News Media Europe

Final stretch of the Media Freedom Act: How to get it right?

Press releases , October 3, 2023


-Brussels, 3 October 2023-

The European Parliament adopted today its position on the European Media Freedom Act including improvements on editorial freedom, citizens’ access to professional information, greater transparency on public funding and creating the conditions for the financial viability of media companies.

Wout van Wijk, Executive Director of News Media Europe, said: “In a context of fierce competition with global tech players and with the rise of artificial intelligence, news publishing companies need to be able to invest, innovate and consolidate where needed, while journalists and newsrooms are protected.”

Van Wijk continues: “We have engaged with the Parliament on the principle that a media freedom regulation should never regulate the press, and that media companies should operate free from any political or commercial interference”.

As we are entering the trilogue phase, news publishers remain focused on a compromise that protects European media companies, through:

  1. High protection of journalistic sources free from spyware, with strictly limited and well-defined derogations;
  2. Ensuring fair competition and making sure that public service media does not crowd out private media;
  3. Establishing a genuine dialogue between media and large platforms in the interest of access to information online. Also, the self-declaration system should not be a regulation of media service providers through the back door;
  4. Making sure that the media pluralism assessment in the context of mergers looks at the entirety of the media market, including very large online platforms and public service media;
  5. Supporting the financial viability of European media companies, making sure that consolidation rules remain flexible and close to the transaction;
  6. Keeping the Board as an advisory body with a light structure, without slowing down necessary media transactions. The Board can be advised by an Expert Group composed of press representatives on an ad hoc basis, without turning into a regulation of the press.
  7. Bringing greater transparency on the allocation of state advertising, including towards social media and online platforms, and binding on all public administrations.

News Media Europe will continue working with the EU Institutions in the interest of pluralism, citizens’ access to information and the exercise of a healthy democracy.


Wout van Wijk, Executive Director:

News Media Europe is the voice of the progressive news media industry in Europe, representing over 2,700 news brands in print, online, radio and TV, through national associations from sixteen countries. Together, we defend key principles which are vital to us: protecting the freedom of the press, championing the digital future of our industry, and ensuring that the value of content is properly protected.