Hatred of journalists

Hatred of journalists has established a firm foothold in Spain, as in other western democracies. Catalonia has seen a significant decline in political tension but continues to be hostile terrain for radio and TV reporters. Its extreme political polarisation has contaminated the media and their audiences to the point that journalists have become public hate figures. According to RSF’s tally, there have been around 40 cases of abuses – ranging from insults to violence – against journalists in Catalonia in the past 18 months. In a welcome development for press freedom, the reform of Spain’s public broadcaster RTVE was approved in 2017 with the aim of ending the manipulation of news coverage, of which then Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s government was accused. But the reform has yet to be implemented because the political parties have been unable to agree on a procedure for recruiting RTVE’s president and board of governors. A climate prejudicial to the freedom to inform was also fuelled in 2018 by several convictions on such charges as condoning terrorism, insulting the crown and offending religious sentiment. The autumn of 2018 saw a serious violation of the confidentiality of sources when police seized the phones and laptops of two journalists in an attempt to identify the origin of a leak used in their coverage of a corruption case. Meanwhile Spain’s “Gag Law” continues to restrict press freedom, and its long-awaited reform continutes to be postponed.

in the 2019 World Press Freedom Index



31 in 2018

Global score


20.51 in 2018

  • 0
    journalists killed in 2020
  • 0
    citizens journalists killed in 2020
  • 0
    media assistants killed in 2020
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