Many of the brave journalists who champion press freedom on meager salaries and in the face of regular intimidation may even be forced to leave the country. It will be hard for foreign owners to evade responsibility should that happen. And even the country’s EU accession could be delayed: When the EU issued a report on Romania’s fitness to join the club, the report listed press freedom as a special concern. And the EU envoy to Romania, Jonathan Scheele, has said Romania’s record on that issue would be an important factor in deciding whether the country would be allowed to join in 2007, as planned.
Just what was the point of all those programs to foster media freedom sponsored by the EU, the Council of Europe, and leading Western governments?