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

First MFRR Summit “Locked Down: Protecting Europe’s Free Press”, 17-20 March

Registration The European Federation of Journalists invites you to attend the first MFRR Summit taking place online between 17th and 20th March. Locked Down: Protecting Europe’s Free Press will feature keynote speeches by Irene Khan and Věra Jourová, and bring together 32 journalists and experts from 16 countries to explore the threats facing media freedom in Europe across eight panels and two workshops. The Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) monitors, tracks and responds to media freedom violations in EU Member States and Candidate Countries. In its first year, through Mapping Media Freedom, 378 alerts (with 1159 attacked persons or entities related…

France: Investigation opened into attempted murder after attack on journalist

A photographer for the regional daily L’Union, Christian Lantenois, was seriously injured on Saturday 27 February while covering tensions in the Croix-Rouge district of Reims. Lantenois is currently in the intensive care unit in Reims’ hospital in a serious condition. The European and International Federation of Journalists (EFJ/FIJ) strongly condemn this despicable act. An investigation has been opened for attempted murder. Christian Lantenois, 65 years old, went to Croix-Rouge on Saturday 27 February at around 3 pm in a car identifiable as belonging to the newspaper L’Union to cover the tensions in the district. The photographer was found shortly afterwards, in…

European Commission must urgently address media market distortion in Hungary

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joined 15 media freedom groups and associations in again urging the EU’s Competition Commissioner to swiftly address concerns over media market distortions in Hungary. The group notes the continuing deterioration of media pluralism in Central Europe and renew their call to the European Commission’s Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager to open a prompt investigation into pending state aid complaints. The Commission’s lack of enforcement of market rules in Hungary, the groups said, is not only allowing the situation there to worsen but now also empowering the deliberate distortion of the media market in Poland, with…

Our letter to Charles Michel: time for EU Member States to act to protect journalists

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joined partners of the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) in expressing serious concern about the sharp decline in freedom of the press in the European Union. We sent a letter today to the President of the European Council, Charles Michel: Dear President Michel, Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) partners are profoundly concerned by the increasing threats and attacks against journalists. 2020 was an unfortunate record year: MFRR recorded 245 alerts (with 873 attacked persons or entities related to media) in 22 EU Member States, and the Council of Europe Platform for the Protection of Journalism recorded 115…

114 alerts in 4 months – MFRR report sheds light on media freedom violations in Europe

From July to October 2020, attacks on media freedom in Europe took many forms, as the Media Freedom Rapid Response’s second monitoring report documents. Besides anti-lockdown demonstrations and online harassment, the impact of legal actions (SLAPPs) contributed to a hostile climate for journalists and media workers. Find all the details in the second MFRR-report. The four-month snapshot of media threats in EU member states and Candidate countries was produced by the Media Freedom Rapid Response partners, European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) and International Press Institute (IPI), with support from the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF). The 114…

Report: Erosion of Media Freedom Gathers Pace in Poland

As about 45 private media outlets went off the air in Poland on Wednesday 10 February, running blank pages for 24h in protest against a proposed media advertising tax, the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) published today a new report documenting the multi-pronged attack on independent media by the government since 2015 to muzzle critical reporting and undermine watchdog journalism. The report, Democracy Declining: Erosion of Media Freedom in Poland, is published in English and Polish and presents the findings of the international press freedom mission carried out virtually by the seven partners of the MFRR between November and December…