VOX POP – Freedom of press in Eastern vs Western Europe

Article by Petre Fluerasu, Berlin, 1-4-th of March, 2009

Do you have a solution on how to solve the gap in freedom of press between Eastern and Western European countries? Can Eastern European countries use the experience of the Western European countries in order to solve this problem?

I think that the countries that have a problem with freedom of press should use all the opportunities that are in other countries. First of all, they can learn from the countries that have a good level in freedom of press, and if they are people politically active, they can really act like changing the laws.

Joeri Oushdorn, Holland

The freedom of journalists can be improved in the Eastern countries with a stronger democracy, with better politicians who must work more seriously, and through that, they can take the example of more developed countries in Europe.

Alfonso Cobo, Spain

I think it’s more of politics, and if we change the communist party, then can you can improve our freedom of press issue in Moldova. I think it could be done only step by step, and the first step is changing the communist party in our country.

Dumitru Iovu, Moldova

About the freedom of press in Eastern Europe, especially Russia, we must understand they have had many problems and many changes of regime. So we must understand the problems and give them time to solve them.

Rostamkhani Kaveh, Iran

If we want a social Europe with a lot of democracy, we could share our knowledge to improve the democracy in the whole Europe, so I think we should share our experience to help Eastern European countries improve their freedom of press level.

Marjolein Nieuwdorp, Holland

The lack of press freedom in Germany is more about the influence of public relations and in Eastern Europe, is more about the freedom of the democracy in general. So what need to get improved in Eastern Europe is the democracy. So Western countries could help improve and democratize countries, and then press freedom is the second step and will come afterwards.

Eva Linder, Germany

I think the people in Eastern Europe can see our freedom, and then not learn directly from it, but get the feeling about what is the worth of the freedom of press, and so they can become active to do something to get their press more free.

Annika Glaser, Germany

I think Western countries have a great tradition of democracy and freedom of press. Eastern countries could take these from us, just by paying attention to take the better examples. Take the example of pluralism of information, in which everyone is free to write their own opinion. This I think could be the chance for Eastern countries that are less free.

Daniele Fisichella, Italy

The problem is mainly that, since you don’t have freedom in generally, you can’t have freedom of press. So, maybe the only way is that the media show off, even if it is dangerous. They have to show the government that they are there, and they have power and cannot be silenced. People have to know what is going on in order to react.

Adrian Morales, Spain

First of all, I think that is not that only Eastern Europe can learn from Western Europe, is also the other way around. In Eastern Europe they can still improve, but Eastern European countries should learn how to secure journalists. Only those who are subjects of their work are protected. So you can be sued as a journalist and imprisoned.  Public people should be responsible for what they say, so if they give me an interview, I should have the right to publish exactly what they say.

Filip Jurzyk, Poland

Freedom of press is one of the basic rights in every democracy, and in a working democracy it has to guarantee the freedom of press and the freedom of speech. I think if freedom of press is not yet established in some countries, they can not only learn when meeting journalists from Western European countries, but the other way around too, when Western Europeans start to actually understand what are the problems in Eastern European countries. Maybe then the politicians will focus also on Eastern countries, because today, my impression is that they focus on their own idea about freedom of press and they don’t try to redefine it in a more whole European sense.

Alfhild Boehringer, Germany