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

Croatia: Media accused of conspiring to overthrow the government

Credits: Damir SENCAR / AFP

N1 Croatia revealed that members of the ruling party (HZD) accused part of the media of conspiring with the opposition to destabilise the government. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joined its affiliate in Croatia, the Croatian Journalists’ Association (CJA), in condemning new serious attempt to discredit the Croatian media. N1 TV channel reported that HZD top figures claimed, during a private online meeting on 11 January 2021, that certain media and journalists had sided with the opposition and the radical right to criticise the slow and inefficient handling of the crisis by the government after the deadly earthquake in…

Portugal: four journalists under illegal police surveillance

Picture credit: Nicolas Asfouri / AFP.

UPDATE (14/01/2021): On 14 January, daily newspaper Sabado revealed that Lisbon prosecutor Andrea Marques also tried to identify the sources of two journalists from the Portuguese public broadcaster RTP. One of these journalists was heard as a witness by the prosecutor’s office in August 2020. —————————— Four Portuguese journalists have been placed under police surveillance, at the request of Lisbon public prosecutor Andrea Marques, as part of the investigation into leaks related to the “e-Toupeira” corruption case, launched in March 2018. Without prior authorisation from an investigating judge and in order to identify the sources of the journalists, Prosecutor Marques…

Slovenia: Radio Študent threatened to lose its funding

Credits: radiostudent.si

Radio Študent will lose funding of its founder the Student Organisation of the University of Ljubljana (ŠOU), the radio announced in a press release on 8 January 2021. According to Radio Študent, the reason put forward is the critical reporting on the ŠOU structure and management. Europe’s largest and oldest independent student radio fears for its existence. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joined its affiliates, the Union of Slovenian Journalists and the Slovenian Association of Journalists, in condemning ŠOU’s withdrawal and supports Radio Študent’s calls for the provision of funding at least until 2022. This would enable a two-year…

Montenegro: The new government must prioritise and uphold press and media freedom

As Montenegro’s new coalition government under the leadership of Prime Minister Zdravko Krivokapić was formally approved by the Montenegrin Parliament on 4 December, the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR), the South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO) and key partners, urge it to put press and media freedom high on its agenda. The detailed report from their virtual fact-finding mission raises a number of concerns. To advance media freedom and, ultimately, the country’s accession bid to the European Union (EU), the new administration must commit to the necessary reforms for building and maintaining a free and pluralist media landscape. This is a…

Malta: Threats to independence of public inquiry into assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia must stop

Credits: STRINGER / AFP

16 December 2020 marks 38 months since Daphne Caruana Galizia was assassinated in Malta, yet barriers to justice remain. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) together with the undersigned organisations condemns the continued threats made by the Maltese Government against the independent public inquiry into the circumstances of the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia, and its three board members. The independence of the inquiry is vital and we call on the Government to uphold its commitments under the European Convention on Human Rights and ensure the inquiry is supported to fulfil its Terms of Reference free from all political threats…

Croatia: Smear campaign against journalist Anja Kožul, protection needed

As part of the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR), the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), the International Press Institute (IPI) and the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF) condemn the smear campaign against Croatian journalist Anja Kožul and call for her protection. Kožul works for Novosti, a Croatian and Serbian-language weekly magazine published by the Serb National Council (SNV) in Croatia, which covers issues related to the Serb community in the country.  She has been exposed to numerous threats, insults and attacks coming from Serbia since 1 December. The hate campaign started after she published an article entitled…