(Evropská komise)
European Union  |  December 01, 2023 02:00:00, updated

News media industry, journalists and Member States take stock of progress in improving safety of journalists

On Monday 4 December 2023, Vice-President Jourová will open the fourth edition of the European News Media Forum in Brussels.

News media industry, journalists and Member States take stock of progress in improving safety of journalists

? GettyImages Laurence Dutton

Representatives from Member States, along with journalists and the news media industry, including press, TV, radio, magazine and online media will look at the progress made by EU countries in implementing the 2021 Commission Recommendation on the protection, safety and empowerment of journalists. The conversation will be steered by the preliminary findings of an independent study on the measures taken by EU Member States to implement the Recommendation.

The event will showcase some of these practices and give participants the opportunity to exchange views on them. Despite the 25% decrease in alerts in the EU in 2022, threats to physical safety, online attacks, smear campaigns, legal threats and censorship still compromise the safety of journalists. Member States have adopted different measures such as establishing dedicated networks for the safety of journalists, specialised points of contact, or the creation of liaison officers during demonstrations.

Věra Jourová, Vice-President for Values and Transparency, said:

Being a journalist should not be a dangerous job. In democracies, journalists should be able to do their work safely and freely. The Commission has asked Member States to follow a series of recommendations to improve the environment for journalists. We are now discussing altogether the progress made so far. At the same time, the EU is advancing on a strong, new legislative framework to protect journalists, with the recent agreement on the first-ever rules to tackle abusive litigation against journalists and ongoing negotiations on the Media Freedom Act.

Thierry Breton, Commissioner for the Internal Market, added:

Safety is key for journalism to thrive. We are working hard with co-legislators to adopt in the next few weeks our European Media Freedom Act to ensure effective editorial freedom and act against all types of unjustified interferences in the activities of our media companies and journalists.

Organised by the Commission, the News Media Forum was set up under the European Democracy Action Plan and Media and Audiovisual Action Plan as a means to engage in regular exchanges with associations of journalists, the industry and other media stakeholders.

Previous editions focused on innovation and collaboration, as well as industrial transformation. The first ever News Media Forum was also dedicated to the safety of journalists, and input from this forum later fed into the Recommendation.

More information on the agenda

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