Supervisor Elham AbolFateh
Editor in Chief Mohamed Wadie

EU Marks World Press Freedom Day with Strong Commitment to Protect Journalists Globally

Thu 02 May 2024 | 08:26 PM

On the occasion of World Press Freedom Day, the European Union has reaffirmed its dedication to safeguarding journalists and media workers worldwide, emphasizing the crucial role they play in sustaining democratic societies. In a statement issued by the High Representative on behalf of the EU, the Union highlighted the perilous conditions under which journalists operate and the critical need to protect them as they provide essential coverage of global events, including numerous armed conflicts and elections.

As the world observes World Press Freedom Day, the EU has underscored the importance of journalistic endeavors, particularly in 2024—a pivotal year with elections scheduled in over 60 countries. The EU praised journalists for their bravery and commitment to delivering fact-based journalism, which not only informs the public but also holds leaders accountable and exposes injustices.

The statement detailed the EU's staunch opposition to any form of violence or threats against journalists, whether from states, organized groups, or individuals. It stressed that there should be no impunity for crimes against media professionals, advocating for robust measures to ensure their safety across all environments.

Highlighting the risks faced by journalists in conflict zones, the EU expressed deep concern over the rising number of media casualties. Recent reports have brought attention to the dangerous conditions in Gaza, where journalists frequently lose their lives. Similar risks are noted in other areas like Ukraine, Myanmar, and Sudan, where ongoing conflicts severely impact journalists' safety.

The EU also criticized the practice of denying media access to conflict zones—a tactic used by some to control the information landscape and restrict public access to unbiased, factual reporting. This concern points to a broader challenge faced by the media globally, including threats to their existence through economic and legal hardships.

In response to these challenges, the EU has introduced the European Media Freedom Act, a significant piece of legislation aimed at enhancing editorial independence, protecting journalistic sources, and increasing transparency around media ownership within the EU.

The statement concluded with a reaffirmation of the EU's unwavering commitment to defending media freedom and pluralism worldwide. By supporting press freedom, the EU emphasized its broader commitment to preserving the public's right to information, which is foundational to shaping societies based on truth and accountability.