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AEJ Sections report about 2012 Press Freedom Day actions around Europe

The AEJ’s media freedom events focused in 2012, the AEJ’s 50th anniversary year, on a seminar in the European Parliament on Media Freedom in the EU member states. The seminar, chaired by AEJ President Eileen Dunne, was attended by EU commissioner Neelie Kroes as well as MEPs Anni Podimata, Renate Weber and Doris Pack. The well attended meeting was also addressed by the AEJs media freedom representative William Horsley and Jean-Paul Mathoz from the Committtee to protect Journalists (for a report see: http://www.aej.org/articlefiles/media-freedom-seminare.doc). The seminar saw a strong turnout from the Belgian section, playing at home, which chose this event as its contribution to the WPFD drive.

Meanwhile this year the Bulgarian section was instrumental in inaugurating an on line radio programme which covers media issues. The weekly broadcast in cooperation with the AEJ Bulgaria will seek to improve journalism standards by regularly presenting the best and worst examples of journalism in the country. In Ireland the AEJ met with Pat Rabbitte, a minister, who confirmed that media diversity in ownership and content was a priority issue for the government. Finally in London the UK section, held a meeting which looked at current efforts to reform the Strasbourg human rights court and the effect changes might have on media freedom in Europe.

Other sections also held events with the Armenian section looking at the role of the media in the May 6 parliamentary elections and the Turkish section taking part in a protest about the continuing detention of journalists in the country. The Dutch section commemorated journalists who have been killed while conducting their professional activities and the Croatian and Romanian sections staged debates on media freedom related issues.

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