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CYPRUS MEDIA COMPLAINTS COMMISSION

The Cyprus Media Complaints Commission is an independent press council, responsible for the self-regulation of the news media, both written and electronic. It is entirely free from government interference or judicial supervision, ensuring that through self-regulation freedom of the press is maintained, standards of conduct are raised and the members of the public are given the opportunity to lodge their grievances against the media when they feel they have been offended. The Cyprus Media Complaints Commission was established in May, 1997 by the Association of Newspapers and Periodicals Publishers, the owners of private Electronic Media and the Cyprus Union o Journalists. The Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation, a self-governing organization operating under public law, acceded to the regulations governing the operation of the CMCC and the Code of Media Ethics six months later.

Its motto is: For the truth, correct informing and the rights of the citizen and the journalist.

The Code of Practice defines the duties and rights of journalists and covers the following topics: Accuracy of information, the right of rebuttal, the right to privacy, conduct in Hospitals , human pain and grief, obtaining information by dubious means, copyright, bribe, presumption of innocence of suspects and accused people, sexual offences, protection of children, discrimination, reporting of financial news, professional privilege and public interest.

The CMCC is an independent organization and it is financed solely by its establishers.

The panel of the CMCC consists of 13 members. The founding parties appoint the chairman, who must be an independent personality (the current one being a former judge) and the nine of the members, coming from the Association of Newspapers and Periodicals Publishers, the owners of private Electronic Media, the Cyprus Union o Journalists and the Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation. These 10 members choose from among the general public the other three members, who must be known for their integrity and their interest in community affairs. The panel accepts complaints (submitted within 30 days of the offending publication first appearing or becoming known to the offended party or even a third party). In exceptional cases the panel has the right to examine publications on its own initiative.

Members of the public who feel they have been offended can lodge a complaint either electronically, using either e-mail or the web-site of the CMMC on the Internet, or by writing to the CMMC.