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Safety of journalists - addressing challenges

Strasbourg 26 August 2017
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Safety of journalists - addressing challenges

In many countries journalists and other media actors are facing censorship, political and economic pressure, intimidation, job insecurity, abusive use of defamation laws as well as physical attacks. These offences are often committed in a context of impunity, which has a chilling effect on media freedom. The Council of Europe advocates an enabling environment where journalists can fully exercise their public watchdog function.

Building capacity in member states: Over the past decade, the Council of Europe Cooperation Programme has been implemented in over 20 projects in member states and partner countries promoting media freedom, including various aspects of journalist’s safety.

Brief overview of the latest Council of Europe guidelines and activities to promote the safety of journalists

Freedom of expression Freedom of expression

“Everyone has the right to freedom of expression. This right shall include freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authority and regardless of frontiers. This Article shall not prevent States from requiring the licensing of broadcasting, television or cinema enterprises.

The exercise of these freedoms, since it carries with it duties and responsibilities, may be subject to such formalities, conditions, restrictions or penalties as are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society, in the interests of national security, territorial integrity or public safety, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, for the protection of the reputation or rights of others, for preventing the disclosure of information received in confidence, or for maintaining the authority and impartiality of the judiciary.”

Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights

Freedom of expression by Nicolas Vadot Freedom of expression by Nicolas Vadot