News Media Europe

News publishers optimistic about European Commission’s plans to defend media freedom and sustainability

Press releases , December 3, 2020


-Brussels, 3 December 2020-

Today, the European Commission released two important and complementary strategies for the news industry:the European Democracy Action Plan and the Media and Audiovisual Action Plan.

The plans concur towards the objective of safeguarding a free, pluralistic, inclusive and independent news media, instrumental to European democracy and digital sovereignty.

Wout van Wijk, Executive Director at News Media Europe, says: “The COVID19 crisis has shown the importance of news media for citizens’ safety and trust. Yet professional and reliable journalism comes at a cost. The Media Action Plan not only recognizes the significance of such investments, it bets on the innovation, growth and job potential of the sector. I hope the instruments can be rolled-out fast”.

The European Democracy Action Plan combined with the Strategy to enforce the Charter of Fundamental Rights, also comes at a much-needed point, when threats to media freedom are rising across Europe and threatening democracy.

Van Wijk continues: “Media freedom is an enforceable Charter freedom, not a decorative principle. We are satisfied that the EU is stepping up its game to protect news professionals’ safety and guarantee newsrooms’ independence from State capture”.

News Media Europe welcomes the measures strengthening the position of professional and independent private media for a well-functioning democracy, including measures against intimidation lawsuits. It remains the sector’s mission to hold decision-makers accountable and to empower the truth.

Another, and underestimated, threat to media freedom is financial pressure and fundamentally the right for professional journalism to exist online. It is expected that the European Commission uses the Digital Services Act and Digital Markets Act to tackle market failures and address the unbalanced relations between tech giants and news media companies.

About News Media Europe:

News Media Europe (NME) represents the progressive news media industry in Europe – over 2500 European news brands in print or online, and also on radio and tv. NME is committed to maintaining and promoting the freedom of the press, to upholding and enhancing the freedom to publish, and to championing the news brands which are one of the most vital parts of Europe’s creative industries.

For further information please contact:

Wout van Wijk, Executive Director,