In order to practise journalism as a foreign correspondent in the Republic of Cyprus one must be accredited by the Press and Information Office.
Anyone who wants to become accredited as a foreign correspondent in the Republic of Cyprus must be a holder of a press card from his/her country and an original letter from the news organization he/she works for, confirming his/her employment as a correspondent in Cyprus with the said organisation.
In order to become accredited as a foreign correspondent in the Republic of Cyprus, an original dated letter from the employer confirming the press identity and the continuous employment as a correspondent in Cyprus with the relevant organization (i.e. newspaper, magazine or another Mass Media Organization), must be submitted either through the PSC Cyprus or by contacting directly the:
Foreign Press Section of the Press and Information Office
1456 Nicosia, Cyprus
Tel. +357 22801149, +357 22801150
Fax. +357 22666123
The above mentioned letter must include the journalist’s identity card or passport number and name written in English. It can also be sent in electronic form, accompanied by a digital passport-sized photo of the applicant. The Press and Information Office will inform the applicant about his/her eligibility and proceed with issuing the press card. The journalist must receive the press card in person from the Press and Information Office only after presenting the original letter from his/her Organisation and the original identity card or passport. The press card is valid for one year.
Obligations and Supervision
Following the accreditation by the Press and Information Office as a foreign correspondent, one will have to apply to the Migration Department for a residence permit.
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 1989 Press Law safeguards the freedom of the press, the unhindered circulation of newspapers, the right of journalists not to disclose the sources of their information and access to official information.
Non-statutory guidelines have been laid down and journalists are expected to exercise self-regulation in the absence of a functioning Press Council to deal with complaints or non-compliance with journalistic standards. Cyprus journalists have their own Code of Conduct and have set up a committee to monitor its implementation.
Free access to information
Under the Press Law, all journalists, Cypriot or foreign, have the right to free access to state sources of information, freedom to seek and acquire information from any competent authority of the Republic and the freedom to make this public. The authority concerned must give the requested information unless it pertains to state or public security, constitutional or public order, public morals or the protection of the honour and rights of third parties.
All journalists, Cypriot or foreign, have the right not to reveal their source of information and to refuse to give testimony without being liable to prosecution for doing so.
The only exception is in instances where a journalist publishes information regarding a criminal offence. He may then be obliged by the Court examining the case or the coroner to reveal his source, provided that the Court or the coroner is satisfied that the following preconditions concur:
The right to reply
Persons, organisations or public institutions that are named or indirectly referred to in a report or article have the right to reply if they consider the information concerning themselves as untrue or misleading. Their reply must be published, free of charge, within three days of its receipt, giving it the same prominence as the initial report.
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.
Union of Cyprus Journalists
ΡΙΚ Avenue 12, 2120 Aglantzia,
P.O.Box 23495, 1683 Nicosia, Cyprus
Telephone: +357 22446090
Fax: +357 22446095
Website: http: www.esk.org.cy