Europe's journalists under pressure

Political pressure, self-censorship and murders of journalists even in Europe: on May 3, World Press Freedom Day, commentators examine the growing threats journalists face in their work and warn that now more than ever, courage is imperative.

Open/close all quotes (RO) /

Reactions to murders must be more courageous

News website publishes an appeal to its journalist colleagues:

“Since the rise of Facebook and the social networks we journalists no longer have much to complain about. ... No one can prevent us from saying what we think. ... Journalists enjoy as much freedom as they want. Sometimes, however, they pay a high price for that freedom. Even in Europe we have at least two examples of journalists being killed because they had the courage to seek the truth at all costs. ... These despicable attacks on freedom of expression should give us courage. In the name of the public interest it is our duty to always do all we can, no matter how difficult and risky this may be. In a sea of fake news, manipulation and disinformation, the public has a right to true and relevant information.”

Duma (BG) /

Journalists should not be cowed

Bulgarian journalists have to learn to stand up for their freedom, Duma admonishes:

“We say that the powerful buy the media in Bulgaria, but that's not entirely true. They buy the easiest way to readers, viewers and listeners. After all, the so-called fourth estate is still the most direct way to the hearts and minds of the electorate. The media offers the easiest route to sainthood for politicians and business leaders ... Unfortunately lots of colleagues are forced to toady to the powerful and play along with their games. ... The only free journalists are the ones who tell the whole truth and not just the part their bosses endorse.”

Sme (SK) /

Critics being silenced in Slovakia

More than 200 renowned Slovakian journalists warn in an appeal on World Press Freedom Day against "purges" at the public broadcaster RTVS. The text published by Sme says:

“We are concerned by the developments at RTVS after the murder of our colleague Ján Kuciak. The new management at RTVS is bullying and dismissing journalists who have worked there for years and who played a substantial role in restoring the people's trust in public media. Silencing journalists and replacing them with obedient propagandists are the first steps towards the introduction of a dictatorship and totalitarian regime.”

Cumhuriyet (TR) /

Press freedom considered unimportant in Turkey

The Kemalist opposition paper Cumhuriyet explains why press freedom isn't rated very highly in Turkey:

“In Turkey journalism hasn't developed as an inseparable part of the democratisation process, but on the contrary as part of the political power struggles. That's why journalists have been declared enemies, sometimes by the governments, sometimes by the opposition. That's also why the oppressors and the oppressed and practically all sections of society don't care about press freedom. But democracy cannot exist without press freedom. Those who are abolishing our problematic democracy attacked press freedom first. So we must help to get our collapsed press freedom back on its feet.”