FNF Greece: Free Media? – Giving oppressed journalists a voice

Freedom of the Press is the “sine qua non” of democracy. Transparency and a diverse media landscape are prerequisites for a country’s EU perspective, and only a pluralism of opinion and tolerance towards opposing views can ultimately provide an open and free society. Unfortunately over the last years we have witnessed a more restrictive – and in some cases even authoritarian – turn in some countries with EU membership aspirations, especially in the Balkans and Turkey. Continue reading

A silent problem: Four stories on the threat of (self-)censorship

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Hungary

It all started with a simple question. Janos Karpati, then Brussels correspondent for the Hungarian national newswire, didn’t think it would terminate his longtime career when he addressed the Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Orban at a press conference at the fringes of the European Parliament’s plenary meeting in Strasbourg. Orban had come to Strasbourg to speak about migration – and his widely-criticized comment on reinstating the death penalty. Karpati, an experienced correspondent who has worked in Prague and Washington, DC, asked Orban about Fidesz’ position within the European People’s Party, a question he hadn’t cleared with anyone beforehand. He received a rather trivial answer from the prime minister and all was good – or so it seemed. Continue reading

Upcoming Event: “I can’t write that” – Self-censorship in European media

FeaturedMonday, 2 May 2016
12.00-14.00

 Venue: Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom, Avenue de Cortenbergh 71, 1000 Brussels

If an internet search has the potential to land a journalist on the blacklist of security services or if a reporter cannot guarantee for the anonymity of sources, free reporting is in danger. The same goes for journalists who have to pick their words carefully in order to secure their media company’s advertisement revenue. In several Central European states and in Europe’s neighborhood, particularly in Turkey, the government is tightening its grip on media companies. Meanwhile German journalists face accusations of biased reporting on the refugee crisis and the Cologne attacks (“Lügenpresse”) and in France journalists are alarmed at the new security laws which grant sweeping powers to intelligence agencies.

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Upcoming Event: “The Other Side of Turkey: Meet & Greet with Turkish Civil Society Representatives”

cc_image_flag Turkey_Nicolas Raymond
Source: Flickr cc/ Nicolas Ramyond

Monday, 14 March 2016, 12.00-14.00
Venue: Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom, Avenue de Cortenbergh 71, 1000 Brussels

Not long ago, the Turkish economy was booming and the country was converging with European Union values and its acquis communautaire. A major contributor to this success was the continuous engagement of civil society organizations in various spheres of Turkish society. Continue reading

An alternative for Hungary: The liberal way forward

Hungary, once a beacon of liberal hope in Central Europe, has since moved in the wrong direction. The government of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has curtailed media freedom in the country, while also undermining opposition access to political advertisement in the course of political campaigns. Hungary is a country of enormous potential in the heart of Europe, and fortunately there are still Hungarian liberals willing to challenge the government for the sake of freedom.

Kesz
Zoltan Kész; Source: ALDE Party

In February 2015 one liberal, Zoltan Kész, broke the Fidesz supermajority by winning the rural municipality of Veszprém. In the Hungarian Parliament he is joined by two other self-confessed liberals, Gábor Fodor and Zsuzsanna Szelényi. The liberal scene in Hungary is still fractured, but in their commitment to freedom and belief in Europe they unite. As Kész pointed out, Hungarians are staunchly pro-European, and the rapprochement between Orbán and Putin frightens the Hungarian citizen. Continue reading

All that glitters is not gold – Media Freedom in the EU

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The EU is frequently winning laurels for its high standards of press freedom. But do we deserve the praise? Are our journalists free to do the job they are assigned to do?

– Not always, reasons our panel of experts.

We asked them to outline some of the challenges journalists are facing in today’s Europe and how the European Union could help overcome some of these hurdles. Continue reading

Upcoming Event: Meeting Media Challenges – All that glitters is not gold

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Watchful: All that glitters is not gold – The state of media freedom in the EU

Thursday, 22 October 2015
12.00-14.00

Venue:            Friedrich-Naumann-Stiftung für die Freiheit,  Avenue de Cortenbergh 71, 1000 Brussels

About the event:
The EU is frequently winning laurels for its high standards of press freedom. But do we deserve the praise? Are our journalists free to do the job they are assigned to do? Continue reading