The European Publishers Council applauds today’s decision by MEPs to approve a Report initiated by the EPP Group that calls for a crucial new law to protect journalists and independent journalism in Europe.
The European Parliament is calling for the European Commission to propose a new law to protect independent media from vexatious lawsuits intended to silence or intimidate them. The Report also highlights the need for a legal framework to supervise the operation of public service media providers to prevent public broadcasting being used as a tool for political party propaganda, as well as the establishment of a permanent European fund of direct support for independent journalists.
EPC Executive Director Angela Mills Wade said: “We add our voice to that of the European Parliament in calling for this new protection for journalists. It is the job of the independent media to hold our leaders to account – to speak truth to power – and the right of professional journalists to do their vital job without fear for their safety or freedom.”
This timely proposal is adopted during the week when award-winning Polish photo journalist for AP and Gazeta Wyborcza Agata Grzybowska was violently detained by police in Warsaw whilst obviously working as press to cover the abortion protests. She has since been released.
Angela continued: “Disinformation, fake news and hate speech are becoming an ever-greater threat to society. The independent news media is legally accountable for the content we disseminate. We demand respect and legal protection for our journalists who often put themselves at personal risk whilst doing a job that is crucial for our democracy.”