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Organisational Structure

CouncilYear Established
Belgium (Flanders)2002
Belgium (Wallonia)2009
Bosnia and Herzegovina2006
North Macedonia2015
Québec (Canada)1973
Spain - Catalonia1997
The Netherlands1960
United Kingdom (Impress)2015
United Kingdom (IPSO)2014

Non-responses: 28 countries (73.68%)

Founded: 5 countries - Belgium (Wallonia), Denmark, Kosovo, Lithuania, Luxembourg - (13.16%)

Recognized afterwards: 2 countries - Bulgaria, United Kingdom (Impress) - (5.26%)

Decreet: 2 countries - Finland, Norway - (5.26%)

Recognized by law as a registered public interest company: 1 country - United Kingdom (IPSO) - (2.63%)

CouncilWhy is there a recognition?
Belgium (Wallonia)The intention is to ensure the Council's continuity over time, and the recognition ensures the future role of the Council, and allowed to define its competences and its collaboration with the audiovisual regulatory body
BulgariaAs guarantee that self-regulation would work (instead of introducing media legislation). Broadcast media (TV + radio) are by law bound to be ethically judged by the Council.
DenmarkFounded after implementation of the Danish Media Liability Act
IrelandRecognition allowed newspapers to publish decisions of the Press Ombudsman and Press Council without any threat of defamation proceedings (qualified privilege). It also allowed newspapers in defamation action to claim that adherence to Press Council standards could be used in seeking reductions in defamation awards
KosovoIn law about Defamation and Insult, Chapter V requires that for disputes about disinformation on press, the first step to follow is to go to the Press Council
Lithuaniafounded following the law
LuxembourgIn order to protect the statute of ‘journalist'
NorwayTo ensure editorial freedom
United Kingdom (Impress)Press council complies with the Press Recognition Panel's criteria for self-regulatory bodies, and thus is recognized as an independent press regulator
AssociationCommissionCommunity Interest CompanyCompany Limited by GuaranteeFoundationInformal NGONGONonePublic entityPublic interest companyPublic organisation
Ethical Council of Journalists' AssociationMedia CouncilOmbudsman and Press CouncilPress CouncilPress associationPress councilPress regutorPress/Media CouncilPublic interest companyUnanswered

CouncilMain Tasks
AlbaniaPromoting self-regulation
ArmeniaConsidering complaints on media and issuing judgements or Expert opinions. Making statements on general challenges for professional integrity. Developing guidelines on ethical conduct of journalists. Providing consultancy to the Commission on TV and Radio (national regulator) on issues of media ethics. Organizing public campaigns on promotion of media self-regulation system.
AustriaBeing a ‘check/balance' for the printed press (via complaints procedures) and defending press freedom
AzerbaijanThe Press Council of Azerbaijan is a self-regulatory body of Azerbaijani press. The Council was created during the First Conference of Azerbaijani journalists, in which 180 media organizations were present, on 15 March 2003. The Council’s aims include conducting of public control so as to ensure that journalists act in line with the requirements of relevant pieces of legislation and professional principles, improving government-media and public-media relations, and contributing to the freedom of speech. In order to fulfill the objectives stated above, the Council considers the possibilities of pre-judicial solutions of conflicts arising from newspaper articles, examines complaints about the conduct of correspondents of various media outlets and makes decisions about complaints.
Belgium (Flanders)Defending and promoting professional ethics in journalism; formulation of ethical guidelines for journalism; handling complaints about journalistic behaviour and publications
Belgium (Wallonia)Development of ethical standards for media and mediation/complaint handling, providing information about ethics in journalism (to the public and to the journalists)
Bosnia and HerzegovinaImproving ethical and professional standards in print and online media, monitoring the implementation of the Press Code, and constant education of journalists and the public on the need to respect freedom of expression and responsible, professional reporting in the press and online media
BulgariaHandling complaints
CanadaTo serve as a forum for complaints against its members and to promote ethical practices within the news media industry.
CyprusTo make sure that all members of the Media follow the general rules of ethics in journalism and to defend the freedom of the Press.
DenmarkHandling complaints
EstoniaHandling complaints
FinlandTo interpret good journalistic practice as well as defend freedom in regard to speech and the right to publication
FranceThe CDJM is a forum for mediation between journalists, the media, news agencies and the public on all matters relating to journalistic ethics
GeorgiaTo improve the quality of journalism in Georgia
GermanyDefend press freedom and protect the good name of the press (by judging the good practice/ethical soundness of its behaviour)
IcelandTo uphold the journalistic ethical standards by giving people the possibility to send in complaints about the media
IrelandDefending freedom of expression and the independent treatment of complaints about the press
Kazakhstancreate a common platform for discussing issues and challenges facing Kazakh journalism, promote ethical standards through the Basic principles of media
KosovoPromoting freedom of information and respect for the press code, protecting the citizens from false information
Lithuaniamain goals in the activity of the Association and the Commission.
LuxembourgFourfold: draft and observe a journalistic Code of Conduct; dealing with complaints about media content; issuing press cards; being a consultation partner for the government in media policy matters
North MacedoniaPreventing influence to the media from centers of power, promotion of quality in journalism, protection of media freedom, protection of public interest (complaints process)
NorwayTo ensure ethical and free press
PolandTo defend ethical principles in journalism by responding to complaints sent in by citizens about journalists' behaviour in publications and broadcasts.
Québec (Canada)The protection of the freedom of the press and to the defense of the right of the public to quality reporting.
SerbiaHandling Complaints ,Promoting the Code, Public Awareness & Education
SlovakiaThe Print-Digital Council adresses complaints about the possible violation of journalistic ethics, as well as motions concerning restraining the journalists' access to information.
SloveniaHandling complaints
Spain - CataloniaSelf regulation of journalism in Catalonia
SwedenFor The Public to protect them from journalism that is too offensive and aggressive. -For the Media companies to protect the Freedom of Press and to prevent intrusion from politicians and legislators
SwitzerlandProviding a means to complain about ethical behaviour of the media
The NetherlandsDealing with complaints about journalistic behaviour; contributing to the development of media ethics; and promoting public awareness of media ethics
TurkeyReviewing complaints concerning violations of professional journalistic ethics
United Kingdom (Impress)Providing independent accountability and transparency for the public, by maintaining ethical standards in journalism. To establish and operate an independent press regulator which complies with the recommendations and principles set out in the Royal Charter, to formulate, establish and develop the Standards Code, to operate a complaints handling service in accordance with the recommendations and principles set out in the Royal Charter, to enter into agreements with Participants, charge fees in connection therewith and to be able to levy fines on Participants, to operate an arbitration service in accordance with the recommendations and principles set out in the Royal Charter, to establish an investigations service in accordance with the recommendations and principles set out in the Royal Charter, to provide advice or information, to publish and distribute or commission publications in any form or media, to organise meetings, lectures, conferences, workshops, broadcasts or courses of instruction, to promote or carry out research or surveys of public opinion
United Kingdom (IPSO)To enforce the Editors' Code of Practice and to uphold the fundamental public interest in freedom of expression. We monitor editorial standards and produce reporting guidance for editors and journalists. We operate a whistleblowing hotline for journalists, 24/7 hotline for victims of press harassment and 24/7 pre-publication advice from IPSO staff.

Additional Information, if "Yes"

  • Albania
    In some cases public statements will be issued about media content
  • Armenia
    No. However MEO uses the results of media monitoring and other studies/researches implemented by the CSOs which facilitate its operation.
  • Austria
    This happens about 5-10 times per year
  • Azerbaijan
    If there is a complaint about the material written by the publication, then the board can investigate.
  • Belgium (Flanders)
    However, this is rarely/never used in practice
  • Belgium (Wallonia)
    This happens once or twice per year
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
    It is possible to investigate pro-actively, which the Press Council does wherever severe breach of the ethical and professional standards occurred
  • Cyprus
    When the Commission notices something problematic in the media, they can make a statement about this
  • Denmark
    However, this is not done in practice
  • Finland
    However, this is very rarely used

Additional Information, if "No"

  • Bulgaria
    There is no possibility to investigate individual publications, but the Council could make statements about media coverage in general
  • Poland
    the Council reacts/answers to complaints pertaining to its ethical charter but does not initiate complaints itself
  • The Netherlands
    However, the council can voice an opinion about general matters or in matters of principle

Additional Information, if "Yes"

  • Albania
    The Council monitors and reports about specific types of coverage in the media, like reporting on crime or corruption
  • Azerbaijan
    Our monitoring team reviews the various sites and checks whether the ethical principles of journalism are upheld.
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
    From time to time the media content is monitored by the press council, especially in election years
  • Lithuania
    competence of the Inspector's office
  • North Macedonia
    The Council monitors the adherence of media to professional standards. This is usually done by analyzing the press complaints over a certain period of time and the tendencies that appear in the media reporting. The Council is particularly focused on identiyfing and reacting to fake news and sensationalism in the media
  • Serbia
    Regular monitoring of eight newspapers with national coverage

Additional Information, if "No"

  • France
    The Observatoire de la Déontologie de l'Information does this in France
  • Georgia
    Media monitoring is done in the Media Checker project (whcih has editorial independence from the Charter itself)
  • Norway
  • Spain - Catalonia
    Only with a complaint.