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New report outlines challenges for European media

(IFJ/IFEX) - 27 June 2012 - A new report published yesterday lays bare the problems facing journalists in their efforts to report freely in Europe.

The background paper presented to the Council of Europe's Committee on Culture, Science, Education and Media gives an analysis of the state of press freedom in Europe.

Welcoming the initiative, the President of the European Federation of Journalists, Arne König, said: "This report shines a light on the many serious cases in which press freedom is being undermined in Europe. It includes the most obvious examples, including threats to journalists in Russia, the imprisonment of around 100 journalists in Turkey and the grave concerns that surround Hungary's media legislation. But the report also shows that problems exist across the continent, including countries that many would expect to have a strong record in defending fundamental rights."

The document will form the basis for a full report into the state of press freedom in Europe that will ultimately be put to the Council of Europe's Parliamentary Assembly. It is being steered through the institution by Swedish parliamentarian Mats Johansson.

The EFJ is calling on the final report to put pressure on countries to change their ways. Arne König added: "This report just goes to show how fragile these fundamental rights can be. It is important that the Council of Europe now takes time to consider the document and comes forward with firm recommendations that will put pressure on countries to respect the freedom of the press."

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