NME Calls For ‘Clear Exemption’ For News Media From AVMS Directive

News Media Europe has called for a “clear exemption” for both news and current affairs media from any possible application of the Audiovisual Media Service Directive in order to protect press freedom. 

In a position paper on the directive, NME warned that newly drafted text foresees a partial extension of the scope of the AVMSD to audiovisual standalone parts of online newspapers dissociable from the main activity, posing a threat to press freedom.

NME said: “Media freedom is of crucial importance to democratic societies. It enables the unrestricted dissemination of news and the necessary scrutiny of power, be it public or private. Therefore, executive power should never undermine independent journalism. This is acknowledged in the current AVMSD, which does not apply to electronic versions of newspapers (Recital 28).”

“Today, digital journalism mostly relies on self-regulation, eg via press councils and advertising SROs. News Media Europe believes this regime should be maintained and strongly opposes any unnecessary and undesirable widening of the scope.

“Any changes would represent a potential threat to freedom of press and media freedom in Europe – key pillars of our democratic society.”

NME called on EU institutions to put forward a clear exemption for both news and current affairs media from any possible application of the AVMS directive. This would be a strong signal acknowledging the value of journalism and the news media industry as the bedrock of our democratic society, NME added.