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Protecting journalists and promoting media freedom: New rules enter into force


Independent, fact-based journalism helps protect our democracies by exposing injustices, holding leaders to account and allowing citizens to make informed decisions. Journalists, who sometimes work at great personal risk, should be able to work freely and safely. This lies at the heart of EU values and democracies. This week, two pieces of EU legislation enter into force which will ensure greater protection of journalists and further support media freedom: 

  • On 6 May 2024, new rules against Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation (SLAPPs) started to apply, providing journalists and human rights defenders with tools to fight back against abusive court proceedings.  
  • On 7 May 2024, the European Media Freedom Act enters into force. It supports editorial independence and media pluralism, enhances transparency and fairness, and promotes better cooperation of media authorities through a new European Board for Media Services.  

These initiatives are part of a European strategy for the media, building on the European Democracy Action Plan and the Media and Audiovisual Action Plan. A recent study also shows that EU countries are making progress in implementing the Commission’s Recommendation on the protection, safety and empowerment of journalists. The new rules will help ensure that journalists can carry out their work in a healthy media landscape. 

For more information

European Media Freedom Act 

Regulation establishing a common framework for media services in the internal market and amending Directive 2010/13/EU (European Media Freedom Act)

EU Directive on protecting persons who engage in public participation from manifestly unfounded claims or abusive court proceedings (‘Strategic lawsuits against public participation’)


Media and digital culture 

Media and pluralism

European Democracy Action Plan

Media and Audiovisual Action Plan 

Study on measures to improve journalists’ safety 

Video on strategic lawsuits against public participation (SLAPPs) 


Link:, dated May 7, 2024 1:56 pm

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