News Media Europe

Supporting journalism in Europe must be taken seriously – Publishers’ call to Media Freedom Act negotiators  

Press releases , September 7, 2023

Brussels, 7 September 2023

Today the Culture Committee leading parliamentary work on the European Media Freedom Act (EMFA) adopted its position.

European press publishers have been contributing constructively and transparently to the debate since the publication of the proposal (see position paper and amendments). Our objective is simple: giving independent and professional journalism a chance to thrive and compete in the reality of today’s market, while protecting media freedom as the corner stone of democracy.

While we applaud concrete improvements on the protection of editorial freedom, greater transparency on the allocation of state advertising and more clarity and inclusivity on audience measurement systems, we regret that the European Parliament failed to promote media viability.

Wout van Wijk, Director of News Media Europe commented: “The Parliament’s failure to support newsrooms’ ability to compete and to reach audiences undermines the Media Freedom Act’s original purpose.


  1. Citizens should have unhindered access to professional information online (Article 17). Access to information is a fundamental right (Article 11 of the EU Charter). Yet the report makes it more difficult for the media to challenge platforms’ restrictions (e.g. reversal of the 24 hour deadline on the media). Also, the concept of “recognized media service provider” and the over-complicated list of criteria is at odds with a free and democratic society. The EMFA should protect the press, not regulate it.
  2. The media pluralism assessment, conducted by national authorities, must take into account competition with very large online platforms (Article 21 para 2). The EMFA should provide greater flexibility and facilitate concentration where they are needed: for media survival, competitiveness and fixing market power asymmetries with global tech companies. Media concentration cannot be fairly assessed without looking at the bigger picture.
  3. The definition of public service media cannot crowd out private media (Article 5 para 3). Extending the mandate of public service broadcasters to “new content and media forms” would directly conflict with press publishers’ activities and breach EU competition rules. The mandate of public service media should be kept narrow to preserve pluralism in the information sphere, allowing the private press to remain sustainable and to continue playing its democratic role alongside public service media.

We call on the European Parliament and the Council to take these suggestions onboard for a successful negotiation.


 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.