Guest Blogs

Timothy Karr

The Internet’s Growing Pains | Timothy Karr
At 15, the OSCE’s office for media freedom is now half the age of the modern Internet. In 1983, engineers of what was then known as the ARPANET switched over to a communications ... Read full article
Guest Blogs

Dr. Agnes Callamard

The keys to improve the media freedom situation in the OSCE region and beyond the next 15 years | Dr. Agnes Callamard
The information technology revolution of the last two decades has profoundly transformed print and broadcast media, journalism, the production of news... Read full article
Guest Blogs

Leonid Kozhara

A unique institution promoting media freedom | Leonid Kozhara
I would like to express my congratulations on the 15th anniversary of the establishment of the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media ... Read full article
Guest Blogs

Johan Hallenborg

Freedom of expression set to turbo mode | Johan Hallenborg
Swedes are a pretty tech savvy bunch. We like cool, new, shiny gadgets, too. And we start early: last year, half of all three-year-olds in Sweden were on the net... Read full article
Guest Blogs

Galina Arapova

Freedom of expression: development, trial, protection | Galina Arapova
In recent years we have seen a rapid change in media environment, we were lucky to witness an unprecedented technological and informational progress.. Read full article
Guest Blogs

Christian Möller

“From Quill to Cursor”* and 140 Characters | Christian Möller
When I first joined the Office of the OSCE Media Freedom Representative in the summer of 2002, a colleague of mine – a senior U.S. diplomat – asked whether I knew “how to google” ... Read full article
Guest Blogs

Begaim Usenova

Kyrgyzstan’s Media Law | Begaim Usenova
In 2010, defamation was decriminalized in Kyrgyzstan. This step was perceived in the world as political will of the country’s leadership to ensure the citizens’ right for freedom of expression and opinion.. Read full article
Guest Blogs

Alison Bethel McKenzie

A great threat to media freedom | Alison Bethel McKenzie
The International Press Institute (IPI), the world’s oldest global media freedom organization, is pleased to mark 15 years since the establishment of the Office ... Read full article
Guest Blogs

Marietje Schaake

Saving the open Internet requires protecting the rights of its users | Marietje Schaake
Technological developments and the open Internet have led to revolutionary changes and the potential of emancipating individuals, bottom up... Read full article
Guest Blogs

William Horsley

Media freedom requires that the state must stay out of the ring  | William Horsley
Once, it seemed that things could only get better. But then somehow they got worse again. That is my shorthand summary of the path of media freedom in the past 15 years. Read full article

15 Years of the Representative on Freedom of the Media

Free expression and free media are basic human rights. The Office of the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media was established in December 1997 to protect them.

Dunja Mijatovic

The OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media observes media developments in all 57 OSCE participating States. She provides early warning on violations of freedom of expression and promotes full compliance with OSCE press freedom commitments.

A unique institution promoting media freedom

By Leonid Kozhara,Ukraine’s Minister for Foreign Affairs and OSCE’s Chairperson-in-Office in 2013

I would like to express my congratulations on the 15th anniversary of the establishment of the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media – a unique OSCE Institution, promoting freedom of expression and free media in our region.

The Ukrainian Chairmanship welcomes the achievements of the Office over the years and highly values its important contribution to securing an environment where the media can work freely, effectively and without fear. Under the terms of two previous Representatives, Mr Freimut Duve and Mr Miklós Haraszti, and the present leadership of Ms Dunja Mijatović the Office of the RFoM has become the foremost Institution dedicated to monitoring media developments in all OSCE participating States and providing early warning on violations of media freedom in the region.

Efficient implementation of the OSCE commitments in the area of media freedom remains an integral part of the OSCE’s concept of comprehensive security. The important role played by free media in ensuring full respect for human rights, fundamental freedoms, democracy, including free and fair elections, and the rule of law was recognized most recently by the heads of state and government of all participating States at the 2010 OSCE Summit in Astana.

The Ukrainian OSCE Chairmanship has identified media freedom as one of its priorities for 2013. We recognize that the freedom and independence of the media is a cornerstone of a democratic society and a vital component in the protection of all other rights and freedoms. The Chairmanship secured agreement between participating States on the Human Dimension Seminar on Media Freedom Legal Framework which provided a platform to discuss the pressing issues of media freedom domestically and internationally, particularly in the context of legislative framework that should guarantee and foster this freedom. This has been one of very few events on media freedom within the OSCE to which all participating States agreed by consensus.

Despite impressive development of international standards regarding the promotion and protection of freedom of expression over the last years, a number of challenges still remain. Violence against journalists, criminalization of defamation, government control over the media, limits on the right to information are among the most prevalent issues that need to be addressed. Apart from this, new challenges have arisen due to rapid technological and social developments. Without properly addressing existing and potential challenges it is hardly possible to promote comprehensive security and, therefore, to build lasting peace and stability in the OSCE region.

We welcome the fact that the Office of the RFoM is seeking ways to address old and new challenges in an independent, comprehensive and result-oriented manner – through dialogue, exchange of best practices and project activities. The impartial exercise of functions throughout the OSCE area lends credibility to the recommendations of the Representative on Freedom of the Media.

Today, we would like to once again reaffirm the importance that we attach to the work of the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media and to give our full support to her mandate. We find it particularly essential that constructive cooperation is maintained between the Office and the OSCE participating States in addressing the issues related to the implementation of the OSCE commitments on freedom of expression and free media. My country, Ukraine, has always enjoyed fruitful cooperation with the Representative’s office, which we highly value.

As we mark the 15th anniversary of this Institution, I would like to call upon all participating States to ensure that the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media remains as relevant, useful and authoritative in the next years as it has been until now.

I wish the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media every success in the future endeavours!