Declaration signed on key challenges facing freedom of expression in the next decade

Declaration signed on key challenges facing freedom of expression in the next decade
# 04 February 2010 15:52 (UTC +04:00)
Baku. Victoria Dementyeva – APA. The OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media together with freedom of expression rapporteurs of the United Nations, the Organization of American States and the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights released on Thursday a declaration on the 10 key challenges facing freedom of expression in the next decade, APA reports quoting the OSCE press service.
Miklos Haraszti, the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, said: "Media freedom has, by many accounts, deteriorated in parts of the OSCE area during the almost six years I have served as OSCE Representative. In many post-Soviet countries, the greatest structural challenge to media freedom comes from total government control over television content."
The 10 threats listed in the four representatives’ declaration are:
- Governments continue to exert direct or indirect control over the media;
- Laws criminalizing journalistic errors such as defamation, insult, or slander remain in force in most countries;
- Violence against journalists remains widespread, and governments generally fail to address it adequately;
- Limits continue to be imposed on the right to information, including through the application of secrecy laws to journalists and others who are not public officials;
- Restrictions to the right to freedom of expression still exist for historically disadvantaged groups;
- The growing concentration of ownership, the fracturing of the advertising market, and other commercial pressures threaten the ability of the media to disseminate public interest content;
- Public broadcasters do not enjoy sufficient financial support, while many of them have not been given a clear public service mandate;
- Security concerns and vaguely worded definitions of what constitutes terrorism or extremism are often used to limit critical or offensive speech;
- Some governments are trying to control or limit the Internet, including through the use of jurisdictional rules that allow cases, particularly defamation cases, to be pursued anywhere;
- A majority of the world’s population still have no or limited access to the Internet.