States should take steps to ensure a free and independent media.
- The Assembly therefore calls for greater commitment to safeguard journalists’ security and freedom and to uphold media pluralism and independence. It recommends that the Council of Europe member States: (…) 7.7. review their (national, regional and local) funding systems for PSM and private media outlets in order to: 7.7.1. avoid mechanisms being used (directly or indirectly) to exercise editorial influence or to threaten the beneficiaries’ institutional autonomy.
- While it inevitably remains the State’s responsibility to set both the method and the level of funding, it is nevertheless imperative that the system should be so designed that: - it cannot be used to exert editorial influence or threaten institutional autonomy – either of which would undermine the operational independence of the public service media; - the public service media is consulted over the level of funding required to meet their mission and purposes, and their views are taken into account when setting the level of funding; - the funding provided is adequate to meet the agreed role and remit of the public service media, including offering sufficient security for the future as to allow reasonable future planning; - the process for deciding the level of funding should not be able to interfere with the public service media’s editorial autonomy.
- Notwithstanding these measures, continued targeted investments in the media ecosystem are indispensable to restore and maintain journalism that combines editorial quality, integrity, independence and a high level of ethics with sustainable technological and economic development.
- We commit ourselves to take all necessary steps to ensure the basic conditions for free and independent media and unimpeded transborder and intra-State flow of information, which we consider to be an essential component of any democratic, free and open society.
- National legislative and policy frameworks should safeguard the editorial independence and operational autonomy of all media to ensure that they can carry out their key tasks in a democratic society. These frameworks should be designed and implemented in a manner which prevents States, or any powerful political, economic, religious or other groups from acquiring dominance over and exerting pressure on the media.
- The media should have the freedom and resources at all times to fulfil their task of providing accurate and reliable reporting on matters of public interest, in particular concerning vital democratic processes and activities, such as elections, referendums and public consultations on matters of general interest.
- As an important public source of unbiased information and diverse political opinions, public service media must remain independent from political or economic interference and achieve high editorial standards of impartiality, objectivity and fairness.
- Accordingly, the Assembly calls on member States to review, where necessary, their regulatory frameworks governing media coverage of election campaigns, in order to bring them into line with Council of Europe standards, ensuring in particular that they: 8.1. promote a free, independent and pluralist media environment as an essential precondition for combating disinformation and undue propaganda.
- Accordingly, the Assembly calls on member States to review, where necessary, their regulatory frameworks governing media coverage of election campaigns, in order to bring them into line with Council of Europe standards, ensuring in particular that they: (...) 8.10. guarantee the editorial independence of public service media, putting an end to any attempts to influence them or transform them into governmental media: the use of public service media to promote a specific political party or candidate must be classified as illegal misuse of public funds.
- The first priority for public service media must be to ensure that their culture, policies, processes and programming reflect and ensure editorial and operational independence.
- The media therefore have a great deal of responsibility placed on them during election periods, and it is essential that the mass media of radio, television and newspapers provide a sufficient level of coverage of the elections that is fair, balanced and impartial, so that the public are informed of the whole spectrum of political opinions and ideas.
- States should put in place a range of measures, including those highlighted in our Joint Declaration of 12 December 2007, to create an environment in which a pluralistic media sector can flourish. These should include, among others, obligations of transparency of media ownership, licensing of different types of broadcasters to promote diversity, rules to prevent undue concentration of media ownership and measures to promote content diversity among and within media outlets.
- State authorities must observe their duty of neutrality. In particular, this concerns: i. media.