What we do

The Australian Press Council is responsible for promoting good standards of media practice, community access to information of public interest, and freedom of expression through the media. The Council is the principal body with responsibility for responding to complaints about Australian newspapers, magazines and associated digital outlets.

In accordance with its Constitution, the Council pursues these goals by

  • considering and dealing with complaints and concerns about material in newspapers, magazines and journals, published either in print or on the Internet;
  • encouraging and supporting initiatives to address the causes for readers' complaints and concerns;
  • keeping under review, and where appropriate, challenging developments which may adversely affect the dissemination of information of public interest and may consequently threaten the public's right to know;
  • making representations to governments, public inquiries and other forums as appropriate on matters concerning freedom of speech and access to information;
  • undertaking research and consultation on developments in public policy affecting freedom of speech, and promoting public awareness of such issues;
  • promoting an understanding of the roles and activities of the Council through forums and consultations; and encouraging feedback for Council's consideration.

Download a copy of the Press Council's information brochure here.
Watch a video about the aims and activities of the Press Council 


The Council’s work can be broadly divided into three main areas: Standards, Complaints and Policy.


Standards

The Council’s standards of good media practice are contained in its Statements of Principles, Specific Standards and Advisory Guidelines. The standards are applied by the Council when considering complaints and are used as the basis for statements by Council representatives about good media practice, whether addressing practitioners within the industry, journalism students or the broader community. The Council also undertakes research and convenes conferences and seminars on aspects of media standards.

For further details about the Council’s work in developing and monitoring standards, see Standards


Complaints

The Council’s mandate to consider complaints extends to all print publications and related digital outlets, such as websites, of publishers which are "constituent bodies" of the Council. Publications by these publishers comprise about 90 per cent of all print media sales in Australia. For further details, see Constituent Bodies and their Publications.

The Council currently receives more than 700 complaints each year. About three-quarters of those which are fully pursued by the complainant result in a correction, apology or some other form of action being taken. Click here for some examples of complaints being resolved without adjudication.

Where the complaint cannot be resolved without a formal adjudication, the relevant publisher is required to publish the adjudication promptly and with due prominence. Click here for a list of recent adjudications.

For further details about how to make a complaint, how complaints are handled and the outcomes of complaints, see Complaints.


Policy

The Council issues statements on policy matters within its areas of interest, including through submissions to parliamentary committees, commissions and other public bodies. It also undertakes research and convenes or participates in conferences and seminars on policy issues.

For further detail about developing and promoting policy, see Policy

 
 
 
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