Swedish media leaders – publishers and public and commercial TV and radio broadcasters – have joined voices to defend investigative journalism. In a press release published today, they urge their government and the European Institutions to clearly and expressly exclude journalists and journalism from the provisions of the draft EU Directive on Trade Secrets.
The EBU strongly supports this view which is in line with previous EBU declarations expressing deep concern regarding the potential restrictions to journalists’ capacity to investigate and report on business activities that are in the public interest.
Provisions in the draft EU trade secrets Directive, as it is currently drafted, are at odds with freedom of the press and will affect the ability of journalists and media companies to pursue free and investigative journalism. Initially intended to prevent industrial espionage and unfair competition, the Directive could allow private enterprises’ interests to take precedence over free and independent journalism. It will create a climate of legal uncertainty for reporters, leading to self-censorship and media organizations incurring heavy fines and liability.
You can read an English translation of the press release, including a list of signatories, on the website of the Swedish media representative organisation Utgivarna.