Liberties Report: Media Freedom Report 2023 – Free Media’s Decline Continues Across Europe

Report published by Liberties on 24/04/2023.

The Liberties Media Freedom Report 2023, released 24 April, shows media freedom and pluralism in decline across the bloc. It reveals physical attacks, often by the police, and abusive lawsuits against journalists are on the rise, data protection rules are abused to restrict freedom of information, unchallenged ownership concentration threatens media pluralism, and national security is being used as a pretext for laws that restrict free speech.

Compiled by more than 20 civil liberties organisations from across the EU, the report presents evidence and analyses key developments in media freedom and pluralism, safety and protection of journalists and freedom of expression and information in 2022, when media markets have been shaped by not only landmark regulations such as the adoption of the Digital Services Act and the Digital Markets Act or the European Media Freedom Act proposal, but also by Russia’s invasion (and disinformation) of Ukraine and elections in several member states.

The report also urges EU lawmakers to pass the strongest possible European Media Freedom Act. This regulation, currently working through the legislative process, could dramaticlly reshape Europe’s media landscape for the better. The EU should also make use of and fully enforce its existing tools to support media freedom and pluralism.