Today, 3 May, marks World Press Freedom Day under this year’s theme of “Media for Democracy: Journalism and Elections in Times of Disinformation”.

“Press freedom is our greatest guarantee against corruption and abuse and must be defended at all costs to protect basic human and civic rights.  We would like to pay homage to the critical work of journalists who speak truth to power often at tremendous personal risk. We especially remember Maltese journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, Slovak journalist Ján Kuciak and Bulgarian journalist Victoria Marinova who were killed after unearthing deep-seated corruption in the corridors of power,” commented the European Green Party co-chairs Monica Frassoni and Reinhard Bütikofer.

“As we enter the final phase of the electoral campaign across Europe, the need for quality journalism to fend off biased and fake content repackaged as fact has become even more urgent. The only way to preserve the integrity of our democratic process is through a free press that has the teeth to hold the powers that be to account,” they added.

“Over the last five years some progress has been made through recent EU measures to protect whistleblowers and an EU cross-border investigative journalism fund, but we’ve also seen a backlash against media freedom in a number of European countries.  We have to harness the regulatory power of the European Commission during its next term to stem political interference, disrupt the concentration of media ownership and protect the integrity and safety of journalists across Europe,” concluded Frassoni and Bütikofer.