Freedom of the press and the right to receive and impart information, opinions and ideas are the foundation stone of the newspaper and news media sector.
Undue State regulation, control or monitoring of the press is counterproductive and underlines the ability of the independent press sector to carry out its mission in democratic society.
Industry self-regulation is the best guarantee of editorial independence and freedom of the press. European institutions should recognise the value of voluntary industry self-regulation systems at national industry self-regulation systems at national level, including press councils, best practice and codes of conduct, which are aimed at preserving press freedom while at the same time promoting truthfulness and accuracy of information.
Several issues going through the decision-making process at European level will have an enormous impact on the press sector: in the new EU Regulation on Data Protection, it is of fundamental importance that the press has a directly applicable and legally binding exemption for journalistic data processing and that sources are protect; and consultations are underway regarding the EU Directive on Audio-visual Media Services (AVMS), which explicitly excludes electronic versions of newspapers and magazines from its scope. In any review the AVMS Directive, it is essential that the exception for the press is maintained.