Newspaper publishers and national newspaper associations from around Europe will hold a special debate in Nicosia on Thursday with the High Level Group on Freedom and Pluralism of the Media appointed by the European Commission.
Members of the High Level Group, appointed by Commission Vice-President Neelie Kroes last year, will participate in a special seminar entitled “Press Freedom and Pluralism in a Changing Media Landscape”. The event takes place on the eve of the General Assembly of the European Newspaper Publishers’ Association (ENPA), of which the Cyprus newspapers’ association is a member.
Latvia’s former president, Prof. Vaira Vike-Freiberga, chairs the High Level Group which is due to come forward with final recommendations in Autumn 2012. The three other independent experts from the Group will also participate in the debate: Prof. Herta Däubler-Gmelin, former Minister of Justice of Germany; Ben Hammersley, digital pioneer and Editor at Large of Wired magazine; and Professor Luís Miguel Poiares Pessoa Maduro of European University Institute and former Advocate-General at the European Court of Justice.
The independent experts will exchange views with newspaper publishers on the role of publishers and editorial responsibility; media concentration, pluralism and impact on national/local culture; and national issues including latest developments in Hungary and Bulgaria.
In the course of the debate, ENPA will highlight the important role of the news media sector as a source of cultural diversity and pluralism in Europe.
“Self-regulation is an essential element to maintaining a diverse, free and independent press in Europe,” said ENPA President, Ivar Rusdal. “Respect for the fundamental right of press freedom, rather than more regulation, is vital to promote pluralism in the European media landscape.”
“It is necessary for newspapers to be financially viable and sustainable, in order to fulfill their role as a watchdog in democratic society,” added ENPA Executive Director, Francine Cunningham. “A flourishing free and independent press requires the right legislative conditions, including respect for the value of content, as well as fair and balanced business relationships between publishers and technological platforms in the digital environment.”
Androulla Vassiliou, European Commissioner for Culture and Education, will be the keynote speaker at the ENPA General Assembly in Nicosia on Friday to speak about media literacy, the value of copyright and the level of VAT applied to newspapers in print and digital formats.
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