An MEP has suggested the British press may need ‘European regulation’ after coming in for criticism over its Brexit reporting.
Vera Jourova made the apparent threat after the front page of a newspaper mocked-up EU leaders as Prohibition-era gangsters following their ambush of Theresa May at the Salzburg summit last week.
The Sun’s article was singled out by the EU’s justice commissioner, before she went on to claim Brexit is the ‘best example’ of the media causing ‘division’ rather than ‘building dialogue’.
In a speech in Vienna, Mrs Jourova, 54, said: ‘Almost daily we could find examples of stories that are spiced up to identify an enemy, that paint a picture black and white.
‘The traditional media are under enormous pressure from the digital world, they lose readership and advertising revenue, they have to cut staff which means less fact-checking, less quality reporting. And I would advocate a European approach to media based on quality and smart regulation, if needed.’ But critics hit out at her comments.
Tory MEP David Campbell Bannerman said: ‘It’s quite scary. It’s signalling the beginning of a process of censorship.
‘They [the EU] are not democratic instinctively. They are increasingly trying to crack down on what they think are extreme views, except these views can often be in the mainstream.
‘They have a view of the world where they are the shining light and everyone else is wayward.
‘They have also missed the humour in it, which shows how detached they are from the world. It’s dangerous.’