Practice of Journalism
In order to practice 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.
Who is Eligible
Any physical person who wishes to obtain a press card must satisfy the Press and Information Office that he/she:
- Practices the profession of a journalist and earn his/her living out of journalism;
- Is mainly and regularly employed at a Mass Communication Medium which operates or is issued in Cyprus;
- Provides intellectual work to the organization he/she works for (that is he/she must hold the position of a manager, a chief editor, an editor, a correspondent, a photo reporter, e.t.c.).
Where to Apply
In order to obtain a press card in the Republic of Cyprus, a letter from the employer confirming the press identity and the continuous employment at the relevant organization (i.e. newspaper, magazine or another Mass Media Organization), must be submitted either through the PSC Cyprus or electronically through the Competent Authority’s website.
Contact Details of Competent Authority:
Press and Information Office
Section of Local Mass
1456 Nicosia, Cyprus
Telephone: +357 22801151, +357 22801180
Fax: +357 22666123
Which Certificates must be Submitted
The above mentioned letter must include the journalist’s identity card or passport and name written in Greek and English. It can also be sent in electronic form, accompanied by a digital passport-sized photo of the applicant.
Fees Applicable & How to Pay
There are no fees applicable.
The press card is issued in three (3) business days, provided that all necessary documents will be submitted.
Licence Validity Period
The press card is valid for three years.
Dispute with the Competent Authority's Decision
How to File an Administrative Action
Administrative Action Against a Competent Authority’s Decision
Any person may file an Administrative Action at the Administrative court against a decision, act or omission of any competent authority or body.
Pursuant to Article 146 of the Constitution, an Administrative Action may be lodged within 75 days from the date of the decision or act or omission or from the day when such decision or act or omission was notified to the applicant.
The Administrative Court acts as a cassation Court and not as a substantive Court. In other words, the Administrative Court may:
I. Dismiss the Administrative Action
II. Annul wholly or partially the contested decision or act
III. Compel the relevant authority or body to take a certain action
After a decision is annulled, the authority and/or public body must reverse things back to the state prior to when the concerned decision and/or act was executed and reexamine.
How to Appeal
An Appeal may be filed against the Administrative Court’s first-instance decision within a period of 42 days from the date such a decision was given.
At the Supreme Court (Court of Appeal Section) hearing, the contested issue of the appeal remains the legality of the decision or act already adjudicated. However, such a revision of the legality of the decision or act is solely examined on the matters and the extent that the two parties have limited the reasons in the relevant notice of appeal.
The decision adopted by the Supreme Court is considered final in relation to the matter that has been judged.
Legislation & Obligations
Which Laws and Regulations Apply
What are my Obligations
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 Press Law of 1989 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 honor 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 information is clearly related to the criminal offence;
- The information cannot be obtained otherwise;
- Reasons of superior and imperative public interest require that the information be revealed.
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.