European Federation of Journalists

Oettinger: “Lack of media freedom and pluralism affects negatively media and creative industries”

Attending the Deutsche Welle’s Global Media Forum 2015 in Bonn (22/06/2015), the European Commissioner Günther Oettinger referred in his speech to “media freedom and pluralism” as a “crucial value for the EU”. To give examples of concrete steps, the Commissioner mentioned different EU projects involving the active participation of the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ).

“Whether a media outlet is so-called traditional or online, media practitioners will always have to be warranted the right to report facts and offer their views and opinions. Political pressure, economic hardship, physical attacks against journalists, restrictive legislation, and a general financial crisis in the sector all influence the media’s ability to operate freely. A lack of media freedom and pluralism affects negatively the European media and creative industries. This can indeed have an impact on a media company’s decision whether to have a presence or to made additional investments in a given Member State. (…) . I would like to inform you about the launching of two new independent projects in the field of media freedom and pluralism. They are part of the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom and have the support of the European Parliament”, said the Commissioner.

“The projects – one coordinated by the Leipzig media foundation and the other one by Index on censorship – will address media freedom violations in the EU and neighbouring countries. Violations of press freedom will be observed, researched, registered, and reported to both the public and the relevant authorities. Actions to support threatened journalists will also be organised. The existing monitoring tools will be enhanced and complemented by digital training and campaigning actions,” added M. Günther Oettinger. 

Reacting to the speech, EFJ Director Renate Schroeder welcomed the indirect reference to work of the EFJ and added that “more has to be done to guarantee media quality, media freedom and protection of journalists”.

Photo : DW Global Media Forum 2015