Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Romania: Economic Crisis "Affects Press Freedom"

BalkanInsight.com

Media group owners and journalists made compromises last year in order to keep their own publications running, according to a report made public on Monday by local organisation Press Monitoring Agency (AMP).

According to the report, the economic crisis, which left 4,000 media employees jobless, namely journalists and technical staff, shut down dozens of publications across Romania and drastically slashed advertising revenues, was one of the most important events with impact on freedom of expression in 2009 and made media vulnerable to political and economic pressure.

Furthermore, last year Romanian journalists continued to face acts of aggression and threats and the perpetrators of such acts often went unpunished, while local authorities restricted the right to attend public assemblies and hindered media from accessing various events, such as exhibitions, concerts and conferences.

AMP also says authorities are still trying, through various laws, to control and restrict freedom of expression and access to information. It stressed that "there should be strong reactions from the media community and human rights organisations against dangerous legislative initiatives".

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