Jon Worth Euroblog

EU analysis, cross-posted to Blogactiv

Ska Keller retweeted this from Spiegel Online journalist Markus Becker earlier:

The insinuation is that – having purged the Warsaw press, the government of Poland is about to try to do the same in Brussels.

That may be the case, but I see this issue rather differently – why is the list of the European Parliament’s accredited journalists not open and transparent anyway? Because to be an accredited journalist means you have a badge to access the EP and can use EP filming facilities. To know who has the power to report is also a means of knowing who wields influence in Brussels, not least because the Brussels-based press – especially Euractiv and Politico – are so heavily dependent on corporate sponsorship.

Sven Giegold thankfully tweeted me the link to this PDF that lists all the German correspondents in Brussels, and that helpfully contains contact information for the same Markus Becker who was happy to tell me that such information should not be released for data protection reasons! Jaume Duch from the EP also made the same argument. The Polish Permanent Representation also seems to have a list of Polish accredited journalists here.

So then, why keep the secret of who is allowed to report? If we demand EU lobbyist transparency, why are we not also demanding media transparency? Plus many of those journalists accredited to the institutions are those who often so happily blast the EU for a lack of transparency. Double standards? Surely not.

[UPDATE – 21.1.2016, 1715]
A word of clarification – I am not demanding e-mail addresses and telephone numbers of these people. I would however like to know names and the media through which a person is accredited. Also Markus Becker has a problem with my formulation above (see comment below) – the words he used in his tweet were “Nennt man Datenschutz” as a justification for not releasing information. He reckons my wording above was excessive.

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