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

France: Disclose journalist searched and taken into custody

Ariane Lavrilleux, the French journalist who in November 2021 revealed the Egyptian government’s complicity in “arbitrary executions”, was taken into police custody at 6 am on Tuesday 19 September. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) condemns this brutal violation of media freedom and the fundamental democratic principle of protecting sources. At six o’clock on Tuesday morning, police officers from the French Directorate-General for Internal Security (DGSI), accompanied by a judge, searched the home of journalist Ariane Lavrilleux, who works for the investigative media Disclose. She was then taken into custody “as part of an investigation into the compromise of national…

Poland: Polish media grapple with unprecedented challenges and uncertain future as the country faces electoral crossroads

At the conclusion of their press freedom mission to Warsaw from 11-13 September, partner organisations of the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) declared that the media and journalists in Poland are facing unprecedented challenges including legal threats, financial precarity, political pressure, regulatory capture and growing polarisation. The delegation, comprised of representatives of the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), ARTICLE 19 Europe, the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF), Free Press Unlimited (FPU) and International Press Institute (IPI), met with editors, journalists, regulators, civil society groups, lawyers, the Office of the Commissioner for Human Rights and the Ministry of…

Poland: MFRR to visit Warsaw for press freedom mission

Partner organisations of the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) will travel to Warsaw on 11-13 September 2023 to conduct an international press freedom mission ahead of the country’s upcoming general election on 15 October. The MFRR mission will be joined by representatives of the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF), the International Press Institute (IPI), ARTICLE 19 Europe, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) and Free Press Unlimited (FPU). Mogens Blicher Bjerregård will join the mission on behalf of the EFJ. The delegation will assess the current state of play for media freedom and pluralism and identify the…

Greece: Swift investigations required after two attacks against journalists

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joined the undersigned journalists’ and media freedom organisations in strongly condemning the recent attacks against Greek journalists Giorgos Papachristos and Kostas Vaxevanis and call on the authorities to swiftly investigate the attacks and ensure that those responsible are held accountable. On 29 August, Giorgos Papachristos, an editorialist and adviser at the centrist daily Ta Nea, was attacked at a football match in Athens. According to the case filed by the journalist, businessman and ship owner Yiannis Karagiorgis, backed by two bodyguards, punched him in the face and head in an unprovoked attack. Karagiorgis also…

Albania: Call for accountability to enable free press

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), joined the undersigned organisations of the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) in solidarity with the SafeJournalists Network (SJN) in expressing great concerns by recent developments in Albania, which not only highlight a deteriorating environment for press freedom, but also pose a severe threat to the safety of journalists and their ability to inform the public. We call on the Albanian authorities and the international community to condemn these attacks against press freedom and to ensure the safety of journalists in Albania. The verbal assault on BIRN Albania journalist Ola Xama by Tirana’s Mayor, Erion…

Republika Srpska, BiH: defamation must not be re-criminalised

Members of the National Assembly in Republika Srpska, one of the two entities of Bosnia and Herzegovina, are called to vote on 18 July 2023 on the draft Law on Amendments to the Criminal Code, which would re-introduce criminal penalties for defamation.The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joined the undersigned organisations of the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) consortium in calling on deputies to vote against these amendments, which would stifle journalism, public debate, and civil discourse, not only in Republika Srpska but across the whole country. Our organisations have warned of the dangers of criminalising defamation as draft amendments…