FML Blog

Securing Press Freedom Across Europe: Europe's media sector calls for action

by George Sims Communications intern, European Magazine Media Association

Thursday, October 06, 2016      George Sims            0


The European Magazine Media Association (EMMA) published a report today, entitled “Securing Press Freedom across Europe” aimed as a call to action for Europe’s media sector in the light of recent regressions in Europe’s supposedly free press environment.



The 50-page report is largely a product of the(R)EVOLUTION OF EUROPE’S PRESS conference in this year’s European capital of culture Wroclaw, where 100 journalists, publishers, media professionals, European and national politicians as well as technology and academic experts gathered to discuss the challenges faced by Europe’s free and independent press. The Wroclaw discussions has led to today’s European Media Freedom Conference, hosted by the ECPMF in Leipzig, where the “Leipzig List” is being put together so as to establish a number of points and action areas that need to be addressed in order to preserve acceptable standards for a free and independent press sector in the EU.



The report and subsequent “Leipzig List” address a number of topics that are to the detriment of a free press on an EU-wide as well as a national level in individual member states. Laws on hate speech and defamation laws were found to be outdated and inadequate, where no clear difference between the two has led to abuses, self-censorship and limitations to journalists’ freedom of speech. The lack of transparency in the ownership of media outlets, government appropriation and influence as well as state-funded advertising are also factors that limit the independence of the press in a number of the EU member-states.



Finding a viable funding model for a pluralistic and independent press sector in the digital era is also a concern raised in the report, leading to a number of different ideas as to how to tackle the problem. Daniel Knapp, co-founder of AEMII and Senior Director in Advertising at HIS, calls for a more collaborative approach between publishers and platforms, while copyright law and alternative advertising/funding models feature in the debate as well.



More information about the (R)EVOLUTION OF EUROPE’S PRESS conference, including video summaries, the call for action and blog posts, can be found at .



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