On 6 November, Head of Information Society Department, Patrick Penninckx intervened in a hearing on Freedom of Expression and Combating hate speech online and offline held by the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs on Media Freedom in Brussels. He presented the Council of Europe efforts in protecting investigative journalists and instruments that are designed to ensure freedom of expression. Major challenges that the journalist in Europe face nowadays such as intimidation, criminal prosecution, restrictive legislation that undermines their freedoms and adverse impacts of the digital revolution on the financial viability of quality journalism pose risk to media freedom as well as democratic governance.
Participants of the hearing were invited to the conference “(Last) call for quality journalism” which will take place on 28-29 November 2019 in Ljubljana, organised by the Council of Europe in partnership with the Ministry of Culture of Slovenia. The conference will explore how to ensure the sustainability of quality news and how to highlight its benefits to the media-fatigued public. It will be looking into the responsibilities that should be borne in this regard by individual media stakeholders including online platforms, by educators, regulators and self-regulators, by the civil society and academia. Registration is open until 8 November on the conference page.