European Federation of Journalists

Special rapporteurs call to endorse transparency of media ownership

On the occasion of the World Press Freedom Day (3 May 2015) and the two events which are going to be organised in Riga and Brussels, Access Info Europe together with the European Federations of Journalists (EFJ), and the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) have called on the four Special Rapporteurs on Freedom of Expression, Pansy Tlakula ( the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Right), Edison Lanza ( Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression of the Organisation of American States), Dunja Mijatović ( OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media) and David Kaye ( United Nations Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom ) as well as The Commissioner for Human Rights, Council of Europe
to endorse the Ten Recommendations on Transparency of Media Ownership.

The recommendations, developed during three years of research by Access Info and the Open Society Program on Independent Journalism, have already been endorsed by 78 civil society organisations, media outlets, and journalists.

The ten recommendations include:
1. Disclosure of essential basic information
2. Information is find able and free
3. Information is regularly updated
4. Data is reusable and in open formats
5. Progressive increase in transparency
6. Transparency of influence
7. Clear and precise legal framework
8. Oversight by an independent body
9. Direct disclosure to the public
10. Transnational access and comparability

The public availability of media ownership information is essential for democracy and any democratic media system. It can be used as a valuable and efficient tool to identify the media owners and guarantee that abuses of media power can be evaluated, publicised, openly debated, and even prevented. Furthermore, making this information accessible and easily collected, it increases government obligations to ensure a diverse and plural media environment, an obligation which stems from the right to freedom of expression and information.

In many countries, the legal framework already establishes obligations on government to collect information in order to ensure diversity and to guard against excessive concentration of ownership. What is being called for here is to ensure that such information is also made publicly available, on the understanding that such public availability of accurate, comprehensive, and up-to-date data on media ownership is an essential component of a democratic media system.

The three partners, Access Info, the European Federation of Journalists and the International Federation of Journalists join their forces and continue to call for civil society and media organisations to endorse the Ten Recommendations for Transparency of Media Ownership in a first step to demand governments for stronger legislation on this issue.

For further information, please click HERE

Also you can contact:

Renate Schroeder / European Federation of Journalists  + 32 (0)2 235 22 02

Victoria Anderica / Access Info Europe +34 606592976

Photo Credit: Access Info Europe