Catalogue

Human Rights

Human rights and a changing media landscape

Human rights and a changing media landscape (2012)

ISBN 978-92-871-7198-6
Type of document : Book
Format : Paper
Size : A5
Language : English
Number of pages : 208

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Human rights and a changing media landscape

Human rights and a changing media landscape

The media play a crucial role in the protection of human rights. They expose human rights violations and offer an arena for different voices to be heard in public discourse. Free, independent and pluralistic media are a core element of any democracy. However, the power of the media can also be misused to the extent that the very functioning of democracy is threatened. Some media outlets have been turned into propaganda megaphones for those in power. Others have been used to incite xenophobic hatred and violence against minorities and other vulnerable groups.Now the phenomenon of social media presents us with a range of fresh challenges. Blogs, video and social networking sites have become a key forum for political debate and organisation - so much so that they have provoked counter-responses from some repressive states. While there is a need to ensure better protection of personal integrity in social media, the right to freedom of expression must not be undermined.The purpose of this publication is to contribute to a more thorough discussion on media developments and their impact on human rights in a constantly changing media landscape. Eight experts were invited to contribute their personal assessments of trends and problems. They have not shied away from addressing controversial issues or providing far-reaching suggestions. Together their texts indicate that there is a need for stronger protection of media freedom and freedom of expression in Europe today. These are clearly topics of paramount importance which demand serious public debate.

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The media play a crucial role in the protection of human rights. They expose human rights violations and offer an arena for different voices to be heard in public discourse. Free, independent and pluralistic media are a core element of any democracy. However, the power of the media can also be misused to the extent that the very functioning of democracy is threatened. Some media outlets have been turned into propaganda megaphones for those in power. Others have been used to incite xenophobic hatred and violence against minorities and other vulnerable groups.Now the phenomenon of social media presents us with a range of fresh challenges. Blogs, video and social networking sites have become a key forum for political debate and organisation - so much so that they have provoked counter-responses from some repressive states. While there is a need to ensure better protection of personal integrity in social media, the right to freedom of expression must not be undermined.The purpose of this publication is to contribute to a more thorough discussion on media developments and their impact on human rights in a constantly changing media landscape. Eight experts were invited to contribute their personal assessments of trends and problems. They have not shied away from addressing controversial issues or providing far-reaching suggestions. Together their texts indicate that there is a need for stronger protection of media freedom and freedom of expression in Europe today. These are clearly topics of paramount importance which demand serious public debate.

Foreword: Media freedom in Europe

Chapter 1: Protection of journalists from violence
Media
Summary
Introduction
Violence against journalists
Legal standards relating to the protection of journalism
Protection of journalists from violence
Conclusions

Chapter 2: Ethical journalism and human rights
Summary
Introduction
Human rights standards relevant for journalism
The new media landscape and the changes for journalism
Threat to free expression: legal restraints on journalism
Ethical journalism -the arguments
Building support for rights and ethics

Chapter 3: Access to official documents
Introduction
The Swedish experience
European Union transparency policies
Societal effects of transparency
Conclusions

Chapter 4: Media pluralism and human rights
Summary
Introduction
Media pluralism: theoretical, legal and historical context
Media pluralism trends in the Council of Europe region
Challenge of monopolies: regulation of media ownership
Further challenges: media more than just a market
Conclusions

Chapter 5: Public service media and human rights
Summary
Introduction
Challenges to public service media today and their impact on the free flow of information and human rights
Rights-based approach to public service media
Initiatives to improve public service media in Europe
Recommendations and conclusions

Chapter 6: Social media and human rights
Summary
Measures that states use to interfere with Internet freedoms and their limitations
Applying human rights and emerging Internet governance standards to political activism and counter-measures on the Internet
Conclusions and recommendations

Acronyms and terms

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