Follow us on twitter

Subscribe to Newsletter

Calendar of Events

See More

The current functioning of press councils in Europe is not well understood and there is a lack of international public information available about them.


This database, the first of its kind, covers analysis of selected themes such as the media council's history, funding and staff, the purpose and complaints-handling work, membership and scope, decision-making, code of ethics, public engagement, and the main challenges of established media councils. It helps map out similarities and differences of media councils regarding their mission, their structure, their proceedings, their responsibilities and their methods.

The database has been developed by the Vereniging van de Raad voor de Journalistiek – Belgium.

Some notes about the terminology

We use the term media council to refer to the organisations or entities that we studied. This means the organisation as a whole, including the executive office (its day-to-day staff), the complaints-handling body, its board, and all other parts that the organisation may consist of.

We use the word commission to refer to the group of people who decide whether or not complaints should be upheld (i.e., the media breached the Ethical Code) or not.

We use the term commission members to refer to the people who decide about complaints.

We use the term members of the media council to refer to the constituents of the organisation itself – the (umbrella organisations of) media companies, individual media outlets, journalist/editor's associations or unions, and/or individual journalists.

About the Organisations

General information about the way in which the Media Councils are organised, funded, and staffed

Complaints Statistics

An overview of the number of complaints that Media Councils receive and how often these complaints were upheld.

Complaint Process

How can complaints about media content be lodged, how do Media Councils process them, and what are some of the consequences of these complaints procedures?

Code of Ethics

Information about the ethical principles that Media Councils use when determining whether to uphold a complaint or not.

Public Engagement

What do Media Councils do to reach out to journalists, lawmakers, and the general public?