Member states must do more to guarantee respect for media freedom

PACE today adopted a recommendation to the Committee of Ministers containing a series of measures to guarantee greater respect for media freedom and the safety of journalists. The Assembly proposes in particular a review of national legislation to ensure that anti-terrorism measures fully respect media freedom. It also reaffirms that defamation laws should not be used to silence critical comment and satire in the media, and calls on governments to ensure fair and equal access of all political parties and candidates to the media before elections.

The parliamentarians also asked the Committee of Ministers to assist member states in training their judges, law enforcement authorities and police in respecting media freedom in order to protect journalists against violent threats. Furthermore, they asked the Secretary General of the Council of Europe to allocate the resources necessary to collate information regularly on violations of media freedom, analyse this information on a systematic basis, country by country, and circulate it to the governments of the member states at least quarterly.