PACE denounces ‘psychological’ methods used to exert political influence over the media

On 29 June 2017 the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) denounced a number of methods used to exert political influence on journalists: physical threats and arbitrary detentions, intimidation and harassment of directors and journalists, to more “insidious” psychological pressures to induce self-censorship or the disappearance of critical media.

In a resolution based on a report by Stefan Schennach, member of the Austrian Social Democratic Party, the Assembly said that the new digital environment causes radical changes in the media sector, with a consequent increase in media vulnerability over political influence.

The parliamentarians called for greater transparency of who owned media companies, a series of safeguards to preserve the independence of public service media, and a review of laws which could have a “chilling effect” on journalists – including laws on national security, terrorism or defamation.

Read the adopted text

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