The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) has taken part in a three-day international mission on press freedom in Spain from 1 to 3 December, carried out by six international media freedom organisations including the EFJ, the International Press Institute (IPI), Access Info Europe, Open Society Foundation (OSF), Reporters without Borders (RSF) and the World Association of Newspaper Publishers (WAN-IFRA).
The Mission is the first in its kind to find out the state of press freedom in Spain with media visits in Madrid and Barcelona in the wake of austerity crisis.
“Like other countries in southern Europe that are affected by the austerity policies, Spain’s media freedom is facing a dangerous decline,” says Ricardo Gutiérrez, the EFJ General Secretary. “It is our duty to carry out such a mission and draw conclusions for other countries.”
As Spain fail to implement a transparency law, the mission will seek to identify the challenge facing Spanish journalists in accessing public documents. The mission also aims to find out the impact of defamation law on journalism and media freedom.
The mission will explore ways to strengthen the independence of the Spanish public television which is hit hard by the austerity policies, both at national and regional levels.
A series of meetings will take place with the press, civil society organisations and some representatives of the government and the public institutions. The EFJ, represented by Paco Audije, Spanish member of the EFJ Steering Committee of will also meeting with the EFJ Spanish affiliates during the mission.
Partners of the mission will draw up an action plan on the situation of freedom of expression and freedom of the press in Spain.