Charter of the Swiss Press Club – Geneva Press Club
The Swiss Press Club (SPC) bases its activities on the values of openness to the world, creativity, responsibility and independence.
The SPC exercises its mandate independently of any political or economic pressure, in all sectors of human activity and in compliance with the Swiss legal framework.
Independence means freedom of choice of topics and speakers and their treatment. This independence is based on three axes: a demand for quality, openness to criticism and a balance between different sensitivities, opinions and geographical origins.
The “Declaration of the Duties and Rights of Journalists” (Munich, 1971) and the “Directives” of the Swiss Press Council constitute the professional reference for its activity, while taking into account that the Swiss Club is not a media and only publishes its own editorial content on a marginal or exceptional basis. The present charter is in line with these fundamental texts, bringing a specific light and dimension to the international role of Geneva. It affirms the values and ambitions of a non-profit organization at the service of the Swiss and international media, open to the other linguistic regions of Switzerland and the world, which reflects the social, political and cultural reality of the country and the world around it, which respects individuals and minorities, and which ensures that it remains independent of all forms of pressure and all external, state or private influence.
The Swiss Press Club helps to initiate and maintain an open, stimulating and constructive debate on major global, national and local issues.
In order to inform Swiss and international journalists and media, the SPC does not refrain from any theme or topic. It encourages the diversity and plurality of personalities, international organizations, NGOs, private companies and other bodies invited to express themselves. This freedom implies rigor in the choice of speakers and a responsibility in the search for truth, plurality and respect for third parties, organizations or states possibly incriminated by speakers.
Credibility and truthfulness are the permanent concern of the work of the CSP, which generally ensures that each of the different parties involved is given the opportunity to speak when they request it, so as to avoid accrediting a particular thesis.
The CSP defends its independence and opposes any form of pressure, self-censorship or censorship aimed at hindering the freedom of expression of the speakers it solicits or who request it. Any attempt at censorship is mentioned, in accordance with the usual rules in force in companies distributing content of an editorial nature.
SPC employees work in complete independence from the public, political, economic, ideological and religious authorities, from any interest group as well as from sponsors and contributing members. They ensure that they do not have any personal conflict of interest that would undermine their credibility and that of the SPC.
CSP employees undertake to refuse any gift, money or consideration that could influence their work or interfere with their independence. Courtesy gifts should not entail any obligation and should not exceed a symbolic value. Invitations to trips for journalists at the initiative of or including the SPC are made in accordance with the rules in force in the press and in full transparency.
SPC employees do not use their position to gain improper personal advantage or protection. They shall refrain from using the SPC for personal purposes. They must not take advantage of – or pass on to third parties – privileged information acquired in the course of their professional activities. They shall refuse any solicitation that favours a relative or friend.
During election and voting campaigns in Switzerland or elsewhere in the world, the SPC ensures an impartial and balanced treatment of the positions of the parties and candidates on all programmes devoted to these events and issues.
The plurality of speakers and sources, the diversity of angles of approach and treatment also ensure the diversity of opinions, if not for a specific event then at least for the duration. It makes different points of view heard when the situation requires it or when individuals, states or public or private entities are involved (“audiatur et altera pars”).
Plurality and diversity are therefore guaranteed over time and not necessarily for each event taken in isolation.
The PSC may grant a right of reply to a person or organization that is challenged on the basis of manifestly erroneous facts.