STUDY ON THE SITUATION OF JOURNALISM
What obstacles does the truth have to overcome before coming into the world? What stands between us, the readers, and the unaltered essence of a piece of news information? Which are the challenges that journalists have to overcome in their daily work, in order to make sure that we as citizens are eventually faced with an accurate mirror of the world we are living in?
In an attempt to answer all these questions, The Center for Independent Journalism, supported by the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom, released a new report on the state of the press in Romania, revealing the true price of the profession, but also the cost society has to pay when lacking credible sources of information.
From the silence of the interviewed sources, too afraid to talk about what they know, to the lack of transparency of the public institutions and even to politicians who sue journalists simply because they publish the “inconvenient truth”, the reality of working as a journalist in Romania, 2021, may feel like straight out of a movie script.
One of the recommendations of the report is for Romania to adopt EU legislation to prevent SLAPP suits (strategic lawsuits against public participation), another recommendation caters to the implementation of a proper discussion forum that brings together professionals from mass media and from the justice system to reaffirm the principle of freedom of speech as a fundamental right.
The report urges the National Audiovisual Council (CNA) to truly respect its mandate and to protect public interest concerning factual information of the public. The last years showed that the institution has wrongfully tolerated an accelerated the degradation of public speech.
Also, the national television and radio are expected to reaffirm their independence from the political sphere. Political parties must also ask their members to respect transparency, freedom of speech, and the role of journalists in a democracy. A further step is to demand that institutions do their job and sanction politicians who attack journalists.