European Federation of Journalists

Media Freedom Rapid Response

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) is a partner of Media Freedom Rapid Response project (MFRR) aiming to promote an independent, pluralistic media landscape, to safeguard media workers, especially harassed female media workers and to protect the rights of journalists,. The RRM helps to mitigate the consequences of the recently observed deterioration of media freedom in several European Union, Member States and Candidate Countries.

Overall Objective

The overall objective of this project is to provide practical support for journalists to improve media freedom in Europe.

The Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) is designed to detect, answer and prevent violations of press and media freedom. It consists of three layers: monitoring, categorisation, responses.

Specific objectives

1. Mapping Media Freedom (MMF) in Europe (EU & Candidate Countries): Media violations are on the rise especially under the current coronavirus crisis. One of the key components of the project is to monitor and document a wide range of media violations conducted by any actors, whether individuals, state actors or business, so that actions can be taken rapidly to address the violations.

2. Practical supports: Based on the media violations reported, the project offers a wide range of immediate to long-term, practical support ranging from legal help, safety advice and training, safe house for journalists, advocacy and mission, and online resources. You could find more information about the legal support here and more details about safe house for journalists here.

3. Advocacy & Trial Monitoring: Joint media advocacy will also be carried out by the project including joint statements, national missions (in Czech Republic, Hungry, Spain, Serbia), roundtable advocacy meetings with EU policy-makers. The EFJ will involve the relevant national members when carrying out such national missions. Trial Monitoring especially for Turkey, Malta (for the case of Daphne Caruana Galizia) and Slovakia (for the case of Ján Kuciak) will be carried out and participated by the project partners to help find justice for journalists who are put in jails or murdered.

Anyone can submit and report a media violation to the MMF platform online.

Actions

Spyware Pegasus helped target investigative journalists in Hungary

The Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) is highly alarmed by the revelations by a consortium led by French NGO Forbidden Stories about the surveillance of journalists, human rights defenders, lawyers and others through the Pegasus spyware program developed by Israeli company NSO Group. The leak, which revealed the involvement of the Hungarian government among others, raises significant implications for journalists’ security and the protection of their sources as well as raising concerns through the chilling effect such applications have on journalists beyond those immediately affected and ultimately, on everyone’s right to information. We call on the Hungarian government and other…

Cyprus: TV station attacked by crowd protesting Covid measures and vaccination

A large crowd of demonstrators against new Covid-19 measures and mandatory vaccination attacked the Cypriot TV station Sigma TV on 18 July. The mob vandalised the station’s headquarters in Nicosia, throwing crackers, breaking windows and damaging cars outside the building. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joined its affiliate, the Union of Cyprus Journalists, in condemning this brutal attack and calling on the authorities to conduct thorough investigations. On Sunday evening, demonstrations against mandatory vaccination took place outside the Presidential Palace in the capital of Cyprus, Nicosia. Groups of protestors clashed with police and at around 9:30 PM local time,…

Dutch journalist Peter R. de Vries dies after shooting

Update (15/07/2021) Peter R. de Vries passed away on 15 July 2021, RTL announced on Twitter.  Dutch journalist Peter R. de Vries is fighting for his life in hospital after being shot five times in Lange Leidsedwars street in Amsterdam yesterday evening at around 7.30. The police has arrested three suspects. The European and International Federations of Journalists (EFJ/IFJ) condemned the murder attempt as another tragic blow to press freedom in Europe. On Tuesday evening, Peter R. de Vries was a guest on daily television programme RTL Boulevard. After leaving the building, he was shot several times at close range,…

Albania: Concern after government ally elected to head key media regulator

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joined the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) partners today in expressing deep concern about the future impartiality and independence of Albania’s Audiovisual Media Authority (AMA) following the election of a close associate of the ruling Socialist Party to head the media regulator. On 7 July, the government and its allies voted without the presence of opposition lawmakers in parliament to appoint Armela Krasniqi as the chairwoman of the AMA, the country’s influential TV and radio regulator. Our organisations have serious concerns over the impartiality of the new chairwoman, who is a close associate of…

Germany: Exiled Turkish journalist attacked in the yard of his home in Berlin

On 7 July, exiled Turkish journalist Erk Acarer was attacked with “fists and knives” in the courtyard of his apartment building in Berlin. Acarer has lived in German exile since 2017 because of his critical reporting of the Turkish government. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joined its German affiliates, the German Journalists Association (DJV) and the German Journalists Union (dju in ver.di), as well as its Turkish affiliates in strongly condemning this aggression. The attack took place on Wednesday night in the Berlin district of Neukölln, where three assailants beat him with their fists and knives in his yard. The journalists reported…

Slovenian government eroding media freedom as it takes over EU Presidency

The Slovenian government of Prime Minister Janez Janša is overseeing an increasingly systematic effort to undermine critical media, a coalition of press freedom organisations and journalism groups warn today in a new report. The report concludes that Slovenia, which assumes the rotating presidency of the EU on July 1, has seen press freedom deteriorate ever since Janša returned to power in March 2020. Since then, the ruling SDS party has embarked on a multipronged campaign to reshape the media landscape in favour of a pro-government narrative, renewing tactics successful during previous administrations and forging ahead with new forms of pressure.…