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Greece ranks as lowest EU country in press freedom report for second consecutive year

by Derek Andrews
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The Reporters With out Borders (RSF) 2023 World Press Freedom Index Friday ranked Greece because the lowest-ranked nation within the EU for press freedom for the second consecutive 12 months. The RSF annual report on the state of press freedom throughout 180 international locations discovered that Europe is the most secure area for journalists to work on the planet. Nevertheless, Greece has been ranked 107th, the bottom rating within the EU, on account of elevated hostility in direction of the media and safety breaches.

Press freedom in Greece has remained precarious for a number of years, with journalists dealing with violence, censorship and surveillance. In 2022, Greek safety forces have been discovered to be concentrating on journalists and opposition politicians utilizing the adware Predator. Referred to as “Predatorgate,” the adware scandal was uncovered in April 2022 following a report from Inside Story that the adware was used to surveil crime reporter Giorgos Karaivaz earlier than his homicide in 2021. The adware required targets to click on on a phishing hyperlink utilizing their cell gadget, which gave Predator entry to their complete gadget system. This allowed Predator to observe telephone calls, messages, web historical past, contacts, photographs and movies. It was later revealed that the adware was bought and utilized by the Greek Nationwide Intelligence Service, leading to several lawsuits in opposition to media retailers that reported on the scandal.

Greece’s media panorama faces excessive digital fragmentation ensuing from a widespread lack of belief in information media, political polarisation and elevated social media utilization to entry information. In December, the Greek parliament ratified a brand new media regulation to extend press transparency. The Strengthening publicity and transparency in the printed and electronic press – Establishment of electronic registers of printed and electronic press and other regulations of the competence of the General Secretariat of Communication and Information regulation established an “ethics committee” to supervise compliance of digital media to journalistic ethics. Nevertheless, there are considerations that the regulation might promote the censorship of crucial media retailers as a result of committee’s capacity to exclude digital media from authorities monetary help and uncertainty in regards to the committee’s independence.

Reporters face hostility and violence from the general public and authorities and are sometimes prevented from reporting on matters of crime, protests and the refugee disaster. Violence in opposition to journalists has persevered with out intervention following Karaivaz’s homicide in 2021, which stays unsolved. Karaivaz reported on police corruption, dealings with organised legal teams and coverage breaches within the weeks earlier than his loss of life. His loss of life, and the loss of life of investigative journalist Sokratis Giolias in 2010, have been in related circumstances and have been allegedly carried out by skilled hitmen. No arrests have been made in reference to both case.

Source / Picture: jurist.org

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