Policy statement on Electronic Journalism and self-regulation, 1999

The IFJ believes that self-regulation of media content by journalists and media professionals provides the most satisfactory and effective way of safeguarding quality and standards while respecting freedom of expression and opinion.

The IFJ believes that existing structures that have been established at national level, and which involve journalists and media professionals, provide the best framework for dealing with complaints regarding matters of media content.

The IFJ notes, however, that traditional forms of self-regulation may not take account of new information services and that all self-regulatory bodies must review their procedures and terms of reference to ensure that all news and information originating from within their jurisdiction, whatever the mode of dissemination, should be subject to review and adjudication over complaints as appropriate.

Given the circumstances in which new information services are received, often beyond national boundaries, existing national structures for regulation of media content should be adapted to endorse the following principles:

  • that information supplied electronically and available for public consumption is to be considered within the mandate of national regulators;

  • that national regulators should consider adjudication of complaints about content of information supplied electronically that originates from within the area of their jurisdiction, even where such complaints are made by persons or relevant institutions from outside national boundaries.

  • On this basis the IFJ believes that it is inappropriate to consider international structures for the regulation of media content and opposes efforts to establish any transnational regulatory structures governing media content.