When did the media become “enemies of the people”? Reporters Without Borders’ latest Press Freedom Index argues that “hatred of journalism” is reaching a fever-pitch globally, whipped up by demagogues and autocrats who accuse the media of peddling “fake news” or being “terrorists”. Journalists who don’t fall into line are routinely harassed, and in some countries even arrested or killed.

This climate of antagonism towards journalism is having the biggest impact in autocratic regimes such as Egypt or Turkey, but democracies are definitely not immune. In fact, Freedom House reports that global press freedom has “declined to its lowest point in 13 years” with “unprecedented threats to journalists and media outlets in major democracies and new moves by authoritarian states to control the media, including beyond their borders.”

The media are supposed to be the fourth estate. They are a tasked with safeguarding our rights and democracies, holding politicians to account, and speaking truth to power. Instead, they are often portrayed as a fifth column, working on behalf of corrupt elites to protect a failed status quo.

Critics argue that we no longer need mainstream media. They believe that now citizens themselves can hold politicians to account via social media. However, others argue that citizens have limited time and resources, and cannot replace professionals when it comes to investigative journalism. Not to mention the fact that the same regimes most critical of media professionals also seem to have a thing for launching wide-ranging crackdowns against social media. First they come for the journalists, then they come for Twitter.

Is media freedom under threat? Is hatred of journalism weakening our democracies? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below and we’ll take them to policymakers and experts for their reactions!

IMAGE CREDITS: (c) BigStock – twinsterphoto


21 comments Post a commentcomment

What do YOU think?

  1. avatar
    Bódis

    Sure, and journalists are destroying it. The diversity of opinion has been under attack for years and there’s a generation of journalists (and readers) who can no longer tell the difference between a fact and an opinion.
    Journalism has lost its integrity.

  2. avatar
    Dave

    The media in the uk course most of the problem bbc/sky anyone would think they’ve taken a money off the eu with all 1 sided reporting….but that would never happen would it!

  3. avatar
    Stadex

    Most of the media doesn’t care about freedom, remember they censor comments, change wordings or delete things they don’t agree with and their newest and most obvious tactic is to close comments sections because they know that comments sections very often point out the crap they are writing and influence more than their own journalists. The censors are tyrants and they shouldn’t be working in the media.

  4. avatar
    Ivan

    When the media on mass swings to far behind one ideology and report their ‘opinions’ as facts then it is destroying itself. People are increasingly looking elsewhere for information & if this trend continues the days of the mighty press is coming to an end. You distort the facts to fit your political agenda then you wonder why people call you fake news.

  5. avatar
    Matthew

    Mainstream media have too much power, leading to the scenarios where obvious ideologues get to decide what news is “real” and what isn’t.
    This is why independent journalism needs to grow.

  6. avatar
    Lynne

    Journalists are supposed to do unbiased reporting. Instead they take snippets of conversation and twist it to fit their own agenda. Once honoured reporting has now become sensationalist reporting. I can get that in magazines but at least I know what I’m buying. Get back to factual reporting and not headline grabbing.

  7. avatar
    Ivan

    Debating Europe Can you confirm that as an NGO who is funded by Brussels there is a clause in your contract with the European Commission that says if you say anything detrimental to the EU your funding will stop ?

    I know this is the case with the BBC, France24, DW in Germany, etc hence their one sided reporting on the EU but I was just wondering if you are under the same restriction.

  8. avatar
    Mario

    FR MARK MONTEBELLO IS UNDER THREAT !!!! FREEDOM OF SPEACH !!!!….NOT TO ALL.!!!! MALTESE CURIA !!!….SHAME ON YOU !!!!

  9. avatar
    EU Reform- Proactive

    Any wonder that (eventually) there comes a time when enough political disenfranchisement & disenchantment triggers some kind of voters backlash?

    Against what? Perceived undemocratic solutions, decision making and reporting by certain “aligned” Journalists & Institutions peddling a well researched and prepared pc narrative!

    Who and how many are aware that:

    the “EEC Inc”= (EU) has a political “University” in Florence/Italy = its academic brain. Fully funded by the “EU”= (Members tax) called EUI= European University Institute.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_University_Institute

    Sorry, needs some history again:

    From ideas way back in 1948, in 1955 at the Mesinna conference (Euratom) and 1969 when the European Commission “resolved” (“decreed”) to establish and “fund” the European University Institute (EUI) with one purpose- namely:

    “To foster the advancement of learning in fields which are of particular interest for the development of Europe”- sounds reasonable- or?

    Finally in 1972 a “convention” was signed by France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg & the Netherlands to establish the EUI with the condition it would be reserved for post- graduate studies only. It’s first intake was in 1976.

    Proviso: NOT to become a “Community” institution! Obviously an elite political one! By now 23 member states signed up, including the UK and is the “political brain” behind the EU. Any doubt? If any, let’s hear them please.

    It was the European University Institute (EUI) who launched “Debating Europe” in 2011. Funding is self explanatory. We all are talking to and with the “EUI” and its network! No match against such mighty IQ forces?

    Than came Mr. Merrits “Friends of Europe” in 1999. The “Corporate pincer”.

    “Friends of Europe”- https://www.friendsofeurope.org/index.php/about-us/about-us as founded in 1999.

    This would explain the EU’s political and corporate pincer / grip on all public discussions and directions. If it is beneficial & for whom- is out in the open to public scrutiny.

    Voters have zero chances against such “academic might” to influence or effect policy, social & economic changes in the EU.

    And than THEY question “freedom”? Who’s freedom?

  10. avatar
    Tarquin Farquhar

    Journalists and journalism per se have conspired in their own downfall!

    Too many journalists produce hyper-emotional biased bilge underpinned by a distinct unfamiliarity with mathematics/statistics.

    Indeed, if you look at accredited journalist training courses in the UK, maths/stats are rarely if ever offered and yet we live in a world progressively dominated by data.

    Media freedom is under threat and will continue to be so UNTIL the journalism industry address their collective data-deficit.

  11. avatar
    John

    Media freedom? Free to print whatever BS they like Anyone remember Saddam’s WMD’s? 2 million dead thanks to a complicit lying media.

  12. avatar
    Yvonne

    The Media Moguls, have brought this issue on themselves, as they do not provide news coverage anymore, but bring forward their own political Agenda, whilst trying to brainwash their loyal audiences, with crap, fake & delusional news!!!! Not saying that Governments, opposition parties, bloggers & pure idiots, have not contributed to this state, but gone are the days when the reader was blissfully immersed in independent news coverage, letting him make up his own mind on matters!!! Therefore a step back in time is what is required to achieve some credibility back!!!!

  13. avatar
    Juan

    Many media actors are so criminal and from there the risk birth.

  14. avatar
    Eggsy

    Media is strongly manipulated since long time ago, and social media nowadays even more. Only a very few alternative blogs and newspaper are freely informing

  15. avatar
    catherine benning

    Is media freedom under threat?

    There is no such thing as media freedom. Never has been.

    Do you find freedom here? If you think yes, how many times has your controversial post been rejected? And not for the stated rules of engagement?

    Hate speech! What is it? Why are we no longer allowed to hate? It is a normal human emotion. We love, we hate. One is the opposite end of the spectrum to the other. And, that is the natural human condition. And if we are not allowed to hate, why is it only some thoughts and feelings we are allowed to express and to feel hate toward? This is a direct cause ofl schizophrenia.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tbWFHQH1uYM

    And an interesting view.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2slCFJMHIRw

    Here is the great Chomsky

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M1bwCyR02i0

  16. avatar
    randomguy2018

    Start by stopping billionares (especially foreigners)
    from funding media. Get the intelligence agencies away from the media.
    Stop blocking comment sections.
    Allow other views than just controlled “democratic” political parties.
    And most importantly never trust mainstream media. Be very skeptical of them.
    Thats my advice.

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