Rules of operation

1. The Press Complaints Commission is appointed by the Managing Board of the Council. It is composed of seven members, out of whom:
- two representatives of the media owners
- two representatives of the journalists and
- three representatives of the public.
Their term is 3 years, with a possibility for a re-election.

2. Member of the Press Complaints Commission can be dismissed of duties before the expiration of the term upon personal request, if unreasonably did not attended three meetings, if he/she damaged the reputation of the Commission with his/her own conduct. The Managing Board of the Council discusses and decides on the termination of the duty.

3. The Press Complaints Commission reviews all press complaints related to the violation of professional and ethical standards in the print (print and news agencies), electronic (TV and radio) and the Internet media in Macedonia. Anonymous complaints cannot be considered.

4. A press complaint related to the contents in the media may be filed by every citizen, legal entities and other representatives of the public, including journalists themselves. The complaint may be filed against certain media outlet. Complaints against journalists cannot be filed.

5. Complaints shall be submitted in written to the Executive Offices of the Council; according to the procedure that is defined by the Executive office and approved by the Managing Board. A complaint may be submitted within one month since the publishing of the journalistic article/item.

6. The Executive Office of the Council has the responsibility to analyse if the press complaint refers to the competencies of the Council.

7. If the press complaint is not in the jurisdiction of the Council, the Executive Office, after prior consultation with the President of the Press Complaints Commission, can reject the complaint and notify the applicant of the reasons due to which it has been refused. The Executive Director immediately notifies the Commission of the rejected complaint.

8. A file is opened for the press complaints which are under the jurisdiction of the Council and marked with an archive number.

9. The Press Complaints Commission meets at least once a month. The decisions are carried by a consensus or by a majority of votes of the total number of members, if a consensus cannot be reached.

10. Before the beginning of each session of the Press Complaints Commission, its members clearly state if they have a conflict of interest for the subject to be discussed. The member who has a conflict of interest is excluded from the debate on this subject.

11. If there is a need, the Press Complaints Commission can work according to the principle of member-rapporteur, appointed by the President of the Commission. The member-rapporteur will need to inform the other members of the Commission on the subject of work.

12. The Press Complaints Commission has an obligation to examine all the press complaints, demanding from the one who submitted the complaint, as well as from media against which a complaint is filed, to submit all the necessary facts and information. All collected information is collected in the dossier on the subject. The media against which the complaint is filed shall reply to the request of the Commission and submit the requested information within 7 working days.

13. The Executive Office, depending on the complexity of the subject, can initiate a reconciliation of the parties in the dispute, as well as to request from the media to use its right of reply to the person submitting the complaint, that is, to explain the motives and arguments for publishing the item/article.

14. The Executive Office represented by the Executive Director is obliged to present all the press complaints to the Commission, together with the overall material gathered from the conducted investigations, as well as the outcome of the potential reconciliation between the two sides, if it was initiated.

15. The Press Complaints Commission has a deadline of one month to make decision on the press complaint, unless there are justifiable reasons for the extension of the deadline.

16. The Press Complaints Commission can reject the complaint, and in that case it shall notify the person who submitted the complaint on the reasons for that.

17. The decision made by the Commission shall be sent to the media within three days, and also uploaded at the website of the Council of Media Ethics.

18. The Council will ask from the media that violated the standards of ethics to publish the decision at a space that is defined by the Council, and will also require from its members to publish the decision. The publishing shall be free of charge in all media members of the Council of Media Ethics.

19. The documentation for all items must be appropriately archived and kept for at least five years in the archive. The documentation is available to the public, except in the case if it is contrary to the Law on Access to Public Information.

20. The Press Complaints Commission also takes into consideration the press complaints against media that are not members of the Council of Media Ethics. The procedure for these complaints is the same as the one for the members of the Council, with the difference that instead of a decision the Commission gives an opinion on the case. If the media is not a member of the Council of Media Ethics and do not want to cooperate with the Council, then the Council will give an opinion on the press complaint on the basis of the information available.

21. The Press Complaints Commission publishes its decisions and opinions at its own web-page and sends press releases to all the media, both members and non-members of the Council.

22. The members of the Press Complaints Commission do not have a right to explain and comment the decisions in public. The Commission is represented by the Chairman in the public, and in his absence, his deputy or the Executive Director.