The Council of Europe has adopted a Recommendation calling on its 46 member States to create a favourable environment for quality journalism to thrive and to play its essential role in democracy. The recommendation contains a set of legal, administrative and practical guidelines aimed at ensuring sustainable funding for quality media, building trust in journalism, and promoting media literacy.
Secretary General Marija Pejčinović Burić said: “In recent years we have witnessed the growing spread of disinformation in a rapidly changing media environment. To protect our democracies, it is essential that the media perform their role according to professional standards and ethics. States should put in place practical measures to support quality journalism as a way to ensure access to reliable, independent and accurate information”.
The media sector has been weakened by the profound impact of the digital transformation, which has created new opportunities for journalism but also disrupted the business model of many quality media. The Covid-19 pandemic, while demonstrating the need for reliable information produced by professional journalists, also accelerated pre-existing structural problems that these guidelines seek to address.