I believe that Orphans of Liberty partly exists to compensate for the advancing encroachments against our freedoms of public expression. A survey from “Reporters without borders” makes worrying reading for all those with such concerns. The UK lies at 19th in the world, France 44th for press freedom, shameful positioning! In the EU, the report comments by individual country, it has this to say:
European Union loses its leadership status
Reporters Without Borders has repeatedly expressed its concern about the deteriorating press freedom situation in the European Union and the 2010 index confirms this trend. Thirteen of the EU’s 27 members are in the top 20 but some of the other 14 are very low in the ranking. Italy is 49th, Romania is 52nd and Greece and Bulgaria are tied at 70th. The European Union is not a homogenous whole as regards media freedom. On the contrary, the gap between good and bad performers continues to widen.
There has been no progress in several countries where Reporters Without Borders pointed out problems. They include, above all, France and Italy, where events of the past year – violation of the protection of journalists’ sources, the continuing concentration of media ownership, displays of contempt and impatience on the part of government officials towards journalists and their work, and judicial summonses – have confirmed their inability to reverse this trend.
As centralisation and the EU economic crisis continue apace within the EU, restraints upon press freedom, operating across the EU as a whole, are perhaps hard to identify and record, yet they must surely be a growing menace. Reaching an ever wider public across the EU with an Orphans of Liberty for the entire EU would perhaps be one way of achieving this. The EU federalists have such a tool with the EU funded, multi-lingual, EurActiv (from whence, ironically, I first learnt of this press freedom report) but those believing in democracy rather than the tyranny, as defined by Karl Popper, that we actually have, can at first perhaps only first advance in English, but could links with Google translation of postings widen our readership?
I am increasingly of the view that pan-EU opposition is the only way to restore national parliamentary democracies!