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PACE denounces ‘psychological’ methods used to exert political influence over the media

PACE has denounced a series of methods used to exert political influence over journalists – ranging from physical threats and detention through to intimidation and harassment of editors and journalists, more “insidious” psychological pressure aimed at inducing self-censorship, or putting critical media outlets out of business.

In a resolution based on a report by Stefan Schennach (Austria, SOC), the Assembly said the new digital environment was driving deep change in the media industry, which had the effect of making media outlets more vulnerable to political influence.

The parliamentarians called for greater transparency of who owned media companies, a series of safeguards to preserve the independence of public service media, and a review of laws which could have a “chilling effect” on journalists – including laws on national security, terrorism or defamation.