The situation of press freedom around the world is a source of particular concern.
In 2015, according to Reporters without Borders, 22 journalists and media professionals were killed and over 160 imprisoned. In 2014, nearly 100 media professionals were murdered because of their work.
In some member States of the Council of Europe, journalists’ freedom of expression is sometimes extensively undermined.
A meaningful legal status should be granted to journalists in order to guarantee the independence of the press and the critical freedom that is essential in our democratic society.
Various measures have been taken in this area in the Council of Europe member States.
Examples are measures relating to the protection and accessibility of the sources used by journalists and other persons working with news departments, as mentioned in Parliamentary Assembly Recommendation 1950 (2011), the acknowledgment of journalists’ copyright, conscience or transfer clauses, codes of conduct, taxation and direct or indirect financial support for journalists.
In this connection, the Parliamentary Assembly should examine the various legal frameworks applicable to journalists and highlight the best legal practices that exist to improve the status of journalists in the Council of Europe member States.