Press laws and media freedom: Needed Reforms. Essay by Toby Mendel, Executive Director, Centre for Law and Democracy
Central argument: Media freedom is a right that belongs not only to the media but also directly to the public. In other words, it is in the wider public interest to have a free media as an underpinning of democracy. Despite a generally improved climate in the region in terms of media freedom, there have been rollbacks in some countries and the problem of ‘frozen’ legislation in many countries (i.e. where there are discussions about law reform but no actual adoption of new rules or a complete failure to implement those laws which are adopted).