A press council, in its ideal form, gathers and represents all three major actors of social communication: media owners, editors and the public. This body is in effect responsible for investigating potential breaches in the ethical codes of conduct adopted by media. Press councils innately promote the value of self regulation and as such media professionals electively choose to abide by the procedures of the press council and its efficiency depends on the cooperation of all parties involved. While press councils are very popular in Europe, they are capable of adapting to various cultural contexts at various levels of society.
The bodies listed here are both genuine press councils (PC) and similar institutions, such as "media observatories" common in Africa. Some are listed with reservations: Their independence or their activity could not be ascertained.
Click on a continent on the map below for a list of press councils in that region.