Thursday

23rd Sep 2021

Podcast

The high price of muzzling media

  • The head of the Reporters Without Frontiers Brussels office has warned that the ongoing assault on free expression is a profound threat to public health that's already cost lives (Photo: Helena Malikova)

The coronavirus outbreak has been a pretext for government censorship and a crackdown on journalists, who have been exposed to new criminal charges as well as violent attacks.

Among those targeted by official smear campaigns is Blaž Zgaga, a best-selling author from Slovenia.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

To keep tabs on the abuses linked to Covid-19, press freedom organisation Reporters Sans Frontières [Reporters Without Borders] has created a service called Tracker 19.

Head of the organisation's Brussels office Julie Majerczak warns that the ongoing assault on free expression is a profound threat to public health that's already cost lives.

Director of the Bulgarian service for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty Ivan Bedrov observes that showy donations by China make it even more of a struggle to report on the significant role the European Union can play in fighting the virus.

The episode also features a poem by Ben Ray, whose volumes include What I Heard on the Last Cassette Player in the World.

Author bio

EU Scream is the progressive politics podcast from Brussels. Produced by James Kanter with graphics by Helena Malikova and music by Lara Natale.

You may also subscribe via iTunes, Spotify or from the EU Scream website.

Crisis communications

When journalists were barred from the EU commission press room in March because of coronavirus, the relatively-new chief spokesperson, Eric Mamer, amiable Frenchman, had to improvise.

Věra Jourová on surveillance and Covid-19

Commissioner for values and transparency, Věra Jourová, says Brussels will vet moves in Hungary to give prime minister Viktor Orbán scope to rule by decree and urges Facebook and Google to push official health advice to WhatsApp and YouTube.

Coronavirus vs Democracy

Concern is growing that emergency powers deployed to control the coronavirus pandemic will be used to erode democracy and civil rights.

Data and Dystopia

Despite concerns about civil liberties and activities of companies like Clearview AI and Palantir, EU authorities are shaping a new industrial policy around artificial intelligence.

A hunger strike at the heart of Europe

This summer some 450 undocumented workers and migrants in Brussels refused food during two months. They were protesting Belgian immigration rules that human rights officials and campaigners say arbitrarily obstruct them from legal and stable residency.

Eurocrats who look like Europe

There is a double standard at the heart of the European Commission. Women — mostly white women — benefit from affirmative action when applying for jobs. But people of colour seeking advancement do not benefit from special consideration.

Eurocrats who look like Europe

There is a double standard at the heart of the European Commission. Women — mostly white women — benefit from affirmative action when applying for jobs. But people of colour seeking advancement do not benefit from special consideration.

First aid for Polish democracy

Parallels with the Soviet era are increasingly evident in Poland - where the ruling coalition hounds judges and captures courts.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNATO Secretary General guest at the Session of the Nordic Council
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersCan you love whoever you want in care homes?
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersNineteen demands by Nordic young people to save biodiversity
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersSustainable public procurement is an effective way to achieve global goals
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Council enters into formal relations with European Parliament
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersWomen more active in violent extremist circles than first assumed

Latest News

  1. French MEPs lead bogus EU monitoring of Russia vote
  2. Europeans think new 'Cold War' is here - but not for them
  3. Spain wants energy price discussion at next EU summit
  4. Trust in Dutch government drops, but not for Rutte
  5. Long ago, there was another Angela Merkel
  6. The first anniversary of the Abraham Accords
  7. First refugee deaths confirmed on Belarus-EU border
  8. EU kept in dark on ex-commissioner's new lobby job

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us