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Protecting safety of journalists, media freedom and pluralism: stakeholders invited to share their views



Protecting safety of journalists, media freedom and pluralism: stakeholders invited to share their views

The UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of freedom of opinion and expression has just launched a call for comments on opportunities, challenges and threats to media. The UN Human Rights Regional Office for Europe invites all interested stakeholders, including Member States, national institutions, journalists, media organizations, human rights organizations, civil society, scholars and digital technology and social media companies in the EU to respond to the call for comments by 15 January 2022. Submissions will feed an upcoming report of the Special Rapporteur on opportunities, challenges and threats to media in the digital age and inform, in turn, the work of UN bodies, including the UN Human Rights Regional Office for Europe, on these issues.

Free, independent, plural and diverse media are a core component of the right to freedom of expression and a cornerstone of democratic societies. Journalists and media are however facing increasing threats in almost every part of the world, heightened by new challenges brought to the media sector by digital and social media platforms.

Europe is not immune to this global trend. That is why, as part of its work on the protection and promotion of freedom of opinion and expression, the rule of law and civic space in the EU, the UN Human Rights Regional Office for Europe recently started a project on “The protection of journalists, media freedom and pluralism in the EU”. The project, carried out in close cooperation with UNESCO, is part of the Global Drive for Media Freedom and Safety of Journalists programme, supported by the Netherlands. It seeks to foster dialogue among UN and regional human rights bodies, EU decision makers, media, civil society and the online industry on how to make concrete progress to better protect journalists from threats and attacks, strengthen media freedom and pluralism and address challenges facing traditional media in the digital information ecosystem, against the background of ambitious steps taken by the European Union in this area. A high-level policy debate will be organised to that effect in early 2022, building on a first exchange of views hosted by the Office on the occasion of Human Rights Day 2021, and which provided interesting insights on the perspectives of EU civil society and media stakeholders.

Media Freedom/Pixabay