RSS news import

News related to press and media freedom coming from selected and reliable sources. News items are gathered and listed via an RSS feed

More children, fewer media - Orban's plan for Hungary

by Jane Whyatt Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orbàn continues to defy the European Union’s attempts to curb the political takeover of independent media. Viktor Orban. Photo:dpa His State of the Nation address accuses EU leaders, especially Frans Timmermans „a socialist appointed by George Soros“ (the millionaire Hungarian philanthropist) of interfering in national politics. Orban has already closed down the Soros-backed Central European University in Budapest. The entire higher education institution has been forced to re-locate to Vienna. In his speech he urged Hungarians to reject immigration and instead to have more babies. To encourage them, he now offers a preferential loan of 10 million forints  (31,500…

Source: European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF)

How Hungary shrunk the media

by Gabor Polyak, MERTEK Media Monitor Through its transformation of the media system and dissemination of hateful and scare-mongering propaganda, the Fidesz government in Hungary created a situation in which opposition views could not even reach significant portions of the electorate.  Viktor Orban. Photo:dpa The resultant public discourse was completely devoid of rational debates.This restructuring sought to make the interest groups in Fidesz’s extremely complex economic network easier to control and finance. This kind of consolidation was most obvious in the media market, where a colossal media monstrosity was created which extends to all media segments and all media audiences.  The aftermath…

Source: European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF)

Reflections on the European self-regulatory code of conduct: will it be enough to curb online disinformation in upcoming campaigns?

Recent efforts from the European Commission to tackle online disinformation include incentivising technology platforms and online advertisers to adopt codes of conduct. Nicole Darabian, MSc Media and Communication Governance student (2018/19) at the LSE, reflects on the self-regulatory measures proposed by the Code of Practice on Online Disinformation. Disinformation – often described as “fake news” – and fears surrounding its usage as a […]

Source: Media Policy Project

Threat level to media freedom highest since Cold War

by Cassiano Gobbet  Authoritarian governments, media ownership concentration and the weakening of public broadcast companies are making the activity of journalists harder and societies less transparent. #AllForJan: Demonstration in memory of murdered journalist Ján Kuciak and his fiancée Martina Kušnírová. Bratislava, March 2. 2018. Flickr/Peter Tkac (Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic). There has not been a time since the end of the Cold War in the 1980s when journalists have been more exposed to threats, violence, and harassment in Europe. This is the outcome of a new report entitled Democracy at risk: Threats and attacks against media freedom in Europe.  Released this Tuesday during an event…

Source: European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF)

Making Whistleblowing Work for Europe

The EU is poised to take a momentous step and adopt a new directive to protect whistleblowers across Europe. This could have a dramatic impact on the capacity and ability of whistleblowing to work in all our interests. We know that protecting those who speak up in the public interest saves lives, protects our environment, reveals and stops corruption, and stems the huge financial losses to business and governments that result from failures to address wrongdoing. Pressroom of the European parliament. Souce: Creative Commons It is vital that an EU Directive on the protection of whistleblowers protects the free flow of…

Source: European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF)

Resolution on ineffective legal remedy for Turkey's journalists

The lack of visible improvements in freedom of the media in Turkey since the state of emergency was lifted on 18 July 2018 is of great concern. The mass arrests, detention and sentencing of Turkey’s journalists continue to be used as methods to stifle dissenting voices across society.    According to figures from the International Press Institute (IPI), 155 journalists and media executives were in prison as of 29. January 2019. This makes Turkey the country with the highest number of imprisoned journalists in the world.   the lack of independence and impartiality of the judiciary in Turkey; the lack of a speedy…

Source: European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF)

Slovakia: "right of reply" proposition raises concerns

by ECPMF staff Almost one year after the killing of Slovak journalist Ján Kuciak, which still remains unsolved, we are concerned about the planned proposal, introduced by Slovakia's ruling Smer party, to reintroduce a "right of reply" for politicians to media content they don't approve. A memorial to the murdered journalist and his fiancee. (photo: ECPMF) The suggested amendments passed the first reading in the Slovak Parliament last week. They were first proposed by the party chairman at a rally in December 2018, where he showed obvious hostility towards journalists. If turned into law, it could mean that media outlets in…

Source: European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF)

Police plan to drop guard on Italian investigative reporter despite mafia threats

By Alberto Spampinato The Italian Government is under pressure to reverse the decision to revoke, from 15.February, the armed escort granted in 2015 to the well-known journalist Sandro Ruotolo. This protection was granted to protect him from the Camorra clan Casalesi, whose boss had planned to kill him.  Sandor Ruotolo. Photo: O2 It was reported on 1.February that the protection will be withdrawn. An announcement that nothing has been yet decided came on February 5, together with the public commitment to review the persistence of the risk again. Sandro Ruotolo has for many years been one of the most popular faces among public television journalists…

Source: European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF)

"This story has its origins in a love for football"

By Rafael Buschmann, Michael Wulzinger, Christoph Winterbach, Der Spiegel Last week 30-year-old Portuguese national Rui Pinto was arrested in Budapest following the release of a European arrest warrant by the Portuguese law enforcement authorities. Since then he has been named as the source of Football Leaks, a cache of documents obtained by German news magazine Der Spiegel and shared with European Investigative Collaborations (EIC), of which The Black Sea is a member. Pinto's lawyer William Bourdon has described him as a “great European whistleblower" who sought to expose criminal activity in football through his actions. Following a court appearance in Budapest, Pinto remains…

Source: European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF)

IJ4EU the future for investigative journalism

By Barbara Trionfi and Jane Whyatt It was Hungarian Green MEP Benedek Jávor who summed up the success of the long campaign for investigative journalism in the EU: “This is an emotional moment for me.” That proud emotion spread like a wave around the two hundred people in the conference hall.  Benedek Javor MEP in discussion at the UNCOVERED conference. Photo: ECPMF Its ripples reached hundreds more whose lives have changed thanks to the Investigative Journalism for EU (IJ4EU) grants, or who were watching the event on live social media. The IJ4EU UNCOVERED conference marked a great achievement: twelve cross-border investigations published in countries…

Source: European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF)