In “a suffocating climate” of unprecedented harassment created by the independence movement, journalists are being abused and threatened online, according to Reporters Without Borders (RSF), an international non-profit organization that defends press freedom and promotes a safe working environment for journalists around the world.
“The continual pressure from the regional government on the local and foreign press, the abuse from pro-independence hooligans on social networks against critical journalists and the intimidating behavior from crowds of demonstrators against TV reporters has created a toxic atmosphere working against press freedom,” says the organization.
The RSF published the report just three days before the independence referendum in Catalonia – declared illegal by Madrid and suspended and Spain’s Constitutional Court.
Pauline Adès-Mevel, head of RSF’s EU-Balkans desk, described freedom of the press in Catalonia as “tremendously compromised by the extreme polarization of Catalonia’s politics and society,” adding, “the determination of the regional government to get across its …