international catalogue of social standards.

Corporate principles for a liberal world view

The five socio-political corporate principles formulated by Axel Springer in 1967, amended following German reunification in 1990 and supplemented in 2001, form part of the company’s articles of association. They paint a liberal picture of the world:

  1. To uphold liberty and law in Germany, a country belonging to the Western family of nations, and to further the unification of the peoples of Europe.
  2. To promote the reconciliation of Jews and Germans and support the vital rights of the people of Israel.
  3. To support the Transatlantic Alliance and maintain solidarity with the United States of America in the common values of free nations.
  4. To reject all forms of political totalitarism.
  5. To uphold the principles of a free social market economy.

Guidelines for safeguarding journalistic independence at Axel Springer

The editors-in-chief and publishing directors of the company developed guidelines to safeguard journalistic independence at Axel Springer and introduced them in August 2003 in co-ordination with the Executive Board.

The guidelines specify and extend the company’s understanding of the publishing principles of the press code of conduct issued by the German Press Council.

Observance of the guidelines by all editors in their journalistic endeavors safeguards the general conditions that make independent and critical journalism possible. The editors-in-chief are responsible for the observance of the guidelines and their implementation in day-to-day business. The guidelines deal with the distinction between advertising and editorial copy as well as between editors’ personal and professional interests, prevent the exercise of personal advantage and define a position with respect to the treatment of sources.

Read the complete Guidelines for safeguarding journalistic independence at Axel Springer here.

A catalogue of social standards for all of Axel Springer’s activities

In the light of its increasing international profile, Axel Springer has drawn up a catalogue of social standards. It lays out the organization’s position on issues relating to human rights, compliance with the law, child protection, the treatment of employees, health and safety as well as the work/family balance. These standards are binding worldwide for all of the company’s activities.

Read the complete catalogue of social standards for all of Axel Springer’s activities here.

Corporate Governance and Sustainability Report

Axel Springer SE also attaches great importance to good Corporate Governance in the management and control of the enterprise.

The company publishes environmental guidelines and, moreover, a Sustainability Report in accordance with the catalog of criteria of the “Global Reporting Initiative” (GRI).


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