17 September 2020

Report It campaign to highlight threats against journalists and media workers and encourage everyone to speak up and speak out

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Leipzig, 17 September, 2020: To protect press and media freedom, we need an accurate picture of the forces that threaten it. To do this, we must collect and verify as much information as possible. That is why the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) has launched the ‘Report It’ campaign to create awareness and encourage everyone to play a role in documenting and reporting the many violations committed against journalists and media workers across Europe. It is wrong that such violations, abuses and aggressions have become so frequent as to be almost accepted as “situation:normal”. Through this campaign, the MFRR insists that this behaviour should not be normalised or accepted as the price of being a journalist or media worker. Threats and violations against media actors are not right and they should not be tolerated. Instead, they should be reported.

 

Where?

The Mapping Media Freedom (MMF) platform is the place to report every threat, including everything from physical attacks that require hospital treatment, arrests and detention, vexatious legal actions, harassment and smear campaigns, to attempts to censor journalistic output, ban journalists from government events or bring forward laws restricting media freedom. All these are violations that need to be reported. By entering this information to MMF, the MFRR team can offer direct support to the media worker(s) affected. This will also help us gain a clearer understanding of the threats to  press and media  freedom in Europe.

 

How can you report an incident?

These are the simple steps to Report it:

  1. Go to: https://www.mapmf.org/report-it
  2. Add the subject (a title for the threat i.e. ‘Journalist threatened at protest in Paris’)
  3. Include a description of the threat with as much detail as possible to help us verify the alert. This can include hyperlinks
  4. Include the date of incident
  5. Add the location
  6. Press submit

 

Threats across Europe

Since the beginning of 2020, 241 alerts from 30 countries have been uploaded to the MMF platform, including attempts by the Greek police to prevent journalists from speaking to refugees and asylum seekers after the Moria site fire; attacks on journalists during anti-government demonstrations in Sofia; the denial of broadcast licenses for independent media outlets, such as Klubrádió in Hungary, or the online misogynistic harassment against journalists in countries such as UK, North Macedonia and Belgium.

Every alert makes sure that journalists and media workers do not have to suffer in silence. To effectively support journalists across Europe, we need everyone’s help to ensure that every violation is reported on Mapping Media Freedom.

Cases of criminal defamation, or civil lawsuits such as SLAPPs, can be reported to mappingmediafreedom.org. The Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) also provides financial legal support for journalists, media workers and media outlets. For further information on legal aid please visit https://www.mfrr.eu/support/legal-support or contact Flutura Kusari on kusari@ecpmf.eu

MFRR Partners:

Article 19

European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF)

European Federation of Journalists (EFJ)

Free Press Unlimited (FPU)

Institute for Applied Informatics at the University of Leipzig (InfAI)

International Press Institute (IPI)

Osservatorio Balcani e Caucaso Transeuropa (OBCT)

This statement is part of the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR), an Europe-wide mechanism, which tracks, monitors and responds to violations of press and media freedom in EU Member States and Candidate Countries. This project provides legal and practical support, public advocacy and information to protect journalists and media workers. The MFRR is organised by an consortium led by the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF) with ARTICLE 19, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), Free Press Unlimited (FPU), the Institute for Applied Informatics at the University of Leipzig (InfAI), International Press Institute (IPI) and CCI/Osservatorio Balcani e Caucaso Transeuropa (OBCT). The project is co-funded by the European Commission. www.mfrr.eu

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