ASSOCIATION OF EUROPEAN JOURNALISTS
UNITED KINGDOM SECTION
AEJ Media Freedom Survey
The AEJ published the first Survey of Media Freedom across Europe in November 2007. Entitled Goodbye to Freedom? and edited by William Horsley, AEJ Media Freedom Representative, it was debated at the AEJ's 2007 Congress in Dublin.
On 28 February 2008, a Survey Update entitled Goodbye to Media Freedom? was published. On that day, William Horsley presented its main findings to the Brussels-based press corps in the Résidence Palace building opposite the European Commission.
The Survey was further expanded in November 2008 in the Collection of AEJ Reports. These were presented to the 2008 Linz Congress, and further presentations were made at the 2009 Maastricht Congress, the 2010 Ordu Congress, the 2011 Bucharest Congress and the 2012 Offida Congress.
The original Survey covers 20 countries in eastern and western Europe and highlights evidence that media freedom in Europe is threatened by restrictive laws, hidden political and commercial pressures, threats of jail, intimidation and in some cases even murder.
The Update and further presentations contain new evidence from 15 countries that media freedom is in retreat because of widespread violence, censorship, meddling in broadcasting, commercial pressures and security laws. William Horsley charges European governments and EU institutions with complacency and puts forward three remedies for repairing the damage done to media freedom and independence. He argues that journalists should inform the public better about the dangers, and return to the “gold standard” of objective reporting and proper scrutiny of the actions of governments.
What others said about the Survey…
Emerging threats to freedom of the press. By Paul Gillespie. 17 November 2007 (reproduced with kind permission of The Irish Times)
The Survey was also reported by:
Özgürlüğe veda mi? Avrupa medyası kıskaç altında. By Zeynep Oğuz. 3 December 2007 (pdf)
… and after the 28 February press conference in Brussels
Transcript in full of William Horsley's remarks
Euractiv report with links to many other useful sources
Full Survey. Goodbye to Freedom November 2007 (535 KB)
February 2008 Update. Goodbye to Media Freedom? February 2008 (166 KB)
Collected AEJ reports 2008. First edition, 5 December 2008 (minor corrections, 15.12.08) (242 Kb)
Overview – William Horsley
Survey and Update in French. 2008 (454 KB)
Presentation by the French Section of the AEJ. The translation was done by Le Taurillon, the online magazine of the young people's section of the European Movement in France. Its website includes an interview with William Horsley
The following country reports were presented to the Brussels Congress on 22 November:
Bulgaria, including the results of the Section's meeting with journalists from Bosnia and Macedonia.
Greece, highlighting the clearance of ERT's headquarters in Athens by riot police (report written by Katharine Sarikakis).
Italy, analysing "disguised censorship" by physical and legal harassment of journalists in Italy (report written by Alberto Spampinato).
Serbia, outlining the impending media law and the malign combination of political interference, doubts over media ownership and funding (report written by Rick Thompson, UK Section).
Overview – Report by William Horsley, AEJ Media Freedom Representative
Armenia – Report by Liana Layadyan
Austria – Report by Otmar Lahodynsky
Belarus – Report by Andrei Aliaksandrau
Bulgaria – Report by Kristina Hristova
Croatia – Report by Zdenko Duka
Overview – Report by Krzysztof Bobinski, AEJ Poland
Romania – Report by Teodora Stanciu and Oana Enachescu
Serbia – Report by Miloje Popovic
Turkey – Report
Ukraine – Report by Maya Zakhovaiko
Information without borders – Address by Birgitta Jonsdottir, Icelandic MP and author of the Icelandic Modern Media Initiative
Belarus – Evaluation of the situation in Belarus
Bulgaria – Report (NB this is a PowerPoint file)
Ukraine – Report, 17 January 2011
Ukraine – Overview of current obstacles to media freedom and independence, by Arthur Rudzitsky, 6 April 2010
Ukraine – Report on Freedom of Speech in 2009 by Arthur Rudzitsky, Diana Dutsyk and Mykhailyna Skoryk
The AEJ and authors are naturally happy for short passages of the Survey and country reports to be extracted for quotation, but we would appreciate attribution to the AEJ if extensive use is made of this material. Email: email@example.com
These reports combine the texts that relate to each country from the Survey. Those marked * contain extracts from the Update and those marked ** contain extracts from the November 2008 Linz Reports
Introduction and Summary (William Horsley)* **
Armenia (Liana Sayadyan)* **
Austria (Otmar Lahodynsky)* **
Belgium (Michel Theys)
Croatia (Zdenko Duka)* **
Part One (Kyriakos Pierides)*
Part Two (Hasan Kahvecioglu)*
Czech Republic (Tomas Vrba)* **
France (Régis Verley)*
Germany (Horst Keller)
Greece (Athanase Papandropoulos)
Hungary (József Martin)* **
Ireland (Joe Carroll)* **
Italy (Carmelo Occhino and Elzbieta Cywiak)*
Moldova (Aneta Grosu) **
Netherlands (Fred Sanders) **
Poland (Krzysztof Bobinski)* **
Romania (Ruxandra Ana)
Russian Federation (Manana Aslamazyan and Gillian McCormack)*
Serbia (Nebojsa Ristic) **
Slovakia (Peter Kerlik and Tibor Macak)* **
Spain (Pedro González)* **
Turkey (Dogan Tilic)*
United Kingdom and EU (Celia Hampton and William Horsley)*