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Protect media to preserve democracy: The EBU's position on the European Media Freedom Act

19 January 2023
A journalist writing some notes and holding two microphones

On 19 January, the EBU published its policy position on the European Media Freedom Act (EMFA). The EMFA is an opportunity for Europe to spell out the key principles that will shield media and journalists from threats and interference. The EBU supports the EMFA’s objective to promote the independence and pluralism of media in Europe. The proposal recognizes the special role of media for democratic societies and also seeks to ensure support for strong, independent and well-funded public service media.  

The EBU’s Director General, Noel Curran, said: “Media independence, prominence and tampering with online content are the key areas where the EMFA could set out principles that will enable public service media to enhance democracy in Europe.”

To ensure that the final EMFA will help to tackle threats to media independence and improve audiences’ ability to access the media that matters most to them, both offline and online, we call upon European decision-makers to:

  • Protect and promote the independence of media and journalists
  • Ensure that citizens can easily discover and find media services of general interest
  • Tackle arbitrary behaviour by global platforms towards media content 

Media services deserve special protection and cannot be treated like any other business. The outcome of the EMFA legislative process must preserve a dynamic that not only pursues single market objectives but also respects the uniqueness of the media sector, its rules and the division of legal competences between the EU and Member States.


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