European Commission, within its MCV report, highlights the pressures made by some Romanian media institutions over the judicial system, harassement of key justice players and doubts over CNA’s efficiency, according to Hotnews.ro.
The document demands insurances over CNA’s independence and considers that it has to have a “Conduct Policy Code”.
EC’s MCV Report on progresses made by Romania it is shown that “there were numerous examples of mass media that put under pressure the judicial system”, that there must be implemented measures to insure CNA’s independence and that there are effects of political and mediatic attacks over ANI, who’s reports are “frequently disputed, even if the balance (…) is positive”
According to the report:
EC received reports on intimidation or harassement acts against people working in judicial system or anti-corruption institutions EC’s recommendations weren’t fully implemented, with the attacks against the juridical system continuing.
There is a need to review the existent norms to guarantee that press freedom is accompagned by a proper protection of the institution and of personal fundamental rights and also offer efficient reparatory measures.
There’s a need for a standards review to guarantee the existence of free and pluralist mass-media and efficient reparatory measures (…) against unjustified pressures and intimidation acts made by mass-media over the judicial system and anti-corruption institutions.
Romanian Press Club’s position: “Relapsing” press institutions can lead to dangerous generalization when it comes of mass-media ethics
Romanian Press Club reacted to EC’s report and considers that the recommendations made by European Commision could be used by political circles to come up with a law against freedom of speech.
“The fact that some press institutions are relapsing when it comes of ethics and professionalism leads to negative effects over the public, but also over the entire journalistic community and can also lead to dangerous generalizations. Relapses could be use as arguments against freedom of speech and our profession”, a Romanian Press Club point of view says.
“Our main concern is that the EC’s report recommendation on reviewing mass-media conduit standards could be used abusively by authorities and political circles to impose restrictions in exercising the journalist profession, which would mean regress and a hidden form of censorship”, the document adds.
“Respecting ethic codes and the law is not optional, but mandatory to regain the respect for journalism as a profession”, CRP also says
Romanian media organizations: Freedom of speech doesn’t need new laws, it needs protection
Romanian media organizations - ActiveWatch Press Monitoring Agency, APADOR-CH (Association to Protech Human Rights in Romania – Helsiki Committee) and Romanian Independent Journalism Center - also reacted, considering that EC report’s recommendations might give ideas to Romanian politicians.
“There is a real risk for affirmations like the ones made within MCV (…) to be invoked by politicians to justify new legislation initiative meant to limit freedom of speech, a situation we confront with every year”, the organizations mention, in a point of view sent to Paginademedia.ro.
The media organizations also say that, in Romania, there are means to protect and insure the freedom of speech, but they need to be used to have effects.
“Using mass-media by owners as an instrument for political fights is a fact media and human rights organizations pointed out constantly during the last 10 years. We ourselves publicly blamed blackmails, harassment, ordered attacks, which proved to be wide spread practices in Romanian media. Those represent grave deviations from journalist’s role in a democratic society, from the ethical and professional norms and they affect gravely mass-media’s credibility. The signing organizations consider that the actual legal mechanism that protects victims from abuses the report
mentions can provide sufficient reparations, provided they are used”, organization’s point of view
The 3 organizations say that, when it comes of CNA, its functioning during the last year was showing a deficit “but this is not a matter of legal framework, but has to do with the ability of an institution to apply the law independently of the political circles”.