Day 1 – Ensuring the Safety of Journalists: a Constant Battle
6 December 2021, online, 14:30-16:00 CET
In September 2021, the European Commission presented a list of Recommendations to strengthen the safety of journalists and other media professionals. These aim at targeting recurring concerns about the safety of Journalists such as security threats, political and economic pressures, or harassment cases. Drawing on the Council of Europe Standards, these recommendations urge member states to promote protective measures for journalists to avoid, among others, online harassment, threats during protests, as well as violence against specific groups such as women or journalists from minority background. The European Commission also insists on the fact that Member states duly investigate and prosecute criminal threats against journalists.
During the first day, our experts will analyse the Recommendations and discuss the next steps to ensure the safety of journalists in the European Union.
Audrius Perkauskas, deputy head of unit Audiovisual and Media Services Policy at the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology (CONNECT)
Renate Schroeder (Moderator), Director of the European Federation of Journalists
Dr. Václav Štetka, Senior Lecturer in Communication and Media Studies at the School of Social Sciences and Humanities, Loughborough University
Urška Umek, Head of Media Unit at the Council of Europe’s Information Society Department
Dr. Mária Žuffová, Researcher at the European University Institute (Centre for Media Pluralism and Freedom)
Day 2 – Towards a European Media Freedom Act
7 December 2021, online, 14:30-16:00 CET
In recent years, the European Commission has created an important set of legal and policy tools to foster structural changes in a media ecosystem whose balance has been undermined by digitalisation. Among these, the Audiovisual and Media Directive aims at coordinating national legislation on all audiovisual media; the European Media and Audiovisual Action Plan for Media sets the conditions to allow more innovation in the sector; and the Recommendation on Protection, Safety and Empowerment of Journalists aims at ensuring safer working conditions for media professionals.
In order to complement this legislative arsenal, the European Commission is working on the Digital Services Act and on the Digital Media Act, as well as on a European Media Freedom Act that would protect media freedom and pluralism. If acted, these would contribute to creating a safer media market and digital space. The European Media Freedom Act, in particular, would be of extreme importance to protect media as cornerstones of your democracies and will be discussed by a panel of experts.
During the second day, our experts will explore these instruments and discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the proposed approaches.
Francesca de Benedetti (Moderator), Journalist at Domani
Prof. Dr. Natali Helberger, Distinguished University Professor of Law and Digital Technology at the University of Amsterdam
Anna Herold, Head of the Audiovisual and Media Policy Unit at the European Commission
Dr. Luboš Kukliš, Chair of the European Platform of Regulatory Authorities (EPRA)
Prof. Pier Luigi Parcu, Director of the Centre for Media Pluralism and Freedom