Media Council in the Digital Age
When journalists are playing the watchdog role over the authorities, who is making sure that journalists and media organisations adhere to their standards and ethics while respecting the fundamental rights to freedom of expression? With the digital transformation in the media and the widespread of disinformation, media self-regulatory framework plays an ever-important role in upholding standards in journalism while preventing state intervention through media regulations to stifle media freedom.
The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), six European press councils and two universities, created a consortium to launch the project “Media Council in the Digital Age”. The project will look at the digital challenges through four main works: academic research to provide data and analysis on the practice of existing press councils, awareness campaigns to promote media self-regulation, visibility and exchanges of media councils’ works on the international scene and strengthening of weak organisations including providing financial support to future press councils.
The meeting was joined by UNESCO expert, Adeline Hulin, and European Commission policy officers, Suzanne Vanderzande and Maciej Styczen.
The consortium also had an exchange with Olaf Streenfadt, Director of the Journalism Trust Initiative (JRT) launched by the Reporters Without Boarder. Stereenfadt discussed with the group the self-regulatory initiative (JRT) to create a set of trust and transparency standards on media companies.
This is a pilot project partly funded by the European Commission (DG CONNET) and implemented by the EFJ together with the press councils in Austria (OP), Germany (TDP), Ireland (PCI), Belgium (RAAD, AADJ/CDJ), Finland (JSN) and the Universities in Belgium (ULB) and Spain (FB-URL).