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Le Conseil de déontologie journalistique (Council for ethical journalism) CDJ Belgium

French and German speaking communities.

Introduction

The Council for ethical journalism (CDJ) was created in 2009. It is a self-regulation organisation for the French and German language speaking media in Belgium. It consists of representatives of publishers, journalists, editor and civil society.

It has three distinct functions: information (answering questions coming from newsrooms, the public, etc.), mediation (ombudsman) and self-regulation functions such as complaints-handling, notifications and recommendations.

CDJ's value is both “internal” for journalists and “external” for the public. Contributing to quality information and citizens' right to be correctly informed is the ultimate goal entrusted to CDJ.

Funding

CDJ is financed equally by editors and journalists. The professional association of journalists receive a specific public subsidy

The Council

The Council is composed of two bodies, a juridical entity and an executive one.

The Association for ethical self-regulation ( Association pour l'Autorégulation de las Deontologie  - AADJ) is the juridical structure that supports and assures the functioning of the CDJ. It is a non-profit organisation composed equally of editors and journalists representatives. It is also the interlocutor of public authorities. For its part, the CDJ, without any specific legal entity, is the executive body of the ADDJ. It is, in particular, the interlocutor of the public for their concerns about journalistic ethics.

The compositions of the two bodies are different, though some members of the CDJ are also members of the ADDJ. The CDJ has 20 members (and 20 alternative members). Six members are nominated by the press industry, 6 are nominated by journalists, 2 by editors-in-chief and 6 are appointed by public competition representing civil society (lawyers, judges, teachers, association members, etc.) The chair and Deputy Chair are alternatively proposed by journalists and editors members. The AADJ has 16 members (and 16 alternative members), 8 representing the journalist association and 8 representing media outlets.

The Offices of the Council's General Secretary

The Council's General Secretary is appointed by the Press council following a public competition. The person appointed receives complaints from the public, determines the admissibility of complaints and attempts to resolve complaints by conciliation or mediation.  When this is not possible the General Secretary will draw up reports based on the Code of Practice and submit these to the decision of the Press Council.

Remit

Written press, radio and television, online news services and journalism on social media. All journalistic activities including the behaviour of journalists during their work. Remit covers French and German language media. If there is an overlap with Flemish media the two press councils of Belgium cooperate.

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