“Essential to guarantee freedom of expression” – EBU President

Freedom of Expression

Freedom of Expression

“Essential to guarantee freedom of expression and we must be accountable for the way we use it” were the words of the EBU President Jean-Paul Philippot.

Philippot gave this speech before the European Commission’s first Annual Colloquium on Fundamental Rights held at the Palais d’Egmont in Brussels on 1 – 2 October 2015. READ HERE

This is indeed a sentiment that we agree with here at Eurovision Ireland yet we must also look at the other side of the argument that we have heard many fans voice their concerns over.

It will come as no surprise to fans of the Eurovision Song Contest that there has been booing at the contest over recent years. Even Mr Jan Ola Sand addressed this at the EBU Press Conference in Vienna this year.

Sand spoke of the “uncomfortable situation” of the booing of the Tolmachevy Sisters from Russia in 2014. However The Moscow Times this year published an interview with Jarmo Siim, Former Communications Coordinator for Eurovision. The paper makes the claim that Siim advised that anti booing techniques were being used in Vienna saying

“Siim said that “sound reducers” had been installed in case of any booing but “Plan A is to use regular audience sound.” He said that they had several options to reduce any unfriendly sounds from the crowd but refused to go into detail.”

You can read the full article HERE

This is the fundamental question that many people speak of. Should a singer be held accountable for the actions of their country? Should audience members be allowed to express their opinions at the contest? Where does one draw the line?

It would appear that there are differing opinions within the EBU on this actual issue. If the EBU President says that there should be “freedom of expression” then why would Eurovision be employing “sound reducers”?

What’s your opinion on the fundamental issue of freedom of expression? Do you think booing should be covered up at the contest or should people have the right to express their opinions even if they are against the politics of a country and not the act? We will be interested to hear your thoughts.


Author/Editor in Chief Garrett Mulhall

Source : EBU and The Moscow Times


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