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

Greece: Concern over criminal charges against investigative reporters

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) today joined international media freedom and freedom of expression organisations in registering concern over the serious criminal charges levelled against two investigative journalists in Greece linked to their reporting on a major corruption scandal. Our organisations are following these two legal cases with utmost scrutiny given the obvious concerns they raise with regard to press freedom. Authorities must issue guarantees that the process is demonstrably independent and free of any political interference. On January 19, Kostas Vaxevanis, a veteran investigative journalist and publisher of the newspaper Documento, testified at the Special High Court on…

Montenegro: Impunity must end for shooting of journalist Olivera Lakić

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joined partners of the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) and affiliate in Montenegro (TUMM) today to renew our call for an end to impunity for the shooting of investigative journalist Olivera Lakić in 2018 and hope the recent arrest of suspects will lead to all those involved ultimately facing justice. Our organisations also welcome the recent cross party approval of amendments to the criminal code which will strengthen protections for journalists but stress the need for further reforms to create a safe and open environment for independent journalism. Lakić, an investigative journalist covering organised…

Netherlands: International media freedom mission on the safety of Dutch journalists

The Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) is organising an international media freedom mission to the Netherlands. The mission will take at the beginning of 2022 and will be led by Free Press Unlimited and the European Center for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF) and joined by the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) and other consortium members. The aim of the mission is to map the decreasing security of journalists in the Netherlands, despite the establishment of PersVeilig (Press Safe) at the end of 2019 and the strong security mechanism for journalists. With attacks on journalists increasing, the public broadcaster NOS…

Serbia: Wave of lawsuits against investigative portal KRIK chills media freedom

We, the undersigned partners of the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR), express our concerns over the recent wave of vexatious lawsuits against the investigative portal Network for Investigation of Crime and Corruption (KRIK) in Serbia. We believe that these lawsuits are a form of strategic lawsuit against public participation (SLAPPs) that aim to stifle scrutiny and critical issues of public importance and demand urgent action from the Government and judiciary to impartially and swiftly address the growing phenomenon of SLAPPs in the country. In recent months, KRIK’s newsroom has been targeted by ten different procedures filed, in most cases, by…

Poland: Media freedom groups urge President Duda to veto ‘Lex-TVN’

Update: On 27 December 2021, President Andrzej Duda vetoed the bill. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joined 17 media freedom and journalists’ organisations in writing the following letter to the Polish president, urging to apply a presidential veto to the lex TVN. Dear Andrzej Duda, President of the Republic of Poland, The undersigned international media freedom and journalists groups are writing to urge you to apply a presidential veto to the so-called “Lex-TVN” amendment passed by the Sejm on December 17, which we believe poses a fundamental threat to media freedom and pluralism in Poland. This bill represents a…

Germany: MFRR expresses concern over rising attacks against journalists covering protests

The undersigned partners of the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) today express their concern about the increasing number of attacks against journalists across Germany, particularly in the context of anti-vaccine demonstrations. We call for better safety measures and protection as well as thorough investigations of attacks against journalists covering such demonstrations. Moreover, preventative measures are needed to stop such attacks from happening. Finally, we encourage media workers to report press and media freedom violations.  Already in 2020, reported attacks against journalists had more than doubled compared to the previous year. This dramatic increase to 255 aggressions can be attributed to…