Declaring that “democracy and the protection of human rights depend on media freedom”, PACE has called for a series of steps to keep journalists safe and enable them to work freely.
In a wide-ranging resolution, based on a report by Gvozden Flego (Croatia, SOC), the Assembly made a series of specific recommendations to the authorities of a number of member States including Azerbaijan, Georgia, Hungary, Italy, Russia, Serbia, Turkey and Ukraine.
The parliamentarians highlighted the need for special measures to keep journalists safe who are working in conflict zones or covering violent demonstrations, and proper investigations into the deaths of journalists and attacks on them. They also called for appropriate laws governing how media are regulated or financed, diverse and transparent media ownership and sufficient resources for public service broadcasting.
Specific proposals included annual debates in national parliaments on media freedom, and a “media identity card” to clarify who owns or finances individual media.