On February 9th, DEMAS together with other 33 journalists, press freedom, civil society and digital rights groups signed the joint letter to Parliament in order to reiterate our full support for a strengthened and timely European Media Freedom Act (EMFA).
Dear Members of the European Parliament,
We, the undersigned journalists, press freedom, civil society and digital rights groups, are writing to you to reiterate our full support for a strengthened and timely European Media Freedom Act (EMFA).
Many journalists around the EU find themselves in increasingly captured media markets, where independent voices are sidelined by economic pressure. Journalists and media outlets struggle for financial viability and critical media are often discriminated against by (illiberal) politicians blocking access to sustainable financial resources. Others are coerced to report a certain official narrative because of political pressure. Politically-influenced media takeovers create an environment where critical reporters are in the minority.
Media freedom and pluralism is the precondition of stable democracy and the rule of law. Independent media helps to form public opinion and has a direct influence on the outcome of elections.
The EMFA seeks to protect media independence by drawing up common European standards on freedom from editorial interference and illegal surveillance, guaranteeing media pluralism, providing greater transparency on ownership and financial relations with the state, ending the abuse of state funds to create clientalist media, protecting the independence of public service media and the independence of national regulatory authorities and ensuring there is an economic environment in which independent journalism can flourish.
These are crucial issues and we call on Members of the European Parliament to engage constructively in this vital debate to ensure that the EMFA becomes a strong, coherent regulation establishing harmonised legal safeguards across Europe.
The full letter might be downloaded here.
Other statements signed by DEMAS can be found here.