A turning point for media freedom in Europe?

A major conference of European media ministers has highlighted the actions of European governments accused of persecuting journalists.

Council of Europe ministers responsible for media called on the Council’s top decision-making body to implement comprehensive plans for preventing, investigating and sanctioning threats against journalists’ safety in the final declaration of their meetings in Cyprus on June 10 and 11.

The ministerial conference on Media and Democracy shone a rare spotlight on European governments’ actions affecting media freedom but AEJ media freedom representative William Horsley questioned if it would really mark a turning point for better protections for journalism and the safety of journalists.

And even as the first such major conference in 8 years ended, Russia disrupted the European show of unity as it objected to a key Council of Europe mechanism for protecting media freedom – the CoE Platform for the protection of journalism and the safety of journalists.

The Russian delegation declared its opposition to the Platform’s work in an “interpretive statement” and also expressed its wider disagreement with significant parts of the Council of Europe’s strategy for reversing the decline in the safety of journalists.

A turning-point?
Russia at the CoE conference
Conference documents