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EU Commission: “ensure journalists’ safety”. Hundreds of attacks and threats against media operators in Europe

The European Commission calls on governments to do more to ensure the safety of journalists. In 2020, there were at least 908 attacks on journalists and media professionals across 23 Member States. And 73% of journalists have received online threats, the EU Commission said in a recommendation on the safety of journalists. “No journalist should die or be harmed because of their job”, Vera Jourova, European Commission Vice-President for Values, said at a press conference. “The pandemic has showed more than ever the key role of journalists. We ask Member States to take decisive action to make the EU a safer place for journalists”. In 2020, 175 journalists and media workers were victims of attacks or involved in accidents that took place during protests in EU countries. Since 1992, 23 journalists have been murdered in Europe, most of them in the past six years. The pandemic “has made the work of journalists even more difficult, with lower incomes, especially for freelancers, and limited access to venues”, the EU Commission stressed. Brussels therefore calls for “the creation of independent national support services, including helplines, legal advice, psychological support and shelters for journalists and media professionals facing threats”. The EU Commission also urges countries to ensure greater protection for journalists during demonstrations, greater online safety and particular support to female journalists.

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