Dear Members of the European Parliament,
We are writing to request you to vote for the creation of an Intergroup on Media Freedom and Pluralism on November 26 and to ensure it makes your political group’s shortlist.
Media freedom and pluralism are pillars of modern democracy. To guarantee European citizens their right to access to information, Parliament has an important role to play over the next five years to ensure the following areas of reform are addressed:
- Creating an enabling legal and regulatory environment for free, independent, pluralistic, and diverse media and the safety of journalists, whether staff, freelancers, or bloggers. Journalists need to be protected from judicial harassment, arbitrary surveillance, defamation, overly broad national security and anti-terrorist legislation, as well as SLAPP and tax laws.
- Protecting journalists, freelancers, and bloggers from physical, legal, psychological, and digital threats, and ensuring an equitable access to effective insurances, efficient access to protection and prevention measures and mechanisms, with specific attention to the risks facing female journalists.
- Combating impunity for all attacks against journalists, freelancers, and bloggers, including support and capacity-building for law enforcement, prosecutors, and the judiciary and the development of specialized protocols for investigations.
- Continuing to combat disinformation through robust public defense of independent journalism, independent public service media and its critical importance in democracy. This should accompany efforts to increase public understanding of media freedoms, supporting social media self-regulation, and building media literacy.
- Supporting sustainable models for independent journalism in promoting media independence, media innovation, pluralism, and diversity, as well as allowing for effective self-regulation, capacity building, and training.
Given the rapidly changing media environment, increasingly severe threats and restrictions to press freedom, and the recent murders of journalists, more must be done to protect media freedom. We hope you can support the Intergroup on Media Freedom and Pluralism and ensure it does.
Otmar Lahodynsky, AEJ President
William Horsley, AEJ Special Representative for Media Freedom
Lieven Taillie, AEJ Special Representative to the European Institutions
AEJ International, an aisbl under Belgian Law, brings together individual journalists through their membership of national sections of the AEJ. The AEJ was set up in 1962 in what was then the six European Economic Community (EEC) countries and was founded by some 70 journalists who were driven by the conviction that European integration needed to proceed in a democratic way and who believed in the potential of journalism to promote European harmony. They were determined to defend freedom of information and freedom of the press in Europe for that purpose. More information can be found on the following website: www.aej.org