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Freedom of the press under unclear and unconventional rules?

Submitted by on March 4, 2013 – 14:18One Comment

Under a legit­i­mate demo­c­ra­tic rule, media is expected to pro­vide a plat­form for pub­lic debate, encour­ag­ing cit­i­zens to engage pub­licly and become more aware of the polit­i­cal land­scape on their national ter­ri­tory and beyond.

Nev­er­the­less, the effec­tive appli­ca­tion of media free­dom and plu­ral­ism dif­fers across the Euro­pean Union, which calls for a com­mon stan­dard to be put in place.

As an illus­tra­tion of this sit­u­a­tion, Reporters with­out bor­ders has pub­lished its lat­est 2013 World Press Free­dom Index: Dashed hopes after spring. Com­pared to the last index (2011 – 2012) which claimed that the sit­u­a­tion in Europe is wors­en­ing, high­light­ing the sit­u­a­tion in Bul­garia and Greece, the new index presents “a bet­ter reflec­tion of the atti­tudes and inten­tions of gov­ern­ments towards media free­dom in the medium or long term.» Nonethe­less, for the third time, Fin­land is on the top of the list, fol­lowed by Nether­lands and Nor­way while in East­ern Europe the sit­u­a­tion is stag­nat­ing, with no major improve­ment. In Bul­garia, which occu­pies the 87th place and the low­est of any EU coun­try, it is said that the inter­net “ceased to be a safe place for free­lance journalists”.

To add to this posi­tion, the gov­ern­ment seems to main­tain an uncer­tain envi­ron­ment for media plu­ral­ism and jour­nal­ists’ safety. The prime minister’s aggres­sive response towards jour­nal­ists con­cern­ing the website’s pub­li­ca­tion which dis­closed his busi­ness activ­i­ties in the 1990’s, reflects a direct threat to all media and news providers. Act­ing in this way, he alone under­mines the Bul­gar­ian media despite his pledges to end these prac­tices dur­ing his term in office.

In these cir­cum­stances, per­haps Euro­pean insti­tu­tions should ques­tion whether media reg­u­la­tion is bet­ter to be left in the hands of national actors who tend to derail from its demo­c­ra­tic appli­ca­tion or instead, cre­ate a com­mon stan­dard through­out the EU in defense of media plu­ral­ism and free­dom of the press.

Related posts:

  1. Cit­i­zen ini­tia­tive for Media Plu­ral­ism: from Brus­sels to Bologna
  2. Defend­ing media plu­ral­ism by mon­i­tor­ing threats in the Mem­ber States
  3. Make ‘Infor­ma­tion for cit­i­zens’ a Euro­pean Ser­vice of Gen­eral Inter­est (SGI)
  4. Viviane Red­ing: the con­fis­ca­tion of infor­ma­tion as strat­egy of communication?
  5. The Demo­c­ra­tic Firm: a guar­an­tee of jour­nal­ists’ inde­pen­dence and media pluralism

One Comment »

  • Vezion says:

    Thank you so much for bring­ing our tremen­dous media afflic­tion a lit­tle bit closer to the sur­face. We hope to have our sit­u­a­tion improved in our home-Country

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