Media freedom, independence and diversity
Free, independent and pluralistic media based on freedom of information and expression is a core element of any functioning democracy. Freedom of the media is in fact essential for the protection of all other human rights. Instances of torture, discrimination, corruption or misuse of power many times have come to light because of the work of investigative journalists. Making the facts known to the public is often the first, essential step to start redressing human rights violations and hold governments accountable.
Worrying signals of repression and violations of media freedom can be observed in a number of European states. Different forms of control and pressure over the variety and content of media hamper their independence and pluralism. Cases of journalists who are deprived of their liberty because of their work continue to occur. Cases of harassment, intimidation, violence - and even murder - have been documented.
During her country visits and continuous dialogue with national authorities, media professionals and civil society, the Commissioner gathers information, identifies shortcomings and provides advice on ways to improve media freedom and the protection of journalist.
She also supports initiatives aimed at strengthening media professionalism and ethical journalism and the establishment of self-regulatory mechanisms.
This issue paper addresses a pressing question: how can we ensure that the rule of law is established and maintained on the Internet and in the wider digital world?
The complete issue paper is available in english and a short version, with the executive summary and the Commissioners recommendations, is available in several language.
- Russian Federation: misuse of anti-terrorism legislation limits media freedom and freedom of expression
- OSCE Media Freedom Representative and Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights urge systematic approach to counter gender-based violence online
- Romania should improve the protection of persons with disabilities, combat violence against women, safeguard press freedom and maintain the independence of the judiciary
- "How to ensure that the Internet remains an open and public forum for exercising freedom of opinion and expression and facilitating other human rights and fundamental freedoms"
- "Safety of online media actors as a precondition for media pluralism and freedom of expression"
- Ethical Journalism Initiative - Journalism and the Challenge of Intolerance