Eesti Ajalehtede Liit
Eesti Ajalehtede Liit

Rules of Procedure

1. Obligations of members

A member of the Press Council (PC) has:

1.1 to participate in PC meetings. The PC executive secretary has to be notified of non-participation and reasons for being absent;

1.2 to notify the executive secretary of his/her relations with the complaint being discussed if the member has a conflict of interests. In such a case the member will not participate in the discussion of the complaint;

1.3 to study the lodged complaint and form an opinion for discussion;

1.4 to honour the confidentiality of deliberations, ie keep from spreading information about the course of the discussion and complaints being discussed.

2. The rights of members

PC members have the right:

2.1 to have a dissenting opinion recorded in the minutes. As a rule, the dissenting opinion will not be disclosed;

2.2 to elect the chairman and deputy chairman, and to be elected to these offices;

2.3 to ask for amendments to be made to the minutes of the previous meeting. If necessary, the executive secretary will check the notes and recordings on which the draft of the minutes is based;

2.4 to make suggestions for changing the rules of procedure.

3. Procedure

3.1 The complaints received shall be registered by the executive secretary. In case of doubts as to whether a particular complaint falls within the authority of the PC, the decision on the handling of the complaint shall be made by the PC chairman, deputy chairman and the executive secretary.

3.2 In the first stage, the executive secretary shall try to negotiate a settlement between the complainant and the publication (a letter of apology or an oral apology by the publication; printing a reader’s letter; mutual agreement if it turns out that the publication has not made a mistake, etc.)

3.3 If no settlement is reached, the executive secretary shall seek a written statement from the newspaper involved. The chief editor shall have ten days to reply. Then the complaint shall be discussed at the PC meeting.

3.4 Members of the PC shall receive written materials on the complaint at least 10 days before the meeting.

3.5 The PC meeting is closed unless the PC has decided otherwise.

3.6 The executive secretary together with the chairman and the deputy chairman shall draft an adjudication which shall be sent to PC members before the meeting if possible.

3.7 The final wording of the adjudication adopted at the meeting shall be formulated by the executive secretary, chairman and deputy chairman within seven days after the meeting.

3.8 The adjudication shall be final and cannot be appealed.

3.9 The executive secretary shall send the adjudication to the publication concerned. The publication receiving a condemning adjudication shall publish it verbatim within ten days. If the publishing cycle of the publication is longer, the adjudication shall be published in the second issue after the receipt of the decision.

4. Informing the public

4.1. The adjudications of the PC are public and shall be posted at the PC home page at the website of the Estonian Newspaper Association (ENA) after sending them to the publication and complainant concerned.

4.2. The PC materials are public to the extent regulated by the law. In order to guarantee confidentiality of deliberations the minutes of PC meeting shall not be made available to the public. The PC can withhold the identity of the complainant if this is necessary for the protection of the rights of the complainant.

4.3. Every year, the chairman of the PC shall submit PC’s annual report to the ENA board by February 1. The report shall be posted at the PC home page at the ENA website.

Approved by the Press Council on September 26, 2002


Estonian Press Council

Pärnu mnt 67a
10134 Tallinn Estonia
Tel. +372 646 3363
Fax. +372 631 1210

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