A report released on Tuesday by the Council of Europe is urging governments to take immediate measures that will ensure the protection of journalists.

The annual report, titled “Press Freedom in Europe: Time to Turn the Tide,” released by partner organizations to the Council of Europe’s “Safety of Journalists Platform”, outlines major threats to press freedom, including detention, restrictive legislation, media capture, and attacks on public service media.

According to the 2024 report, there are “serious concerns” about the increasing use of spyware surveillance methods, abusive lawsuits against journalists, and media workers forced into exile.

Greece was one of five cases of impunity for murder added to the platform in 2023 regarding the murders of Sokratis Giolias (2010) and Giorgos Karaivaz (2021). Other countries listed concerned cases in Belarus, Serbia, and Russia.

Overall in 2023, the platform recorded 285 alerts down from 289 in 2022 on serious threats to media freedom in Europe, reflecting the wide range of pressures journalists face.

Member organizations are calling on the government to take decisive action to protect journalists, address threats, and to enforce media freedom standards.

“The report shows the increasing risks and obstacles that journalists and media face in Europe. We need determined action from states to protect journalists and counter threats to media freedom such as abusive lawsuits and illegal surveillance. To enhance journalists’ safety, our member states should show a strong commitment to respecting media freedom standards and promote the Council of Europe’s ‘Journalists matter’ campaign at national level,” said Council of Europe Secretary General Marija Pejčinović.