Protect media from interference and Instagram

13.03.2024 9:44

Protect media from interference and Instagram

Pile of newspapers with metal chain

“The European Media Freedom Act is a historical and fundamental piece of legislation for media freedom and democracy in the European Union,” stresses Sabine Verheyen MEP, Chair of the Parliament's Culture Committee and the Parliament's Chief Negotiator on this law, ahead of the final vote on the first EU regulation in this field.

During the negotiations with the Member States, the EPP Group ensured that editors would have more independence in their decisions, media ownership would be more transparent, and media freedom would not be restricted by big platforms. “It's a groundbreaking achievement, demonstrating our ability to effect positive change at the EU level and safeguard our democracies,” Verheyen adds.

The law will require Member States to respect the effective editorial freedom of media service providers and improve the protection of journalistic sources. The EPP Group is in favour of a complete ban on the use of intrusive surveillance on journalists when in pursuit of legitimate journalistic activities. The use of spyware in such cases must be strictly reserved for the prevention, investigation or prosecution of severe crimes, which are unrelated to journalistic work and have been justified in court on a case-by-case basis. However, a complete blanket ban would create a dangerous security loophole.

The Media Freedom Act will also establish a new mechanism to prevent very big online platforms, such as Facebook, X and Instagram, from arbitrarily restricting or deleting independent media content. Media service providers will be notified that the platform intends to delete or restrict their content and have 24 hours to respond (a shorter timeframe in case of crisis).

“It is a testament to our commitment to free and pluralistic media. For the first time, there will be safeguards in European law to protect journalists and the media," Verheyen concludes.


Note to editors

The EPP Group is the largest political group in the European Parliament with 178 Members from all EU Member States

Other related content