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MFRR Summit | Protests: A Media Freedom Flashpoint across Europe

18. March 2021 @ 13:30 - 14:30


2020 was a year of protests. Whether in response to government policies towards the COVID-19 pandemic, opposing structural racism and misogyny, states’ economic and social policies, actions of the police and a range of constitutional tensions, protests have erupted across Europe. However, the same right that protects the rights of protesters has been put under pressure by these demonstrations as they have become the most dangerous situations for journalists to cover. While a vital part of modern and pluralist democracies, demonstrations have emerged as one of the most dangerous situations for journalists and media workers to cover. In 2020, more than a quarter of all Mapping Media Freedom alerts related to media freedom violations that took place during protests. The right to protest is vital for a functioning democracy, but so is an independent media, able to report free from threats of violence or intimidation. How do we avoid an Europe that poses these important democractic practices as opposites? What needs to change? Led by Free Press Unlimited, the panel will look at protests from Germany, France and Serbia and speak to representatives of journalists associations to learn how we can ensure journalists are protected and protests are able to continue.


  • Tamara Filipovic Stevanovic, Independent Journalists’ Association of Serbia (Serbia)
  • Monique Hofmann, Deutsche Journalistinnen- und Journalisten-Union (dju) in ver.di (Germany)
  • Emmanuel Vire, Syndicat National des Journalistes CGT (France)
  • CHAIR: Jantine van Herwijnen, Free Press Unlimited (The Netherlands)

Tamara Filipovic Stevanovic

Tamara Filipovic Stevanovic has been working at Independent Journalists’ Association of Serbia since August 2010. Initially she worked as a project manager, then from July 2020 as Secretary General of IJAS. She works on development and management of the projects regarding increasing professional and ethical capacity of journalists, safety of journalists, public media policies etc. She is a media activist, with special interest in media policies and journalists’ rights. She writes reports and advocates for development of the media sector and increase of media freedoms. She participated in the development and implementation of the advocacy strategy of IJAS, in the development and implementation of the regional platform SafeJournalist and finally in the development of the Media Strategy of the Republic of Serbia. She is a member of several media working groups and commissions at the state level. Tamara studied in the Faculty of Philosophy, department for History.

Monique Hofmann

Monique Hofmann is the General Secretary of the German Journalists Union (dju) in ver.di. She studied History and Romanic Studies in Mainz, Dijon and Bologna and has lived in Rome for two years after achieving her degree. In 2014, she headed the German campaign for the European Citizens Initiative for Media Pluralism before starting to work in the media department at the trade union ver.di in 2015. Prior to her role as General Secretary, Monique was initially responsible for communications and public relations at the German Journalists Union (dju) in ver.di. For media professionals covering demonstrations she organizes workshops and provides legal support in case of attacks or obstructions by the police. As General Secretary of the dju, she is also responsible for issues relating to press cards. Since 2016 she publishes on media topics as a freelance journalist, mainly for the media magazine “Menschen Medien Medien”.

Emmanuel Vire

After studying geography and starting a career in territory planning, Emmanuel Vire became a journalist in 1999 when National Geographic magazine was launched in France. Emmanuel began working for Géo magazine in 2008 and General Secretary of the SNJ-CGT, the 2nd largest journalists’ union in France, since 2010. I am also a member of the Professional Journalists Card Commission which issues the press card. The SNJ-CGT participated in the creation of the national coordination against the Global Security Bill and is one of its most active members.

Jantine van Herwijnen

Jantine van Herwijnen is the programme coordinator safety at Free Press Unlimited. She is managing the Emergency Support and Legal Defense Fund for journalists in distress. Furthermore she works on safety and security training, affordable insurance for journalists worldwide and programme development. She has been living in the Middle-East for 5 years, working with local media development and human rights organisations in conflict-contexts.


18. March 2021
13:30 - 14:30
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