Independent press is essential for a functioning democracy; the EU must do more to protect it

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The European Parliament today backed a report calling for the EU to do more to protect journalists and independent media in the EU. The report was voted on world press freedom day and at a time that the independent media is increasingly under threat, both in Europe and around the world.
 
The S&D Group spokesperson for the report, Caterina Chinnici MEP, said:
 
“An independent press, able to hold those in power to account, is an essential part of a functioning democracy. As we have seen from several recent scandals, journalists play an essential role in shining a light on shady dealings or illegal activity. Worryingly, a robust and independent media is under threat in many parts of Europe. The horrific murders of  Daphne Caruana Galizia and Ján Kuciak and his partner Martina Kušnírová, is just the most extreme and tragic example of this. We are also seeing a wider trend of governments trying to restrict independent media that is critical of their actions. This is a clear threat to the rule of law and the EU must fight back.
 
“We are also seeing a dangerous rise in fake news pushed by organisations or foreign powers for political or financial gain. Today we are calling for more money to be devoted to media literacy training and education, to ensure that citizens are equipped to read news in a critical manner.
 
“We want to see greater protections for investigative journalists and whistle-blowers and welcome the recent proposals from the European Commission on the matter. We will now fight to make these new laws as strong as possible and ensure that journalists are protected wherever they are in the EU.”

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