If journalists cannot work freely and safely it becomes more difficult to unearth human rights violations, corruption or misuse of power, Dunja Mijatovic says to Ossigeno
This message from Dunja Mijatovic, Commissioner for Human Rights at the Council of Europe, was sent to Ossigeno per l’Informazione on the occasion of the Concert for Press Freedom that was held in Rome on 21 June 2018 at the House of Jazz in Roma as part of the European Musica Day, to be read during the event.
Democracy and a free press go hand-in-hand. If journalists cannot work freely and safely it becomes more difficult to unearth human rights violations, corruption or misuse of power. The public receive less information than they need to actively take part in the decision-making process. And undemocratic forces thrive.
Muzzling legislation, physical attacks and concentration of ownership of media companies are all serious threats that State authorities have the duty to solve.
At the same time, the press has to confront threats coming from within, like unethical practices, irresponsible reporting and unfair remunerations.
Solving these problems will make the press stronger and provide the public with a critical tool to confront and expose propaganda and disinformation.