The Council for Mass Media

The Council for Mass Media in Finland

SELF-REGULATION BY PUBLISHERS AND JOURNALISTS

The Council for Mass Media (CMM) is a self-regulating committee established in 1968 by publishers and journalists in the field of mass communication. Its task is to interpret good professional practice and defend the freedom of speech and publication. CMM does not exercise legal jurisdiction. The journalists and other personnel engaged in media who have affiliated to the CMM have, ipso facto, committed themselves to advancing and upholding the ethical principles of the profession.

Any person who considers that there has been a breach of good professional practice by media may bring this to the attention of the CMM. Once the CMM has established that good professional practice has been breached, it issues a notice which the party in violation must publish within a short time span. Under certain circumstances involving important principles, the CMM can initiate an investigation. It can also issue policy statements regarding questions of professional ethics. The CMM handles complaint investigations free of charge, within an average timeframe of five months. The Chairman may give independent resolutions of matters which clearly do not refer to a breach of good professional practice and are of no significant importance.

The CMM is comprised of a chairman and thirteen members whose term of office is three years. Eight members represent areas of expertise in the field of media, and five represent the public. The chairman, whose expertise also may be in the field of media, is appointed by the Managing Group of The Council for Mass Media. Representatives of the public are elected by the council itself. They may not be employees or board members of any media entity. The media representatives are appointed by the Managing Group.

The framework of the CMM's operations are stipulated in a Charter, which is signed by all the organizations which have committed to themselves to self-regulation and accepted its objectives. A complaint may be filed by any individual or organization requesting the investigation of a matter concerning breach of good professional practice or the freedom of speech and publication. The CMM will not investigate complaints submitted anonymously, nor complaints where more than three months has elapsed since publication. The complaint must by submitted in writing and signed. Nowadays the council gets most of the complaints via electronic complainant form.

22.1.2008.