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

Serbia: Journalists’ associations targeted by a financial probe

Credit: Serbia's Finance Ministry

The Serbian Finance Ministry’s Money Laundering Prevention Department sent a request on 13 July to banks asking them to provide information related to bank records of 37 civil organisations, media and 20 individuals. The affiliates of the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), the Journalists’ Association of Serbia (UNS) and the Independent Journalists’ Association of Serbia (NUNS) appear on this list. The request is about all Serbian dinar and foreign currency accounts and transactions from January 2019 and is aimed “to establish whether the NGOs and individuals are connected to money laundering or terrorism”. The list, which also includes Balkan Investigative…

120 alerts in 4 months: first MFRR-report documents severe threats to media freedom across Europe

DOWNLOAD THE FULL REPORT HERE The year 2020 seems to add another sad chapter on the decline of media freedom in Europe. Main reasons were the impact of the Covid-19 crisis, police violence and online harassment. Find all details in first MFRR-report. The monitoring report compiled by European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) and International Press Institute (IPI), with support from ECPMF, gives unprecedented insight into the threats to media freedom in EU member states and Candidate Countries. Within the monitored period from March to June a total of 120 alerts were registered on the mappingmediafreedom.org platform from two-thirds of the countries covered…

Hungary media freedom crackdown: our letter to EU leaders

Picture credit: Stéphanie Lecocq / AFP.

To the consideration of Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, Charles Michel, President of the European Council, and Heiko Maas, Federal Foreign Minister on behalf of Germany’s presidency of the Council of the EU Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) partners are profoundly concerned about the latest media freedom attacks in Hungary, which follow only days after the EU Summit, where Prime Minister Viktor Orbán praised the rule of law situation in his country.   Dear President von der Leyen, Dear President Michel, Dear Federal Foreign Minister Maas, Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) partners are profoundly concerned by…

EFJ condemns death and rape threats against Brussels-based journalist Tanja Milevska

Credits: IFJ campaign "You are not alone"

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) strongly condemns the online harassment, including threats of physical and sexual violence, against journalist Tanja Milevska, working for the North Macedonia news agency MIA as a Brussels correspondent. Milevska received dozens of verbal abuses, hate speech, death and rape threats on social network after she tweeted on 11 July asking whether Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and the European People’s Party (EPP) in the European Parliament recognise the constitutional change of 2019 making “North Macedonia” the country’s official name. Following the tweets, trolls and active political figures have been fuelling threats for the past four days in an…

Serbia: violent attacks against journalists during two consecutive nights of protests

Credits: ANDREJ ISAKOVIC / AFP

The European and International Federations of Journalists (EFJ/IFJ) are extremely concerned by violence against journalists during the protests currently taking place in several cities in Serbia since the 7th of July. In two days, we have been informed of at least 14 attacks against journalists and media workers who were on the field to report in the public interest. The Federations condemn the brutal attacks by police forces as well as by demonstrators, and join their affiliates in Serbia, UNS, NUNS and SINOS, in calling on the police to respect the work of the journalists. Thousands of protesters took to…

Support to Gazeta Wyborcza in Poland who has received over 55 threats of legal action

Credits: Agencja Gzeta

The Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR), a mechanism to monitor and respond to threats against journalists and media workers in EU Member States and Candidate Countries, has responded to the unprecedented legal threats made against Polish newspaper, Gazeta Wyborcza by contributing €15,000, it’s largest grant to date, to support the outlet’s legal defence. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), a MFRR partner, backs grant toward legal defence of newspaper.  Since 2015, Gazeta Wyborcza has received over 55 legal threats, including civil defamation actions and alleged infringement of personal interests by a number of actors including Jarosław Kaczyński, the head of…