02:25 GMT20 September 2020
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    The European Union seeks to suppress any media outlet offering an alternative to the mainstream view of world events under the pretext of protecting the freedom of the press but in fact curtailing it, a Madrid-based media outlet said.

    So what did for instance RT, Caracas-based Telesur or HispanTV owned by the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting do, Eldiario.es asked. "They put an end to the US and to lesser extent EU oligopoly, within which the consensus was so high that it prompted [philosopher] Noam Chomsky to say, 'Any dictator would admire the uniformity and obedience of the US media,'" noted the website, providing news and analysis on politics and economy.

    Viewers gained access to an alternative version of events and those like Julian Assange and Podemos Secretary-General Pablo Iglesias, who were not welcome on major information channels, found new media-platforms through these broadcasters, the media outlet added.

    In March, the European Council tasked EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini with preparing an "action plan on strategic communication in support of media freedom and EU values" to counter what the draft of a document referred to as "Russia's ongoing disinformation campaigns."

    The European understanding of challenging the Russian narrative apparently boils down to attempts to limit the ability of Russian media to operate in Europe. At least, the recent Ofcom's decision to investigate RT for alleged impartiality follows this logic. In March, Ofcom, the UK government's media regulator, sought to launch a probe into RT following one complaint from a viewer.

    "How can Europe, where lack of transparency is old news, support the freedom of the press but prevent journalists from receiving information on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP)?," Eldiario.es asked, warning that wars of words sometimes serve to justify aggression, with Yugoslavia being a fine case in point.

    "The 'new information war' of the European Union exposes the dominating paternalistic vision of a society, according to which people living in Russia or any EU member state are empty vessels or formless mass that the ruling [European] elites can fill or shape in whatever way they want," the media outlet noted.

    The new EU action plan, should it turn into a real policy, would only lead to the cooling down of relations between Moscow and Brussels, as well as result in more polarized opinions already in abundance. 

    "Any critical stance regarding the European policies, especially those dealing with crisis, and any attempt to present Russia as a complex society will be automatically discarded as 'pro-Russian,'" the media outlet said, citing the visit of Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to Moscow as an example.

    Journalists, who try to challenge this approach, risk losing their jobs and ruining their image, while those, who advocate it, reap the benefits, Eldiario.es warned, adding that this would result in the impoverishment of the public discourse.

    "Those, who will sling mud at Russia and its government, will get … more books published and will earn more money. Brussels wants to drive a nail into the coffin of the freedom of the press. And Russia is only an excuse," the media outlet said.

    Related:

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    Freedom of Expression in EU Jeopardized After Shootings - Council of Europe
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    Tags:
    alternative views, freedom of the press, mainstream media, media, RT, European Union, Russia
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