Terms of use

Terms of use for the “Trusted Journalist”-Label®, the trust-j.org® - platform and the use of the "Trusted Journalist" - qualification

Important: Press cards are not official identification documents! On this platform, press cards are displayed. None of these reproductions can confirm the identity of a person. The identity of a person must mandatorily be confirmed with a national identity card.




Terms of use for the „Trusted Journalist“ – Label and the correspondent collective trademark (collective trademark rules to the pending trademark registration ref. CH-trademark 73917/2018. Edition of April 18, 2019)


All users of the Trust-j.org-platform and the “Trusted Journalist”-label agree to the following terms of use. These include in particular users who access the platform, consult the database or users who publish their personal profile page on the platform and who use the label or their personal link or the general Trust-j.org link. These conditions regulate every use of the “Trusted Journalist”-label and the trust-j.org platform as well as the qualification as “Trusted Journalist”.


Art. 1              Definitions used in these terms:

    1. The Label (design) for Trusted Journalists used on this website and by Journalists eligible according to the following terms and conditions is a Swiss registered trademark (registration pending). It is referred to on this website as the Label.
    2. "trust-j.org" is a Swiss registered trademark (registration pending).
    3. trust-j.org is operated by the “Trusted Journalists Labelling Organization”, hereafter referred to as the “Labelling Organization”. At the time of issue of the present version of these terms the Labelling Organization is impressum (full name: “impressum – die Schweizer Journalistinnen – les journalistes suisses – giornalisti svizzeri”. This is the Swiss Federation of Professional Journalists.). The Labelling Organization can be replaced without notification in the future by another form of organization, e.g. a new holding/joint venture of different journalist’s organization together.
    4. Within these rules, “Trusted Journalist” refers to journalists who are eligible to use the “Trusted Journalist”-Label as used on the Trust-j.org - platform.
    5. www.trust-j.org, trust-j.ch, www.trust-j.ch, (and in certain cases also www.impressum.ch or other websites or urls) are aliases of trust-j.org. In the present terms and conditions, all these sites and platforms are included when the term trust-j.org or the term platform is used.


Art. 2              Who can be a “Trusted Journalists“

    1.  Trusted Journalists are professional journalists who are members of the Labelling Organization and hold an eligible press card.
    2. The Labelling Organization decides on the press cards that are eligible. The list of eligible press cards is part of these terms and conditions.
    3. In particular, in order to be eligible for the Trusted Journalist - Label, press cards and their holders fulfil the following rules:
      1. The Trusted Journalist commits herself/himself to work in accordance with the principles of professional ethics and deontology as laid down in the deontological declaration recognized by the organization issuing the press card.
      2. The Trusted Journalist practices journalism as her/his main regular professional occupation.
      3. The Trusted Journalist is affiliated to the press card issuing organization.
      4. The press card organization verifies on a regular bases, if the press card eligibility is maintained.
      5. The published journalistic works of the Trusted Journalist are subject to review, control, jurisdiction or similar form by a Press Council or a similar institution, that is independent, in particular from political or economic interests, and that checks the compliance of the journalistic work with the applicable deontological code or the applicable professional ethics. The decisions or appreciations (or similar forms) of this press council shall be publicly accessible.
    1. Trusted Journalists authorise the organisation that issues their eligible press card and expressly instruct it, by accepting these terms of use, to provide to the Labelling Organization in any moment with all the information necessary to verify their status in relation to their eligibility for the press card*. This includes not only but in particular:
      1. Type of media and media for which the journalist works or in which she/he publishes.
      2. Activity level as professional journalist (full time? Part time to what extent?).
      3. Copies of proofs submitted for being eligible for the press card, or for maintaining this eligibility.
      4. Duration of the eligibility as a press card holder and any interruptions of that duration.
    1. Applicants for membership have to submit proof of their right to hold an eligible press card for the entire year until the 20th of January of each year. Registrations during the year are set up only after the proof has been verified and approved by the Labelling Organization.
    2. The organizations issuing the recognized press cards are solely responsible for their press card holders that hold the Trusted Journalist - label. In particular, they verify and guarantee that these press card holders fulfil the requirements for the eligibility to their press card without interruption. The organization shall inform the Labelling Organization immediately, if the eligibility of a holder of the Trusted Journalist Label for the press card ceases to exist.
    3. The Labelling Organization reserves the right to deny or withdraw the right to use the Label and to own an entry on trust-j.org - platform. The Labelling Organization can decide this anytime without justification. The Labelling Organization will do so in particular if it comes to the conclusion, that an applicant does not (or not anymore) comply with the conditions set under Art. 2, regardless of the fact that he owns a press card.


Art. 3              Use of the Label by Trusted Journalists. The label may exclusively be used as follows:

    1. The Label must always be used with the link to the personal page of the journalists on trust-j.org. If possible, in an online-context, this can be achieved by hyperlinking in a way that a click on the Label leads directly to that page. The Labelling Organization issues an individual, automatically generated html-code to each one of its members for this purpose. In printed environments or where such a hyperlinking is technically not possible, the link must be written as text and be clearly visible next to the Label.
    2. The Label may be used on the journalist’s websites or other media platforms dedicated exclusively to describing his or her current professional activity as a journalist.
    3. The Label can be used in the context of a concrete journalistic work of the journalist. However, this work must mandatorily fulfil the requirements to be subject to a complaint with the competent press council or similar institution as referred to in Art. 2 letter e numeral v of the present terms.


Art. 4              Trusted Journalists are accountable and transparent with respect to their codes on Deontology and Professional Ethics:

    1. In case of an entirely or partly approved complaint by the competent press council or similar institution regarding the work of the Trusted Journalist, the Trusted Journalist
      1. reports about this decision as required by the deontological rules applicable, as referred to in Art. 2 letter c numeral i of the present terms,
      2. informs the Labelling Organization about the decision, and
      3. posts a hyperlink to this decision on his profile page on trust-j.org. He does this within a maximum of 7 days after the publication of the decision. If for any reason, the decision is not published or cannot be hyperlinked, the Trusted Journalist posts a summary about this decision and a reference on his profile page. This link (and comment) must remain in place during at least 5 years since the decision has been published by the press council.
      4. In addition to this, the Trusted Journalist may link voluntarily to decisions about his work that have been rejected by the press council.


Art. 5              Trusted Journalists use the platform respecting law and deontology:

    1. Trusted Journalists apply the professional ethics and deontology to their entries on their page on trust-j.org in analogy. In particular, they commit to use their real name and to give a true representation of their qualifications and of their journalistic work. They don’t use the platform for any other purpose and commit to publish only content that refers to their professional activity as journalists.
    2. Trusted Journalists respect the law and third party rights: In particular, they shall ensure that in making use of the platform and the Label they do not infringe any applicable legislation or rights of third parties. They make sure that all their statements and declarations on the platform are true and that they will not offend third parties. In particular (but not exclusively) Trusted Journalists respect applicable laws about intellectual property and copyright, youth protection, the protection of personalities and privacy, unfair competition and criminal law. They do not hyperlink or refer to any content (on the internet or elsewhere) that would not comply with these principles.
    3. Trusted Journalists or other users of trust-j.org are solely and fully responsible for the content they post or publish (including the links and references they contain) on their personal page. Neither the Labelling Organization nor any other organization or person controls or monitors the content of the personal webpages.
    4. For the content Trusted Journalists or other users post, they are themselves and solely subject to all the applicable jurisdictions that are the ones at the location of the applicable for the Labelling Organization** as well as the laws and jurisdiction of their domicile, place of residence, etc. The same applies to the use of the Label or references to trust-j.org / trust-j.ch. The Trusted Journalists are aware that it is possible that the law and jurisdiction is applicable of places, from where the personal page of the Trusted Journalist is accessible. This depends on the court of legislation, the legislation applicable and the place, where a lawsuit or a prosecution is opened.


Art. 6              Fees

    1. The Labelling Organization charges a fee to “Trusted Journalists” for the use of the Label and trust-j.org. This fee is CHF 140.- / year (subject to change by Labelling Organization).
    2. The Labelling Organization can reduce the fee temporarily or in particular cases, eg. for marketing purposes. In exceptional and justified cases the fee can be raised, in particular if the administrative effort for the verification whether the Trusted Journalist is eligible to use the Trusted Journalist Label is higher than usual.
    3. The fee may be included in the membership fee for members of organizations that conclude an agreement with the Labelling Organization or that hold the Labelling Organization.
    4. The fee must be paid in advance for every year until the 31st of December of the previous year.
    5. Registrations during the year are set up only after the payment has been registered on the account of the Labelling Organization. The Labelling Organization reserves the right of a reasonable delay for verification and administration before the activation of registrations and may levy dunning charges in the case of unpaid fees.


Art. 7              Content on the platform, commitment and disclaimer for the Labelling Organization, privacy and data protection

    1. The Labelling Organization commits to review specific and detailed complaints about abuse and to delete inappropriate or illegal content if this is required by law or the Labelling Organization deems the content to be inappropriate at its free and incontestable discretion.
    2. The Labelling Organization respects the privacy of the users according to its data protection policy. All users of the platform accept this policy; www.impressum.ch/content/datenschutz/ The present terms of use proceed in case of contradiction.
    3. The Labelling Organization cannot be held liable for any action or failure to act of any of its members or any Trusted Journalist, journalist or user of trust-j.org, respectively the platform or its associated webpages. In particular:
      1. The Labelling Organization cannot be held liable or responsible for any content edited or published by Trusted Journalists, members, users or third-parties on trust-j.org/trust-j.ch or any other platform or website.
      2. The Labelling Organization cannot be held liable for misuse or use of the label or the platform contrary to its intended purpose according to these terms.
      3. The Labelling Organization cannot be held liable for Trusted Journalists who do not adhere to the general terms and conditions, do not respect them or publish false or misleading content.
      4. The Labelling Organization cannot be held liable or responsible for the case that a user is registered on trust-j.org without complying with the requirements stated in these terms.
      5. Continuous availability and error-free operation of the platform cannot be expected or requested. The Labelling Organization cannot be held liable because of any failure of the platform for any reason.


Art. 8              Limited control of the content of the platform and the use of the label, and exclusion of the right to use the label or the platform:

    1. The Labelling Organization will react to detailed complaints about the misuse of the Label or the misuse of the platform by verifying the entries. To be sufficiently detailed, complaints must in particular include a clear and unambiguous link and reference to the abusive use of the label or the platform and a clear explanation, why this content or use violates these terms or the law.
    2. If a journalist or any other person uses the Label or maintains a personal page on trust-j.org without complying with the present terms and conditions, the Labelling Organization reserves the right to exclude the journalist or person from the right of maintaining an entry and website on trust-j.org and to prohibit the use of the Label. Legal recourse against this decision is excluded. Further legal or other measures taken by the Labelling Organization remain reserved.
    3. Trust-j.org offers journalists the possibility to make their skills known to the public. However, the Labelling Organization cannot be held liable if Trusted Journalists are not mandated despite of their entry to the platform.


Art. 9              Legal action in case of abuse of the label or the platform

    1. The Labelling Organization forbids explicitly any use of the Label and of the platform for any other purpose than the ones referred to above.
    2. The Labelling Organization reserves any legal action and damage claims for pain and sufferings or criminal complaint for any abuse or improper use of trust-j.org, trust-j.ch, any other websites or platforms operated by or associated with the Labelling Organization, the Label, the terms "trust-j" or "trust-j.org" as well as anything associated.


Art. 10          Exclusion of recourse, appeal or legal action:

    1. All decisions about the application of the above rules are taken by the responsible bodies of the Labelling Organization according to its rules. They are final, and any legal recourse against such decisions is excluded.


Art. 11          Approval, validity and possibility for changes of these terms of use:

    1. These general terms and conditions are approved by the responsible bodies of the Labelling Organization. They are subject to change without notice. Their current version is published on trust-j.org .
    2. In case of contradiction among language versions, the German of the terms of use version prevails.
    3. The terms are subject to changes without notification. Their current version is published on the platform.
    4. Transitional provision: These terms of use are applicable as of the date of publication and also for test versions of the trust-j.org-platform, even as long as they have not yet been approved by the executive board of the Labelling Organization.


Art. 12          Eligible press cards: list and short abstracts of the conditions for the eligibility to hold the press cards. These abstracts are not complete or extensive. The complete conditions are defined by the press card issuing organizations:

    1. "carte de presse suisse RP-CH" / "Schweizer Presseausweis CH-BR" / "tessera stampa svizzera RP-CH").
      Eligibility conditions:
      In order to obtain this press card, holders must be registered in the Swiss Professional Register of Journalists BR (registered trademark). This register is kept independently according to the same rules by each of the following three Swiss organisations for journalists: impressum – die Schweizer JournalistInnen syndicom - Gewerkschaft Medien und Kommunikation* and Schweizer Syndikat Medienschaffender SSM. These are independent organizations that are not controlled by each other.
      Press card holders are in particular bound by the following conditions:
      1. They are committed to the “Declaration of the Duties and Right of Journalists”: presserat.ch/en/journalistenkodex/erklaerungen/
      2. The press card holders practice journalism as their main regular professional occupation.
      3. The press card holders are affiliated to impressum, SSM or syndicom.
      4. The journalistic publications of the press card holders can be reviewed by the Swiss Press Council according to its applicable rules: https://presserat.ch/en/der-presserat/geschaeftsreglement/


Art. 13          Final or transitional terms:

    1. At the time of launching, trust-j.org and the Label are only available to members of impressum. All references within these Terms of use to the use of trust-j.org and the Label by journalists who are not members of impressum (but affiliated to other organizations) are under reserve of the time necessary for the technical and formal implementation.
    1. ** At the time of issue of this version of these Terms and conditions, the Labelling Organization is impressum, and thus, applicable is in particular the Swiss law and jurisdiction, the one of the canton of Fribourg, and the court of jurisdiction is Fribourg in Switzerland.
    2. Salvatory clause: In case one or several rules of these terms are not applicable or invalid, all other rules remain in force and applicable. When a case has to be decided, the rule/rules that is/are not applied is/are to be replaced by a an applicable rule that shall have the most equivalent effect possible.