Recommendation CM/Rec(2016)4 of the Committee of Ministers to member States on the protection of journalism and safety of journalists and other media actors

‘2. The right to freedom of expression and information, as guaranteed by Article 10 of the Convention, constitutes one of the essential foundations of a democratic society and one of the basic conditions for its progress and the development of every individual. Freedom of expression is applicable not only to “information” or “ideas” that are favourably received or regarded as inoffensive or as a matter of indifference, but also to those that offend, shock or disturb the State or any sector of the population. In this way, freedom of expression facilitates robust public debate, which is another prerequisite of a democratic society characterised by pluralism, tolerance and broadmindedness. Any interference with the right to freedom of expression of journalists and other media actors therefore has societal repercussions as it is also an interference with the right of others to receive information and ideas and an interference with public debate.‘
‘3. The exercise of the right to freedom of expression carries with it duties and responsibilities, as stated in Article 10, paragraph 2. In the context of journalism, relevant duties and responsibilities are understood as including acting in good faith in order to provide accurate and reliable information, in accordance with the ethics of journalism.‘
‘5. Moreover, some types of hate speech which incite violence or hatred fall under Article 17 of the Convention (prohibition of abuse of rights) and are therefore not afforded protection because their aim is to destroy some of the rights and freedoms set forth in the Convention.‘
‘6. All human rights are universal, indivisible, interdependent and interrelated and there is important interplay between the right to freedom of expression and other human rights, such as the rights to freedom of thought, conscience and religion, the right to freedom of assembly and association and the right to vote in free and fair elections.‘