Europe: Switzerland

Current Status: unknown

Press Council: Switzerland

Autorité indépendante d'examen des plaintes en matière de radio-télévision, Independent Complaints Authority for Radio and Television

Dr. Vincent Augustin (President)

Dr. Claudia Schoch Zeller (Vice-President)

Dr. Pierre Rieder (Head of IAEA Secretariat)

Monbijoustrasse 51 A
Case postale
3001 Berne


Tel:+ 41 058 462 55 38/33
Fax: + 41 058 462 55 58



The Independent Complaints Authority for Radio and Television (ICA) is the federal authority in charge of assessing complaints about radio and television programmes. It determines whether programmes broadcast, other than advertising, have violated national or international law or whether there has been an unlawful refusal of the right to appear on a programme. The ICA’s decisions can be appealed to the Federal Supreme Court.
Before a complaint can be filed with the ICA, the proceedings must be brought before the office of the ombudsman. The ombudsmen act as arbitrators and mediators.

The ICA comprises nine part-time members appointed by the Federal Council, and a secretariat. The ICA is not bound in its area of responsibility by any instructions from the Federal Assembly, the Federal Council and the Federal Administration. The ICA submits an annual report on its activities to the Federal Council. 

The ICA is organised in a quasi-judicial fashion. The Authority’s proceedings are normally held in public.




Updated: 21/08/2017


Dominique von Burg (President);

Martin Künzi (Secretary)

Francesca snider (vice president)

Max Trossman (vice president)

(P.o. Box) Postfach 201

3800 Interlaken


Tel: 00 41 (0)33 823 12 62

Fax: 00 41 (0)33 823 11 18




On behalf of Switzerland’s leading media associations, the Swiss Press Council follows a policy of self-regulation in regard to the print media, electronic media and Web sites. This self-regulation is based on standards of professional ethics that are laid down in the “Declaration of Duties and Rights of Journalists” and related guidelines. The first version of the Declaration dates from 1973.

Through its activities, the Press Council should contribute to public awareness of basic ethical problems within the media and stimulate editorial discussion of media ethics. The Press Council also takes part in the formulation of laws which have political importance for the media. ??Any person who asserts that an editorial office has offended professional standards in a public report can make an appeal to the Swiss Press Council. In addition, the plenum of the Press Council in a majority vote can decide independently to pursue cases that it considers of basic importance.

Appeals are to be submitted in writing with a short explanation of the complaint accompanied by a copy of the media report in question. Details of the appeal procedure are laid down in the statutes of the Swiss Press Council ( ??Based on the appeal and after hearing the side of the editorial staff involved, one of three chambers of the Press Council takes a position on the issue.

The chamber is composed of journalists and representatives of the public. A written statement is sent to the parties concerned after a final decision is reached by the Press Council plenum. In cases of limited significance, a decision can be made by the Press Council board. ??All decisions reached by the Press Council since 1990 can be found here, as well as the names of the current members of the board and chambers, are published in German, French and Italian here

The Swiss Press Council cannot sanction offending editorial offices or journalists. However, all decisions are published on its Web site. In addition, important decisions are sent to the news agencies, major editorial offices as well as other interested parties. In this way, the Press Council’s conclusions are made known to a wide public. In addition, a selection of decisions are printed in German, French and Italian in the annual publication, “Annual Review.”

The Swiss Press Council Foundation is the support institution. It was founded in the year 2000 by Impressum (formerly known as the Swiss Association of Journalists), the media trade union Comedia, the Syndicate of Swiss Media Journalists (electronic media) and the Conference of Chief Editors.

Since July 2008 the Association of Swiss Editors (Swiss Press) as well as Public Broadcasting (SRG SSR idée suisse) belong as well to the Bourt of the Swiss Press Council Foundation. The activities of the Swiss Press Council are financed by contributions from these associations as well as contributions from larger media groups and other organizations.

To ensure the long-term financial independence of the Swiss Press Council, the Swiss Press Council Foundation established a special fund. Private donors and companies, who wish to support the Swiss Press Council financially and morally, contribute to the Fund. The board of the Foundation, which manages the Fund, can use earnings from the Fund’s assets but not the assets themselves to finance Press Council activities.

Last Update - Aug 2017