by William Horsley
Andrew (Lord) McIntosh, a British politician who led many campaigns for media freedom in Europe, died on 27 August 2010 aged 77. The AEJ pays tribute to his tireless efforts to protect journalists from violence, wrongful imprisonment and other abuses through his work for the past 3 years as Rapporteur on Media Freedom in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE). He was the driving force behind the PACE Resolutions and Recommendations on Respect for Media Freedom which this year persuaded the 47 Council of Europe member states to approve new measures to protect journalists and the principles of media freedom known as Indicators of Media in a Democracy (see www.coe.int) . The AEJ worked closely with Lord McIntosh by producing a Background Report entitled Respect for Media Freedom, detailing 20 killings and numerous attacks on journalists, as well as other abuses of media independence across Europe, in the 3 years up to October 2009. In January this year he became chairman of the PACE Committee on Culture, Science and Education, whose work includes protection of legitimate media freedoms.
Andrew McIntosh was an active politician in the British Labour Party for many years, and served as the UK’s Minister for Media and Heritage from 2003 to 2005. Earlier he had aspired to the prominent position of leader of the Greater London Council, but in 1981 he was narrowly beaten in a contest with Ken Livingstone, who later became the first elected Mayor of London. He was made a member of the House of Lords in 1983. His inspiration will be greatly missed by those who value freedom of expression and media freedom as a vital pillar of democracy and open societies.