In order to practise journalism in the Republic of Cyprus and cover special events, i.e. press conferences by the President of the Republic of Cyprus, one needs to obtain a press card from the Press and Information Office. A press card may also be obtained from the Union of Cyprus Journalists.
Anyone who wants to get a press card must satisfy the Press and Information Office that he/she:
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: