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Well-funded and strong public service media are a good indicator that a democracy is healthy – this is the result of a study published last year by the European Broadcasting Union (EBU). The report notably found that countries that have popular, well-funded public service broadcasters encounter less rightwing extremism and corruption and have more press freedom.

However, the situation on the ground gives rise to concerns: an analysis of the alerts submitted to the Council of Europe since 2015, shows an emerging trend of threats to the independence of public broadcasters or of their regulatory bodies. A growing number of alerts concern political interference in the editorial line of public broadcasters, insufficient safeguards in the legislation against political bias, or the lack of appropriate funding to guarantee the independence of the public broadcasters.
Read more in CoE's Commissioner for Human Rights comment: Public service broadcasting under threat in Europe 

Populism, fake news and unwarranted interference are just three of the challenges facing journalists in Europe today. What can we do to protect them and thereby safeguard our democracies? See Council of Europe's "Free expression and media under threat" file