A “well-funded and strong public service media” are a good indicator that a democracy is healthy, according to Nils Muižnieks,the Commissioner for Human Rights.
Writing in his latest ‘Human Rights Comment’ article, published today, Muižnieks cites a 2016 report from the European Broadcasting Union (EBU).
It found that countries that have popular, well-funded public service broadcasters encounter less right-wing extremism and corruption and have more press freedom.
The commissioner also refers to the Council of Europe Platform to promote the protection of journalism and safety of journalists, which, he states, shows an emerging trend of threats to the independence of public broadcasters or of their regulatory bodies.
“A growing number of alerts concern political interference in the editorial line of public broadcasters, insufficient safeguards in the legislation against political bias, or the lack of appropriate funding to guarantee the independence of the public broadcasters,” Muižnieks adds.