06 Aug 2018 Lvl. 2
Alert created on: 15 May 2015 n° 5/2015 Spain

Electoral Coverage under Political Control in Spain

Source of threatState
CategoryOther acts having chilling effects on media freedom
Partner EFJ/IFJ
Partner EFJ/IFJ
In April 2015, the Collegium of Journalists of Catalonia has launched a campaign to denounce to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, the legal provisions which lock the coverage of election campaigns in the Spanish public media. The Spanish electoral law makes it possible for a central electoral commission, composed of judges and experts appointed by political parties, to impose coverage criteria of an electoral campaign to the public media: the so called "Electoral information slots". In particular, the parties decide on the length of airtime which must be devoted to each political party and in which order these interventions should be disseminated during the 15 days preceding the election. These “slots” apply to the entire editorial production of the public broadcasters, including TV news. This instrument contradicts the independence of public media editors, forcing them to boycott the new political parties in favour of parties already represented in Parliament. The EFJ and IFJ believe that this political interference in the editorial work violates Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms which enshrines explicitly "the freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authority”
06 Aug 2018: On 28 May 2015, the European Court of Human Rights rejected the application lodged on 22 January 2015 by the Collegium of Journalists of Catalonia. On 6 August 2018, the partner organisations to the Platform declared this case to be ”resolved”, concluding it was no longer an active threat to media freedom.
State replies
Relevant CoE instruments Disclaimer
06 Aug 2018
Code of good practice in electoral matters
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