Romania ranks poorly for freedom of the press in European Commission's latest report

Romania is in the highest risk category for freedom of the press according to the European Commission's 2022 Rule of Law Report.

The report was released on Wednesday, July 13, by the European Commission and includes the section on Media Pluralism and Freedom, which introduced a ranking of EU States grouped into five risk levels. According to the ranking, Romania is considered high-risk, alongside Bulgaria, Greece, Hungary, Malta, Poland, and Slovenia, G4Media reported.

Here is a summary of the report’s findings on Romania:

  • There are concerns about the functioning of the National Audiovisual Council (CNA). Romania has not yet transposed the European Commission’s Audiovisual Media Services Directive, which has delayed important changes needed to improve the functioning and effectiveness of the media regulator. One year after the election of the CNA members, the regulator still does not have a chairperson.
  • There is insufficient transparency in the dissemination of content paid for by political parties outside election campaigns. Both during the elections and without, media providers are not obliged to clearly explain the distinction between different types of content - in particular between their own editorial content and airtime bought by parties - and to signal who is paying for the content. In addition, there is not enough transparency about how much different parties pay to which channels and for which content. Attempts by journalists to investigate how these funds have been used by the media to broadcast political content have met with resistance from some political parties.
  • The situation regarding threats, instances of harassment, and violence against journalists is more concerning compared to last year. There are two active alerts concerning the intimidation of journalists in Romania. These cases, relating to Emilia Sercan and Alin Cristea, led ten European and international press freedom and freedom of expression organizations to send an open letter to the Romanian authorities calling for swift and independent investigations.
  • Transparency of media ownership could be strengthened.
  • Comprehensive whistleblower protection is still lacking.

maia@romania-insider.com

(Photo source: Stokkete | Dreamstime.com)

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Romania ranks poorly for freedom of the press in European Commission's latest report

Romania is in the highest risk category for freedom of the press according to the European Commission's 2022 Rule of Law Report.

The report was released on Wednesday, July 13, by the European Commission and includes the section on Media Pluralism and Freedom, which introduced a ranking of EU States grouped into five risk levels. According to the ranking, Romania is considered high-risk, alongside Bulgaria, Greece, Hungary, Malta, Poland, and Slovenia, G4Media reported.

Here is a summary of the report’s findings on Romania:

  • There are concerns about the functioning of the National Audiovisual Council (CNA). Romania has not yet transposed the European Commission’s Audiovisual Media Services Directive, which has delayed important changes needed to improve the functioning and effectiveness of the media regulator. One year after the election of the CNA members, the regulator still does not have a chairperson.
  • There is insufficient transparency in the dissemination of content paid for by political parties outside election campaigns. Both during the elections and without, media providers are not obliged to clearly explain the distinction between different types of content - in particular between their own editorial content and airtime bought by parties - and to signal who is paying for the content. In addition, there is not enough transparency about how much different parties pay to which channels and for which content. Attempts by journalists to investigate how these funds have been used by the media to broadcast political content have met with resistance from some political parties.
  • The situation regarding threats, instances of harassment, and violence against journalists is more concerning compared to last year. There are two active alerts concerning the intimidation of journalists in Romania. These cases, relating to Emilia Sercan and Alin Cristea, led ten European and international press freedom and freedom of expression organizations to send an open letter to the Romanian authorities calling for swift and independent investigations.
  • Transparency of media ownership could be strengthened.
  • Comprehensive whistleblower protection is still lacking.

maia@romania-insider.com

(Photo source: Stokkete | Dreamstime.com)

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