New research from the University of Vienna shows that growing support for far-right groups and populist politicians poses a severe threat to journalism across Europe.

The report explores the threat posed by far-right groups and populist political figures to press freedom and the watchdog role of independent journalism in 12 European democracies. The report covers the years of 2012-2016, which has been recognised as a period of significant growth in the support of such groups. Countries examined in this timely report include Austria; Bosnia & Herzegovina; Bulgaria; Croatia; France; Germany; Hungary; Italy; Montenegro; Poland; Romania; and Serbia.

The report examines a broad range of criteria that contribute to the term “assault on the media”, including legal action, physical attacks, intimidation verbal and online abuse, the use of employment as leverage and so on.

This timely report concludes by offering recommendations to governments and media owners as to how to best to avoid growing assaults on press freedom by the growth of far right nationalism and populist politics.

The report was published in May 2017 and authored by a team from the Media Governance and Industries Research Lab at the University of Vienna. It was funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union.