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Protecting editorial integrity and independence of the media

The Committee on Culture today said that several challenges to the editorial integrity and independence of the media are arising in the member States. The emergence of the new Internet-based media, the committee said, has triggered a dramatic decline in revenues of traditional media. The reduced audience and less profitable obsolete business models, but also increased threats by organised crime, terrorism and armed conflicts, “compromise both the independence of the media and their editorial integrity”.

Adopting a draft resolution, based on a report prepared by Volodymyr Ariev (Ukraine, EPP/CD), the parliamentarians underlined the necessity for the journalists to protect their editorial integrity and to keep high professional and ethical standards. European governments, they said, should fully respect Council of Europe standards regarding independence and pluralism of public service media, “putting an end to the widespread attempts to influence them or to turn them into government media”.

Governments should also examine the issue of “the enormous imbalance” in revenues between news media outlets and Internet corporations, and find legal and practical solutions to rectify this imbalance. Media professionals and media outlets should increase voluntary adherence to, and respect for, professional codes of ethics and “establish or strengthen responsibility for disseminating fake news¨.