-Friday, 3 May 2019-
Difference Day, as we also know it, exists so that we may remember why journalism matters, and so that we may also remember those who have seen their rights unfairly deprived as they sought to defend the public’s right to know.
The current global state of affairs in relation to media freedom and independence should be of serious concern to all those who are involved in journalism, or who value quality and reliable information.
In particular, it is becoming increasingly evident that many countries, including within the European Union, are regressing in this field and losing much of the ground gained over past decades.
Within the EU, it is in particular clear that both physical and psychological violence against news professionals are on the rise. Most concerning of all has been the recent deliberate murders of individuals in their capacity as journalists in Malta, Slovakia, Bulgaria and Northern Ireland.
It is therefore important that we all play our part in raising awareness around media freedom and independence issues on this day. To that end, it is crucial that an ongoing and constructive dialogue is established with policy makers.
The upcoming 2019-2024 European Commission marks an important opportunity to do more about media freedom, in a meaningful and coordinated way.