1 – Compliance with regulatory texts

1.1 Internal Code or charter?

For the most part, the newspapers, radio stations and TV channels that were canvassed have an internal reference text – a code, charter, style guide, etc. This might include general recommendations, useful information or rigorous principles; content varies greatly and a range of topics are dealt with.

Generally, these documents are not made available to the public and are not well-known, even journalists are unaware of them.

Some regulatory texts are national and all the media must refer to them. The radio station Cadema Ser uses the text drawn up by the Catalan press regulation authority while the Irish Times editorial department refers to the principles laid down by its managing trust.

A special mention goes to Ouest France whose charter for general news and ‘news in brief’ (1990) developed a series of themed reports, to France Télévisions, the German channel ZDF and the BBC who have put their charters on-line, as well as to La Montagne, the regional daily which has just drawn up a charter for the treatment of general news and ‘news in brief’.

1.2 How is their application monitored?

Even if most newspapers have internal regulatory norms, they often neglect the monitoring procedures that ensure the application of these texts. Checking is usually carried out informally, depending on the house culture. Once rules have been accepted by the management and by journalists, collective vigilance seems to be enough to ensure that they are respected.

There are eight notable exceptions: the editorial council made up of members of the management of journalists at La Voix du Nord meets every two months. Europe 1 organises a weekly mediation meeting between heads of news, programmes and advertising. A committee for editorial evaluation for the Brazilian O Estado in Sao Paulo gives a mark to the newspaper every week. A group representing all the journalists at RNE (Spanish national radio) meets every week to work on the editorial content of the station. Two professional ethics and standards committees at Le Monde and a professional ethics committee at RTBF make recommendations. At The Irish Times, the editorial committee of journalists, on one side, and the Board of the Irish Times Trust on the other, ensure the application of these principles. At ZDF in Germany, a television council made up of ordinary members of society is charged with checking that the channel’s commitments are honoured.

2 – Internal professional ethics

2.1 Journalist associations inside the media?

About half of the newspapers and TV channels canvassed have an organisation of this type. These act as the interface between editorial and management, possessing professional ethical awareness but usually without any real power.

Those concerned admit that it is still very difficult to mobilise journalists outside of times of crisis, just as it is difficult for these situations to be acknowledged by the administration on behalf of the association itself.

It should be noted that the SDJ (journalist association) that covers all the stations in the Radio France group has been extremely successful. 80-90% of journalists vote in the elections to determine its composition.

At La Libre Belgique, the idea of ‘intellectual capital’ has prevailed thanks to the journalist association to which all the journalists belong.

The equivalent of a journalist association at El País – the professional committee – questions, within the context of the editorial team, the candidates for management positions.

Sud Ouest’s Société Civile des rédacteurs (Civil association for editors) which also includes print workers, circulates an information letter at least six times a year.

At the daily newspaper, La Croix, Commission Permanente d’étude et de Coopération (COPEC) (Permanent commission for study and co-operation) is not a journalist/editor association in the strict sense of the term as the management representatives and journalists are elected, but it has nevertheless looked at ethical questions on a monthly basis since it was created in 1964.

At Berliner Zeitung, a committee of three journalists elected by the editorial staff intervenes on ethical matters when requested to do so.

2.2 What mechanisms are there to evaluate already published material?

Even if this is theoretically possible, most editorial structures only react when articles or reports have led to problems, and usually when a comparison is made with the competition.

Indeed, th feedback stage for articles is often sidestepped at editorial meetings because of lack of time, participants, willingness, or solutions…

Systematic feedback seems to be more common outside of France, for example in the two Swiss dailies Le Temps and La Liberté, The Guardian in Britain and the German Berliner Zeitung which even invites external participants to its morning meetings to give their opinion about the previous edition of the newspaper.

Following its purchase in 2013, La Provence put in place regular consultation (every six weeks) between the news management and the journalist association.

As well as their daily meetings, RTBF and TF1 organise longer, more open weekly review meetings. Every six weeks the Belgian channel invites outside observers to its lunchtime sessions to look at professional ethics and standards.

2.3 Which systems are in place to identify and correct errors? Fact checking?

In the USA and Japan, in particular, editorial departments have fact checkers – specialised journalists to check information and sources. They look for errors, inaccuracies, contact interviewees to check a quote, etc.

Amongst the media canvassed, none had a procedure for systematic error checking, either pre- or post- publication/broadcast.

However, reports are viewed before being broadcast at all the TV channels (at least four times at TF1) and all articles are systematically re-read at all the newspapers (three and four times at Le Monde, five or six times at La Montagne for pieces that are considered sensitive).

At the Spanish La Vanguardia, the mediator can intervene at their own initiative if a journalist has made a serious mistake.

France 24 has a language checker for its Arabic editions before they are broadcast.

3 – Advertising/editorial links

3.1 What is the relationship between editorial values and advertising content?

There is no procedure or tool to guarantee journalist internal independence vis à vis advertising or marketing departments.

The publishing criteria for adverts which abide by the general law are not defined either. However, litigation is rare. The rules – sometimes very precise – are generally not written down, and emphasise respect for the values of the newspaper, even if these are not always explicit. Some organisations simply try to avoid printing an article that conflicts with an advertisement, while some go further, for example, most of the Belgian newspapers, including the Flemish De Standaard, made a collective commitment to refuse political advertising for the far right.

Advertising and editorial departments often have very close relationships, especially now that different forms of advertising have developed, such as sponsorships or partnerships.

The Irish Times and Berliner Zeitung are proud of the complete separation they have for the two departments.

The daily Cruzeiro do Sul in Brazil encourages exchanges between editorial and advertising departments. Similarly, the content manager at the Catalan radio station, Cadena Ser works to guarantee consistency for all programme, advertising and news values.

Like La Montagne, Sud Ouest has very strict rules regarding the space given to an advertisement (number of pages and where to put it); RTL demonstrates its grasp of the economic and independence issues that impact its editorial department.

Special mention should be made of Le Soir in Belgium, El País in Spain and France’s Ouest-France which make clear their willingness to apply their values to all pages of their newspapers.

3.2 What arbitration systems are in place for disputes?

In most of the newspapers canvassed, disputes regarding the publication of an advert are handled by the Editor-in-chief or the editorial managers: proof of the domination of journalistic principles put in place by the news sector of the media.

This applies particularly to La Croix, Le Figaro or Cruzeiro do Sul.

If, as a last resort, management is called upon to intervene, discussions, negotiations and consensus will always be favoured as is notably the case at Libération, Le Monde or Le Soir.

3.3 What is the structure for sponsorships and editorial partnerships?

How is media support for a cultural, sports or humanitarian event supervised from a professional ethics point of view? What guarantees are in place to separate commercial services and the editorial department? How is the danger of self-censorship avoided?

There is little acknowledgement of media interference.

During a high profile sports event, the BBC broadcasts the rules of its partnership contract. The Swiss radio and TV station RTS emphasises the total separation of its departments; RTBF in Belgium forbids its marketing department to look for partnerships that include editorial coverage.

Europe 1 guarantees the integrity of its editorial handling of partnerships by weekly exchanges between advertising, programmes and editorial departments. This same, principled stance has been adopted by the Brazilian radio station, CBN.

Sud Ouest has outlined very precise structures for three kinds of supplements; La Montagne works essentially with a system of newspaper pre-purchase by its partners; La Provence has drawn up an individual good practice charter for partnerships which guarantees editorial independence; Le Monde places the responsibility on the journalist impacted by the nature of the partnership.

4 – Professional ethical questions

4.1 How are press trips and embedded journalists managed?

The basis for press trips is generally accepted but not widely announced in reports or articles. Exceptions to this rule are: The Guardian in the UK, El País in Spain, La Liberté and Le Temps in Switzerland, CBN in Brazil, France-Inter, Sud Radio and the Spanish public radio and TV stations RNE and TVE, Flemish De Standaard and the Irish Times.

The Catalonian Cadena Ser bans all trips, on principle.

Some newspapers, like RNE, only accept press trips provided by public organisations or bodies. Another alternative is acceptance or refusal according to the subject. Thus, at the morning daily newspaper Libération or at the evening daily Le Monde, only a few departments, such as tourism, are allowed to accept press invitations.

The BBC participates in press trips but always pays for them. RTL has expressed a willingness to adopt the same policy.

4.2 How are conflicts of interests with the owner resolved?

This question was often seen as not relevant by our participants, either because their media is a public service or because their shareholders are only active in the press sector. They have all been reticent on the subject.

The links between a newspaper and individual or group owners are not generally made clear in articles in which the owner is mentioned, except at Le Figaro and Libération in France, Le Soir in Belgium, Le Temps in Switzerland and El País in Spain. The Marseille daily, La Provence, has clear-cut rules for treating news that concerns its owner, Bernard Tapie according to whether it is of regional or national interest.

It appears that journalists have difficulty talking about their own positions, when, for example, their organisation is being restructured.

Only the Brazilian Cruzeiro do Sul acknowledges that there should be vigilance at all times, moreover, the question is explicitly treated in its manual of ethical and journalistic procedures. La Croix has charged one of its Editors-in-chief to act as the intermediary with its owner, the Bayard group.

4.3 How are political and economic pressures managed?

All the press media canvassed maintain that they resist economic and/or political pressures, without ever needing a system or formal procedure for this.

Some, like the Flemish De Standaard or Polskie Radio in Poland, openly admit to being regularly subjected to pressure, and further admit to acceding to this on occasion.

Ouest-France stated that there were graduated responses to support their local correspondents who, as non-professionals, are more vulnerable to pressure. The department manager and agency heads put themselves in the frontline to defend editorial independence; the editors-in-chief of the Management Board only intervene as a last resort.

La Vanguardia has – more incisively – denounced attempts to exert pressure several times in its columns.

The Belgian RTBF and Swiss RTS channels may even broadcast these attempts on air.

O Estado in S. Paulo does not hesitate in taking these cases to the Brazilian courts.

4.4 How is general news or ‘news in brief’ treated?

Outside of France, the notion of general news and ‘news in brief’ (fait divers), is not clear. For a long time, house culture common sense applied. There is, thus, a mixture – to varying degrees – of explicit rules and practice.

Most media, like Polskie Radio, recognise the growing influence of the private and commercial sector on the treatment of these stories.

Some newspapers have drawn up formal vade mecum (handbooks): the first was drawn up by the regional Ouest-France in 1990; La Voix du Nord has done the same, as has La Vanguardia in Barcelona.

At TV Tem in Brazil, these stories are only treated once the police investigation has ended; human rights must be respected, in addition, photos and addresses of victims and accused are never circulated.

France 24 tries to navigate between the rules and customs of all the different countries in which it broadcasts.

Sud Radio does not have a specific charter but has nominated a specific journalist to whom these stories are referred.

A small section of the media still claim not to have thought about this subject or to have only just started thinking about it.

4.5 What criteria are there for the publication of photos/ transmission of filmed images?

For most of the newspapers canvassed, only standardising, retouching and technical reframing are authorised, and as long as this does not change how an image can be interpreted.

At the Swiss daily, Le Temps, photomontage is sometimes accepted as long as the reader is informed.  

Photography departments and a number of TV channels assert their right to make photos informative; however, this sometimes results in a broader interpretation of the image.  

Some titles, such as TV Cultura in Brazil, have strict rules: no dead bodies or degrading images, no naked bodies or sensationalism (the definition of this varies according to each newspaper). La Voix du Nord and Le Soir in Brussels have house rules for this question. Other organisations clearly display the tradition of exchange and discussion, such as the Flemish daily newspaper, De Standaard,

Readers of Berliner Zeitung are informed in a photo caption that there are editorial doubts regarding the source or the conditions in which the photo was taken.

This only applies if there is an integrated photographic department.

4.6 How are amateur photos or videos treated?

Since the bombings of 11 September 2001, editorial departments regularly use photographic and audio-visual material from non-professionals.

This poses legitimate questions for the checking, remuneration and integration of amateur material when this issue is not yet on the agenda of large media organisations.

The BBC employs six people to check the authenticity of amateur images and indicates their degree of reliability on air; CBN in Brazil also takes time to check information provided by listeners before broadcasting it; La Montagne does the same before publication.

TF1 will sometimes reframe and edit these images; in addition, the caption ‘amateur document’, as well as the filming date, are inserted systematically.

From a technical point of view, France 24 analyses the image meta-data to check that it has not been altered. Unlike the BBC, which rarely pays for amateur material, the French channel has drawn up a precise pay scale according to the importance, quality and duration of the video used. Le Parisien, Le Progrès and La Provence never pay for this material, unlike RTL radio.

4.7 What is the status of permanent or freelance journalist blogs?

Do journalists have to follow the editorial line of their media organisation when they express themselves as ordinary citizens? How is freedom of speech for news professionals guaranteed when they are not working?

If the question seems premature for some media titles, particularly those in Brazil, it is becoming more prevalent in Europe.

An enterprise agreement at France Télévisions makes a distinction between personal and professional blogs: journalists must make clear if they are expressing themselves as private citizens or not. This also applies to the Brazilian radio station CBN and to El País in Spain. This contrasts with the Catalonians at Cadena Ser radio station who cannot indicate their professional affiliations on their blogs.

Journalists at RTBF in Belgium and at RTS in Switzerland are asked to respect their organisation’s editorial rules when they are on social networks.

While Le Figaro is happy with its ‘common sense rules’, TF1 reserves the right to sanction journalists, as representatives of the channel, if they do not respect channel impartiality. The Irish Times is aware of a grey area where the balance between the professional and the personal remains delicate.

The BBC does not allow journalists to express political opinions on social networks.

4.8 What are the conditions for working undercover?

While most editorial organisations agree that journalists should declare themselves when exercising their profession, they also agree that there are exceptions to the rule: in totalitarian countries or war zones or to obtain information in the public interest which cannot be obtained in another way.

Newspapers, radio stations and TV channels use covert methods sparingly and with the clear authorisation of their hierarchy. This is the case at France 2, TF1 and TVE, the public television channel in Spain.

La Voix du Nord, Sud Ouest, Le Monde, Le Figaro, La Croix, Libération, La Dépêche, France Inter and Radio Nationale Espagnole, have banned the practice.

The Guardian states in the article that the journalist worked undercover.

In Brazil, Cruzeiro do Sul systematically makes the status of the journalist known when the information obtained undercover is verified.

5 – Links with the public

5.1 What form of mediation is there with the public? Is there an ombudsman?

Most of the canvassed newspapers and television channels do not – or no longer have – a mediator. The role does not appear to have lasted in the press sector. And where the position does exist, it appears to be changing constantly, in terms of independence, referral methods, visibility for its responses, its positioning with regard to the editorial department and the public, etc.

Contrastingly, British ‘ombudsmen ’ seem to be more long-lasting and the role is publicly known, both at the BBC and The Guardian.

A special mention for El País whose ‘readers’ defender’ has unusual visibility and independence, for  La Dépêche du Midi whose mediator is paid as a consultant and not as a paid member of staff and for Sud Ouest whose mediator presents a monthly letter updating the editorial department on his exchanges with the readers.

5.2 Is there a section for public comments?

Media which do not publish exchanges with readers, either in the paper or on the internet, are in the minority.

This section has resisted time even where structures have been shaken up by the development of websites at newspapers, radio or TV channels. Readers are no longer passive, will rectify content and are often hyper-reactive producers of information.

It should be noted that La Voix du Nord has chosen to change their longstanding weekly readers’ letters column to a daily column while La Croix publishes up to three pages of readers’ letters; La Nouvelle République has published a specific page of readers’ letters for 30 years. At Sud Ouest, the mediator is in charge of this section.

El País in Spain encourages reader participation and receives around 350 000 monthly comments on its site.

In Brazil, Cruzeiro do Sul undertakes to deliver readers internet messages to the department concerned within the hour. Also in Brazil, TV Cultura responds live to television viewers’ questions on subjects dealt with in its reports.

5.3 How is the ‘right of reply’ managed?

Linked either to an ineffectual or restricted legal framework, the right of reply is running out of steam. This right is difficult to manage when there is not a mediator and only the legal department of a title is petitioned.

Interactive, rapid, negotiated solutions seem the most relevant, or are at least the most common, in particular at the Lyon daily Le Progrès and the regional Ouest-France and Sud Ouest newspapers. At Sud Ouest the mediator has the task of seeking a preliminary reconciliation.

In Brazil notably, legislation is regularly bypassed by newspapers which have expanded the concept of ‘right to reply’ instead of ‘right of reply’, a common means to prove that they are right. This in contrast to TV Tem or TV Cultura which readily grant the right of reply.

5.4 How are public visits organised?

Undoubtedly the champion in this category is Ouest-France which receive 30 000 visitors a year. Nouvelle République has done well too by opening its doors to visitors four times a week, while Sud Radio and Polskie Radio regularly welcome school pupils of all ages.

Almost every day, Brazilian middle and high school pupils visit the offices of Cruzeiro do Sul. Visitors to the Brazilian radio station CBN systematically meet editorial journalists.

La Voix du Nord has even set up a small museum for visitors.

Media visits are fairly widespread and are generally fruitful. They are sometimes only made on request or with prior booking and may be sub-contracted to a private partner.

What is less clear, though, is the principle of visitors meeting members of editorial departments although this does happen at Le Temps and La Liberté in Switzerland.

Small groups can also come to editorial meetings at La Croix.

The BBC has set up paying visits.

5.5 Are there organised meetings with the public?

The public/journalist relationship is often the point of convergence between marketing and editorial departments (see La Voix du Nord, Le Parisien, La Provence, etc). They do not necessarily have an influence on media content but are seen as useful in developing it.

Le Temps in Switzerland, as well as Ouest-France and La Provence, organise reader meetings which provide subject ideas and opinions on particular themes. Sud Ouest has just created an association of 1 800 readers to meet with editorial staff, even in the local offices.

El País in Madrid sometimes invites different experts (law, economy etc.) to editorial meetings. At its local Catalan office, the public can participate in debates on current affairs.

Twice a year, La Croix and La Libre Belgique take readers on a themed trip. Libération organises political forums with debates over several days.

In Brazil, CBN radio welcomes live public comments which may influence the day’s editorial choices.

Through its foundation, TF1 regularly organises exchanges between young people in working class areas and star journalist/presenters. Cruzeiro do Sul organises regular debates on themes of interest to readers.

The Spanish National Radio does not organise direct meetings but takes the trouble to explain the various press professions and also how the news is produced, by way of educational videos.

The Swiss public television channel, RTS, has put in place an association of listeners and television viewers in each canton to question programming and news management about the programmes for the previous month.

5.6 Are journalist contact details made public?

For the most part, the media do not make journalist contact details available to the public.

But the contact details of journalists in the editorial team at La Croix or the Spanish radio Cadena Ser are easily accessible on their websites; at Le Soir journalist details are given as part of the masthead; El País and Berliner Zeitung rely on their journalists’ presence on social media; as part of journalists’ profiles, Le Figaro offers the possibility of contacting them via e-mail.

La Provence lets journalists decide whether or not to add their email address or telephone numbers after their article.

5.7 How are internet forums managed?

Almost all the media – paper, digital or audiovisual – now maintain a dialogue with the public through the internet via a comments system or forums.

In the context of press history this is a recent development; many readers and viewers are now taking this opportunity to question the professionals.

Nearly all forums are moderated. Post-moderated by journalists at Les Temps and RTS in Switzerland; internally pre-moderated at Berliner Zeitung.

The Guardian and La Libre Belgique have the possibility of changing to pre–moderation when sensitive subjects are involved. Pre-moderation is used systematically by the BBC and La Montagne.

Le Parisien/Aujourd’hui in France and TF1, RTL and Sud Ouest out-source this to services who refer to the organisation’s charters which are constantly being updated.

6 – Environment and Ecology

6.1 Moving towards green printing?

Fewer and fewer newspapers have their own printing press and rely on the goodwill of their sub-contractors regarding environmental issues. In any case, the industrial process for press companies is moving towards more sustainable development.

Le Progrès printing press was rebuilt according to HQE (high environmental quality) standards; the printing press at Le Soir in Belgium according to a zero external waste standard and with a move towards process-free offset plates; the Ouest-France site is classified as an ‘environmentally friendly installation’ and the printing press at La Montage and La Nouvelle République have ‘green printing’ approval.

Large investments that contribute to the prevailing environmental trend are more readily available and go further than the existing legal norms. La Voix du Nord and Sud Ouest have almost attained their certifications. Le Monde has obtained a ‘green printing’ seal of approval and continues its efforts to respect and protect the environment.

6.2 Are the logistics and infrastructure sustainable?

Comparing the environmental policies of Brazilian, Swiss or British media is not possible – priorities are not the same and cautious efforts are more effective symbolically than in reality. The general trend is primarily aimed at cost cutting; so much the better for sustainable management.

However, sustainability efforts are particularly obvious for transportation: La Libre Belgique has bicycles available for its staff, RTBF invests in hybrid or electric cars, journalists at Sud Ouest in Bordeaux, Angoulême and La Rochelle are testing electric cars and France 2 have posted on-line forms to encourage car-sharing.

O Estado in S. Paulo concentrates its efforts in reducing water consumption and TV Tem and TV Cultura prioritises waste recycling.

The Bayard group, owner of La Croix, is aiming for an HQE standard certificate.

All buildings at Le Progrès Sud Ouest conform to HQE standards.

In terms of recycling, the 2013 target for the BBC consisted of achieving a waste recycling rate of 75%. In 2011 it also launched the ‘Albert ’ system to calculate carbon emissions so as to identify the more harmful processes in the manufacture of audiovisual productions.

6.3 Are suppliers selected according to sustainable criteria?

In the current crisis, quality and price have remained the dominant criteria for the media in difficulty. This is why there is so much interest in national legislation, as Switzerland has put in place.

In France, Le Monde, La Croix, La Nouvelle République and Ouest-France have declared that they have introduced sustainable criteria for suppliers. The public service France Inter radio and the Spanish TVE channel have added this to their tenders.

TF1 uses the Ecovadis system to evaluate the corporate social responsibility of its suppliers. 21 environmental criteria are used to select the most efficient, within an equivalent financial bid.

O Estado from S. Paulo in Brazil seeks to work with suppliers who are certified and up-to-date with their social and fiscal obligations.

6.4 Is there sustainable management of film materials?

It is no surprise that the sustainable management of film materials is not a priority.

Most TV channels and also newspapers that are now using film on their websites have only just started thinking about this.

RTBF in Belgium and RTS in Switzerland give their obsolete material to journalism or film schools.

7 – Development Aid

7.1 What initiatives are there for developing media literacy?

Most press titles do not organise media literacy programmes. Participation is mostly at a personal employee level rather than company policy.

Congratulations to Ouest-France which opened a ‘press and young people’ site, to La Liberté in Switzerland whose press awareness programme has become a tradition over the last 20 years, to ‘El País de los estudiantes’, to RTBF who have participated in training media educators, to Cruzeiro do Sul who distribute 100 000 copies of Cruzeirinho (a children’s supplement) in hundreds of local council public schools and also to The Guardian who run workshops at its media literacy centre for pupils of 9–18.

The newspaper La Montagne runs many varied local media literacy programmes.

La Voix du Nord offers a six-month subscription to families of pupils who write articles which are published locally. This initiative, covering 26 primary school classes, was launched in partnership with the Academy of Lille.

.2 Is support provided for media in emerging countries?

Aid to developing countries is not a historical given in the press sector, particularly in a period of financial crisis.

Nevertheless, the Fribourg daily, La Liberté, who are discreet about the acts of solidarity of their group owner, houses the international Catholic press agency. La Croix newspaper has launched two French language pan-African magazines for young people to promote reading of the press. In Brittany, Ouest-France supports two internal structures for the development of press literacy in southern and eastern developing democracies.

Through its Varenne Foundation which is one of its shareholders, La Montagne helps the press in countries that are developing or in difficulty, in various ways. It sent material to Haiti after the earthquake. It trains journalists in Mali, Morocco or Romania, supports the Maison des journalists in Paris which receives exiled journalists, etc.

France 24 reacted quickly to the Arab Spring: it created an ‘academy’ in April 2011 and sent material and – more importantly – journalists, in particular to Tunisia, to help their colleagues develop a free press. Since then, the whole group to which the TV channel France Media Monde belongs, has affirmed its involvement in co-operation programmes.

France Inter radio station regularly acts in North and West Africa to train local journalists.

The BBC World Service Trust remains without doubt one of the most involved organisations in international co-operation. Thanks to donors, the British group launched ‘Socially responsible media platforms for the Arab world ’, an aid programme for the production of independent news, notably in Yemen, Syria and Lebanon.

8 – Working practices in addition to legal requirements

8.1 What commitments are there for continuous training?

Legal obligations, where these exist, were declared as being respected and sometimes beyond what is necessary. Journalist training is essentially technical – software, video, etc. – or related to press rights or, most often, to learning English.

Some journalists participate financially or take leave to undergo training.

The financial crisis means there is very little margin and employers do not really encourage training that is not directly related to the employee’s work.

Libre Belgique and RTBF have made a considerable effort to provide web training or encourage social network participation. France 2 provides diversity awareness training to raise consciousness about stereotyping.

Journalists from Spanish national radio have compulsory training and are penalised if they miss it. Radio Barcelona and Cadena Ser have given a high priority to professional training.

La Croix is notable for its ‘Bayard University’ and Ouest-France for its refresher courses about the profession’s fundamentals, as well as focusing on the theme of Europe.

8.2 Is there pay transparency? 

The idea of pay transparency has to be agreed upon in the first place; a public social report is not the same as pay transparency for all positions.

In any case, a collective convention guarantees that a professional salary scale is respected for almost all cases, even if the systems for bonuses or incentives are not clear.

Historically, Libération, has always published its pay scale every year but it is the only French title to do so. At La Montagne, once a staff member’s position is known, their salary can be worked out as the pay scale is made public. The Catholic daily, La Croix provides upper and lower limits of its pay scale on its intranet. The intranets of the Belgian RTBF and Swiss RTS channels also indicate pay scales. At La Vanguardia, only members of the works council can consult pay scales.

Salaries and expenses for directors can be consulted on the BBC website and the public status of the Spanish TVE guarantees that salaries are public.

8.3 Is there an apprenticeship tax?

Where it exists, apprenticeship tax is used, primarily, to train journalists, as is the case at Libération and Ouest-France, with contributions towards other press professions. Technical, business and computer training are also provided and the same applies to Sud Ouest, Parisien/Aujourd’hui in France, TF1 and Figaro.

La Croix contributes proportionately to all the professions exercised within its group and to the corresponding training centres.

France 2 pays 10% of its tax to middle and secondary schools situated in priority education areas.

This tax is specific to France.

9 – Corporate social responsibility

9.1 How is corporate social responsibility applied?

For the most part, corporate social responsibility is not taken into account by press organisations that are not on the stock exchange, with its corresponding legal obligations.

The media has not really committed itself to this yet. However, it can be partly treated in the sense that each media chooses to invest in social responsibility as it sees fit.

A position with responsibility for corporate social responsibility was created by the Prisa group, owner of El País. France Télévisions did the same but they have not published any extra-financial reports.

La Nouvelle République has declared a real willingness to address the question of social responsibility.

The ‘sustainability committee’ of O Estado in S.Paulo is particularly interested in the integration of minorities.

La Croix and the Bayard group seem to be moving towards a more consistent policy in their cultural, social and environmental efforts. If there is no sign of this yet, it will soon be evident.

Finally, TF1 was one of the founder members of the Forum RSE Médias (corporate socially responsible media) in France bringing together the biggest press groups. Europe 1 (Lagardère group) and France Télévisions have recently become involved in this movement.