In the past three years at least 17 journalists in Europe have been killed or kidnapped. Threats to freedom of the press are increasing: attacks and murder, judicial prosecution and unjust imprisonment, state control of radio and television, and political and commercial attacks on editors.
Media expert William Horsley writes about this issue in a report to the European Council that Frivärld has published in Swedish. The consequences of physical violence and political pressure against journalists affect us all in the form of self-censorship.
The recent years’ attacks on journalists and political restrictions on freedom of the press throughout Europe are compiled in the briefing Threats to Freedom of the Press in Europe. Among the countries in focus are Russia, Ukraine, Hungary and Turkey, but more and more Western European countries are also noticing deteriorations in freedom of the press.
– It is no longer possible for international leaders to say that they do not see or know what is happening. It is time for all those engaged – journalists, civil society organizations, political parties and citizens – to stand up and demand improvements from their governments, whose task it is to protect freedom of the press in order for their citizens to freely look for information and make well-grounded decisions about their lives, Horsley said.
William Horsley is the representative for freedom of the press for the Association of European Journalists and a leading member with responsibility for international issues at the Centre for Freedom of the Media, as well as at the University of Sheffield.