E.U. call to action: protect journalists

With aggression against journalists on the rise, the E.U. has developed official recommendations for member states to protect the media and journalists who provide such a crucial public service.

Bodycams ZEPCAM round below

 After a disturbing rise in aggression and abuse incidents against journalists, the E.U. is now urging and funding more measures to protect the freedom of press and opinion as they are essential for European society and democracy. Bodycam systems should be considered and are starting to be implemented as proven instruments to prevent, reduce and prove violence against frontline professionals.

Journalists need protection to assure freedom of press and opinion

“Media freedom and pluralism lie at the very core of our EU values and we must actively defend them. As the media industry continues to adapt and evolve, so do the threats faced by media professionals when exercising their profession. – Commissioner for the Internal Market, Thierry Breton

The growing number of physical, legal and online threats to, and attacks on, journalists and other media professionals over the past years has resulted in an increasingly unsafe working environment. This has been shown in the E.U. Rule of Law reports of 2020 and 2021. Journalists face more danger while performing their duty of providing citizens with factual reporting.  Recent research from the Netherlands shows that a whopping 80% of journalists face abuse or agression in some form. This must change as the news they investigate fuels our opinions, debates, responses and thus democracies.

The E.U. has therefore signalled this negative trend and recommended new measures to improve the safety of all kinds of journalists. With a budget of €25.5 million the E.U. is funding programs in member states that will innovatively address this issue. As E.U. president Ursula von der Leyen states, “information is a public good”, and the journalists who gather this information must get all the protection they need to do their work.

The E.U. calls for increased protection of journalists on the frontline, as well as more vigorous investigation and prosecution by member states of any criminal act. With calls for more cooperation between law enforcement and media bodies to reduce the threats and provide more protection to journalists.

Bodycam systems will also prevent, reduce and prove violence against journalists.

“No journalist should die or be harmed because of their job… there is an urgent need for public authorities to do more to protect them.”- Vice-President for Values and Transparency, Věra Jourová

Bodycam systems are starting to better protect and support journalists as well. Other frontline professionals have experienced the significantly reduced number and intensity of incidents. Added to this is the effective and efficient prosecution of offenders based on video-evidence of what actually was done and said. Which helps to further discourage and prevent future violations. The professionals are and feel more safe with bodycam systems to assist their work on the frontline for all of us.

“Like in other frontline professions a series of shocking incidents are necessary for journalists to adopt and accept bodycam solutions. The journalists will experience that they will only improve their interaction with citizens. ZEPCAM is glad to provide the first journalists of DPG news media with our proven bodycam systems in line with our mission of more trust, less conflict in a respectful society.”  – CEO of ZEPCAM, Jurriaan Pröpper

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