MEPs’ plan to protect media most welcome

Even in this post-truth age, the pen can be mightier than the sword — even if a mouse and a keyboard are the weapons in the battle for the hearts and minds of those who still believe in truthfulness in public affairs.

Why else was Maltese journalist, Daphne Caruana Galizia, murdered? Why else has US President Donald Trump such an unrelenting, fake-news campaign against those who might remind America, and the world, of his fluctuating fantasies and routine dishonesties?

Why else is there a record number of journalists in jail in Egypt, China, or Turkey? There is something around 250 journalists in prison under Recep Erdogan’s autocratic regime. The differences between his country and Europe are far wider than was ever imagined.

That gap was underlined again this week when MEPs sought to stymie companies that target media with “abusive” lawsuits so as to avoid scrutiny.

The MEPs also propose a new EU directive to give media groups the power to request that “vexatious lawsuits” be expediently dismissed, and to create a fund that would support media groups fighting lawsuits taken to intimidate them.

In an ideal world, these safeguards would not be necessary, but it is increasingly obvious that they are, if the growing power of corporations and plutocrats — especially the tech titans — is ever to be curbed to protect citizens. This is a good idea that deserves all our support.

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