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: 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…

Fresh attacks worsen climate of hostility against journalists covering protests across Europe

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) together with Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) partners have raised further concerns about continued violence against journalists covering protests and demonstrations across European Union (EU) Member States and Candidates in 2020. The group calls for increased protection, police training and oversight, as well as broader respect for media freedom. In the first six months of the year, MFRR partners have documented over 31 separate cases of attacks and media freedom violations against at least 41 different journalists and media workers reporting from protests and demonstrations in 11 EU Member States and Candidate Countries. The figures, documented…

Stop use of SLAPPs: EFJ joins coalition to express concern about legal threats against EUobserver

Credits: screenshot of the EUobserver article

Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) partners, journalist bodies, free expression and journalist support organisations are concerned about the legal threats made against EUobserver in Luxembourg and Belgium and call to stop the use of Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation (SLAPP) actions across Europe. Left unreformed, such legal threats will be sufficient to silence media workers and outlets. We stand in solidarity with EUobserver and will continue to monitor developments around the case. In 2019, EUobserver published an article in the English language investigating the actions of a British PR firm, Chelgate, on behalf of the Maltese state. According to the…

Press Cartoonists in Europe must be protected

Credit: Cartoons of Mahmoud Abbas, Gabor Papai and Niels Bo Bojesen

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joins MFRR partners call for press cartoonists to be protected to ensure they can realise their right to free expression across Europe. Across the European Union and Candidate Countries, cartoonists have been targeted for their work by state and non-state actors from within and outside Europe. This includes online harassment and threats, attempted censorship and legal prosecution. The MFRR partners, joined by Cartooning for Peace (CfP) and Cartoonists Rights Network International (CRNI), condemn these attacks against press cartoons, which have grown in number as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and reiterate their…

Major step forward in push to scrap prison sentences for criminal defamation in Italy

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joins MFRR partners in welcoming the decision by the Italian Constitutional Court to refer a decision on whether to abolish prison sentences for criminal defamation in relation to journalists and media workers to the Italian Parliament. On 9 June 2020, the Court held a long-awaited public hearing into the constitutional legitimacy of Article 595 of the penal code and Article 13 of the law on the press, ruling that while reform was necessary, it was the responsibility of Parliament to amend the legislation. The Court ruled that while a “complex balancing operation” was required…