Diana Riba: “Let's be clear: Press freedom in Europe is in danger.”
EFA MEP Diana Riba intervened in plenary in the Commission report on the situation of journalists and the implications of the rule of law and called for a stronger Anti-SLAPP Directive and a Media Freedom Act.
Diana Riba, the shadow rapporteur for the Anti-SLAPP directive and the Media Freedom act, made the connection between the media and democracy to highlight the importance and necessity of having a healthy media that can inform the citizens unbiasedly.
"When journalism is at risk, so is public debate and democracy itself." She said
MEP Riba i Giner, explained the worrying increase in the numbers of European countries where freedom of expression is declining as they experience an alarming rise in hate speech at the same time.
"The latest Media Pluralism Monitor reports a growing number of complaints against freedom of expression in countries such as Bulgaria, Croatia, Malta, Romania and Spain and reports a generalised atmosphere of increasing threats and hate speech. Precisely in Spain, the report warns of the high risk to the right to information and the plurality of the market." She said.
"Let's be clear: Press freedom in Europe is in danger." She added.
The Catalan MEP took the opportunity to pay tribute to Greek journalists Giorgos Karaivaz who was murdered in April 2021, and Peter R. de Vries, a Dutch reporter, killed in July of the same year. MEP Riba i Giner had previously paid her respects to journalists Daphne Caruana Galizia, who was also murdered in Malta in 2017.
"Media monopolies and media directly captured by states; journalists are becoming victims of cyber espionage or even being murdered, like Giorgos Karaivaz and Peter R. de Vries in 2021." She said.
Diana Riba, the shadow rapporteur for the Anti-SLAPP directive and the Media Freedom act and EFA MEP, concluded:
"Strengthening the Anti-SLAPP Directive and the Media Freedom Act is a priority. Because there is no democracy without an information and media context based on public and democratic values that are intersectional, sustainable and inclusive."