International Mass Media
The PIO monitors, on a daily basis, articles and news reports of the international press which concern the Cyprus problem and international developments and informs the relevant government departments in Cyprus and diplomatic missions of Cyprus abroad. All important press reports are archived electronically for reference. Additionally, meetings and interviews are arranged for the foreign journalists and correspondents in Cyprus with government officials. The presentation of Cyprus through special events in the countries which hold the EU rotating presidency is accomplished in collaboration with the diplomatic missions of Cyprus.
The PIO has the responsibility of monitoring the Turkish and Turkish Cypriot press and publishing a relevant daily bulletin in English. It also provides assistance to Turkish and Turkish Cypriot journalists and prepares informative reports on significant developments related to Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot community. Furthermore, it provides liaison services for the Turkish and Turkish Cypriot journalists who visit the government controlled areas to cover important events. Moreover, it assists various government departments, organizations and bodies with translations to and from Turkish.
- Ministries and Independent Offices’ Publications: Following a decision of the Council of Ministers the PIO was appointed as the principal publishing agency for government publications on a wide range of issues, which aim to inform the public in Cyprus and abroad, and to promote the work of the government. Over 300 publications or leaflets of the various government departments are issued every year in cooperation with the government and private sector printing houses.
- Enlightenment Publications: At the same time the PIO publishes foreign language publications annually to inform world public opinion on the Cyprus problem. The main publications on the Cyprus problem are translated into most European languages and into languages of most countries in which Cyprus has diplomatic representation, including Arabic and Chinese. In order to keep world public opinion informed, the PIO also collaborates with distinguished scholars and experts for the publication and promotion of print material on Cyprus.
Communication and Promotion of Ministries’ Policies
The PIO is responsible for the communication and promotion of the basic priorities/goals of the Ministries, either on the basis of its own suggestions or at the initiative of the Ministries and after consultation and in coordination with the Ministries, and also within the framework of the promotion of the reforms in the civil service. The objective is the best possible and wider promotion of these priorities/goals, by making use of the means and tools that the different Sections of the PIO offer (e.g. publications, audio-visual productions, photo exhibitions, website, etc.) and through the implementation of other communication methods (public consultations, press conferences, etc.).
Dispatchment of Enlightenment Material
PIO enlightenment publications are dispatched to the diplomatic missions abroad as well as to the overseas Cypriot community and student organizations. They are also dispatched to foreign diplomatic missions in Cyprus as well as to libraries and educational and other institutions abroad and to individuals for appropriate dissemination and promotion of Cyprus in many countries. Radio programs are also sent to overseas Cypriot radio stations. At the same time books on the history and culture of Cyprus, as well as on other subjects, are sent to the Greek and Cypriot Study Centers abroad and to university libraries. The same material is also available for the public in Cyprus – organized groups, institutions and individuals.
The PIO is responsible for providing photographic coverage for the government. These photographs are posted daily on the PIO website, appear in the PIO publications and the photographic archive. They are also used by local and foreign mass media. There is photographic coverage of the activities of the President of the Republic (in Cyprus and abroad), the President of the House of Representatives and the Ministers, as well as of significant historical events taking place in Cyprus.
Development of Communications / Modern Technology
The PIO attaches great importance to the effective utilization of the possibilities of the internet, new communication technologies and interactive multimedia as well as the appropriate training of the personnel. The PIO is also responsible for the production of informative digital CDs and DVDs.
The PIO maintains, besides its official website (http://www.pio.gov.cy), the following websites:
The website www.piopressreleases.com.cy contains digitized press releases from the PIO archive. Also included on this website are statements by the Government Spokesman (1976 – 1996), press releases of the House of Representatives (1981 – 2009) and press releases of the Greek Cypriot Negotiator (1979 – 1984). Moreover, all the PIO’s short films on Cyprus are uploaded on the website www.cyprusonfilm.com. Lastly, the website www.aboutcyprus.org.cy contains information on tourism and Cyprus culture, and also general information.
The PIO assists foreign personalities visiting Cyprus, such as university professors, organized groups, think tank representatives, scholars and students, by either preparing a visit programme or/and accompanying them in their meetings. The purpose of these visits is to provide the visitors with primary information about significant political, economic, social and cultural developments taking place in the country.
Government Communication and Website Administration
One of the main responsibilities of the PIO is to edit, issue and distribute to the mass media in Cyprus press releases covering the work of the government – the Presidency, the Ministries and other departments. Through a network of liaison officers at the Ministries and the Presidential Palace as well as a team of web editors at the centre, the PIO promotes the work of the government through the official press coverage and publicity of the activities and statements of the President of the Republic, the Ministers, the Government Spokesman and other government officials. It cooperates closely with the Government Spokesman providing him with the necessary assistance for briefing the press and for the best possible coordination of the enlightenment campaign on the Cyprus problem. The transcript of the regular press briefing and the statements by the Government Spokesman are officially issued, distributed and posted on the PIO webpage. All government press releases (Greek and English) and the statements by the Government Spokesman are posted daily on the website.
The PIO is the official agency of the government for certified translations. In close cooperation with associate translators from the private sector, services at set fees are provided to the public. Services are also provided to government departments, which need translations in various languages. The office undertakes a vast amount of translations from and to 27 languages both for the government and the general public.
The PIO has also been assigned the duty of informing citizens on European issues. Within this framework it undertakes the coordination of the enlightenment campaigns on EU policies, the various areas of its activities, its institutions and priorities of the EU communications strategy. Moreover, it undertakes the preparation of informative publications on European matters, the organization of functions and activities such as lectures, seminars, exhibitions, cultural events and the broadcasting of relevant programs in cooperation with the mass media.
The PIO, within the framework of Cyprus’ promotion both locally and abroad, produces, in cooperation with the private sector, documentaries. The themes of the films are derived both from current issues and from the goals and priorities of the government at the time. Furthermore, the PIO maintains an extensive range of photographic exhibitions which are mostly dispatched abroad for enlightenment purposes but are also circulated within Cyprus in the framework of relevant events.
Local Mass Media
Another responsibility of the PIO is the implementation of the Press Law and the registration of Cypriot and foreign language publications issued in Cyprus. The relevant section keeps record of all the newspapers and magazines circulating in Cyprus and registers the books published on the island, recording all the required information in the official Government Gazette. Moreover, the PIO issues and renews the official press cards for journalists and updates the mass media register.
Development of Archives
a) Press Archive
The PIO has the largest Press Archive in Cyprus, which is continuously being updated and used by a large number of researchers. The archive dates back to 1878, when the first newspaper circulated in Cyprus, until the present. The PIO is currently in the process of digitizing this archival material and the digitized material is being transferred to a server with a search engine software program. The program is the only one of its kind and the only one in use in Cyprus.
b) Press Releases Archive
The PIO press releases archive, dating back to 1962, constitutes a significant source of information for the public and especially for researchers, students and journalists. The Press and Information Office, fully aware of the pressing need to harmonize and keep up-to-date with modern technology, is in the process of digitizing its archive and has made it accessible to the wider public through the website www.piopressreleases.com.cy.
c) Photographic Archive
The PIO photographic archive contains more than 1,000,000 negatives in various dimensions dating back to the 1950’s up until 2004, when the transition to digital photography was made. The photo archive is accessible and is being used by researchers (journalists, authors, students, etc.) needing photographic material to back up their studies, as well as by organized social groups (universities, municipalities, associations, etc.) aiming to enrich their archives or to compile a publication.
d) Research Centres
As part of efforts to render its digitized archives accessible to the public, the PIO, in collaboration with the Municipality of Limassol, opened on 14 November 2011 the first Research Centre, where visitors can have direct access to the digitized press archives of the PIO. The Research Centre is located in Limassol at a refurbished building which also houses the Patticheion Municipal Museum – Limassol Historic Archive and Studies Centre. Meanwhile, there is an ongoing process for the setting up of another research centre in Nicosia.