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

Germany: Misuse of funds at RBB highlights need for greater accountability in publicly funded media

The partners of the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) denounce the obvious misuse of public funds by Patricia Schlesinger, former director of Berlin’s public broadcaster Radio Berlin Brandenburg (RBB). We welcome her instant dismissal while demanding a thorough investigation and calling for improved accountability in publicly funded media. On 15 August, the Rundfunkrat, which supervises the broadcaster, decided to instantly dismiss Ms. Schlesinger following her decision to step back from her position as director on 7 August. The dismissal was made in response to a wave of allegations related to mismanagement of public funds. Among the allegations are the allocation…

EFJ calls on German authorities to get to the bottom of allegations of corruption at public broadcaster RBB

German public broadcaster RBB has been rocked by a scandal surrounding its former director, Patricia Schlesinger, who is accused of embezzlement and misuse of her position as head of the Berlin-based media group. On Sunday, Schlesinger stepped down after accusations that included a questionable use of funds, including controversial allocation of consultancy contracts. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) called on the German judicial authorities to carry out a proper investigation into the suspicions of corruption. The allegations go back a number of weeks to when the German news portal Business Insider wrote about “inconsistencies” in the business dealings of…

Greece: EFJ demands full disclosure on illegal surveillance of journalists

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) condemns the legal actions aimed at muzzling and intimidating the press in the context of the scandal of illegal government practices in Greece, in particular the tapping of journalists and politicians. The EFJ condemns the abusive legal proceedings launched on Friday 5 August by Grigoris Dimitriadis, resigning adviser and nephew of Greek Prime Minister Kyriákos Mitsotákis, against journalists Thanasis Koukakis, Nikolas Leontopoulos and Thodoris Chondrogiannos, as well as against the website Reporters United and the newspaper EfSyn. “We demand the immediate withdrawal of these complaints, which are only intended to intimidate the press and…

EU Rule of Law Report: Europe needs a strong Media Freedom Act

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) welcomes the publication on Wednesday 13 July of the European Commission’s report on the rule of law. This third annual report highlights the threats to media pluralism and the safety of journalists in EU Member States. The EFJ called on the European Commission to adopt a binding and demanding Media Freedom Act to compel Member States to take action. The third EU Rule of Law report features specific recommendations targeted at individual member states. Sixteen EU countries have been urged to take measures to protect journalists, media freedom and pluralism (see below). The findings…

Credits: AFP

Greece: Real Group media offices targeted in arson attack

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) today joined its partner organisations of the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) and the Journalists’ Union of Athens Daily Newspapers (JUADN) in condemning the arson attack on the offices of newspaper Real News and the radio station Real FM in Athens on 13 July 2022. Our organisations call on the Greek law enforcement authorities to conduct a swift and thorough investigation into the motive and circumstances behind the fire and to bring the perpetrators and masterminds to justice. This case is yet another worrying example of the deteriorating press freedom in Greece, which requires…

Ukraine: Authorities should withdraw the draft media law

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) shares the call made by its Ukrainian affiliates, the National Union of Journalists of Ukraine (NUJU) and the Independent Media Trade Union of Ukraine (IMTUU) for the Ukrainian authorities to bring the media legislation in line with European standards of press freedom. The EFJ, NUJU and IMTUU welcome the decision of the European Union Heads of State and Government to grant Ukraine the status of an EU candidate country. The EFJ and its affiliates in Ukraine recall that this implies a thorough revision of the Ukrainian media legislation. The current draft media law, introduced…