The Commission has published an independent study by the Centre for Media Pluralism and Media Freedom, which shows that there has been a general stagnation or deterioration in terms of risks to media pluralism across all countries covered, i.e. the 27 EU Member States plus the UK, Albania, and Turkey.
The study takes into account, for the first time, the impact of digital developments. It looks at physical and digital threats and attacks on journalists, their working conditions, but also issues such as market plurality, political independence and social inclusiveness.
Vice-President of the Commission for Values and Transparency, Věra Jourová, said: “This study is a wake-up call. We need to better protect journalists and to increase transparency and fairness in the online world, especially in the context of political campaigning. We also need to support the media sector, which has been heavily hit by the COVID-19 crisis, while respecting its independence. The Commission can’t win this fight alone: I rely on Member States to help reverse this trend.”
The Commission says that the findings of the study are an important source of information for the first Rule of Law Report, scheduled to be published in September 2020, which will specifically address media pluralism. The findings will also feed into the European Democracy Action Plan (public consultation ongoing), the Media and Audiovisual Action Plan and the Digital Services Act (public consultation ongoing), all to be presented later in 2020. To read the Commission’s press release and for a link to the study, click here.