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New methods of political influence over independent journalism

Motion for a resolution | Doc. 13775 | 30 April 2015

Ms Vesna MARJANOVIĆ, Serbia, SOC ; Ms Ingrid ANTIČEVIĆ MARINOVIĆ, Croatia, SOC ; Mr Philippe BIES, France, SOC ; Ms Gülsün BİLGEHAN, Turkey, SOC ; Ms Lise CHRISTOFFERSEN, Norway, SOC ; Mr Igor CORMAN, Republic of Moldova, SOC ; Mr Arcadio DÍAZ TEJERA, Spain, SOC ; Lady Diana ECCLES, United Kingdom, EC ; Mr Gvozden Srećko FLEGO, Croatia, SOC ; Mr Andreas GROSS, Switzerland, SOC ; Mr Jonas GUNNARSSON, Sweden, SOC ; Mr Gábor HARANGOZÓ, Hungary, SOC ; Ms Gabriela HEINRICH, Germany, SOC ; Ms Eva-Lena JANSSON, Sweden, SOC ; Mr Igor KOLMAN, Croatia, ALDE ; Ms Kerstin LUNDGREN, Sweden, ALDE ; Ms Guguli MAGRADZE, Georgia, SOC ; Ms Carina OHLSSON, Sweden, SOC ; Ms Mechthild RAWERT, Germany, SOC ; Mr Stefan SCHENNACH, Austria, SOC ; Mr Frank SCHWABE, Germany, SOC ; Ms Nataša VUČKOVIĆ, Serbia, SOC ; Mr Piotr WACH, Poland, EPP/CD

Freedom of expression and information through the media requires that journalists can work without political pressure on them. While traditional censorship exists in a dictatorship only, journalists often face new forms of limiting their independence and work, and often exerting to auto censorship. In Europe today, there is an alarming increase of mass media which are intentionally used to lead public opinion and the population.

In some member States of the Council of Europe, editors and leading journalists have been replaced because of pressure exerted by political parties or government members. Public broadcasters are not sufficiently independent of government influence. Political ambitions of media owners have led to the change of media staff. Economic pressures upon media have determined their unwillingness to report about matters of public concern.

Such situations challenge media freedom, which is a necessary condition for democracy. Therefore, the Parliamentary Assembly should analyse this situation and point to possible safeguards for journalists and their work.