Threats against journalists and media workers should not be tolerated: Report it

Report It

Threats to media freedom start WAY before journalists are killed or imprisoned. Some threats have become so commonplace that journalists accept them as a normal part of their work. Yet these threats are not normal. They are wrong  and often illegal. They range from harassment  on the basis of differences such as gender, LGBTQ, migration history, race, or protesting against climate change to intimidation and  physical or legal threats. All these threats, large and small, happen every day and prevent journalists from  doing their  job. Theycan also  discourage others from covering topics that. might result in similar intimidation.

If we do not protect media freedom we are left only with silence. Threats to journalists and media workers are threats to democracy. 

But to change this we need everyone’s help. We need a  world of watchdogs. That is why ECPMF and other Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) partners are running the ReportIt campaign.

Report It: Objectives

  • To create awareness about different threats to journalists and media workers. There is a belief that if a form of threat is not deemed as  ‘severe’ it does not need to be reported. All threats to press and media freedom need to be reported, hence ReportIt, and measures taken to curb them and to help the media workers who are subjected to them.  
  • To increase use of Mapping Media Freedom (MMF) by non-expert network users, with a focus on journalists and media workers across EU Member States and Candidate Countries;
  • To build awareness of the MMF platform  which monitors threats to media freedom,  and is a source of analysis, information and news for advocacy and journalism.

We both found the situation very threatening and afterwards we were trembling and headed back to the railway station together” German radio journalists threatened by right-wing Pegida members at a large demonstration.

Examples of when you should report it

  • Banned from government briefings, like James Cusick in the UK…? Report It
  • Singled out by politicians, as Slovenia’s state broadcaster RTV was when the Prime Minister accused them of trying to overthrow his Government?…Report It
  • Threatened with unjust, costly legal action, like Gazeta Wyborcza in Poland, Inès Léraud in France, or EUobserver in Belgium?…Report It
  • Attacked while covering a protest, like Stéphanie Roy, who was injured by a police officer’s tear gas grenade.?..Report It

Where to Report it?

The Mapping Media Freedom platform collates and  verifies every threat to media freedom. Since 2014, over 5,173 alerts have been submitted from over 44 countries. This includes physical attacks, online smear or harassment campaigns, attempts to hack journalists’ devices, theft of journalistic equipment, the demonising of ‘the media’ or attempts to block news websites. 

This is the reality of journalists’ lives across EU Member States and Candidate Countries.  But we all have the power to do something about it. Everything that prevents  journalists from doing their job safely is a threat to media freedom and needs to be reported

Every alert that is uploaded gives us a clearer picture of the media landscape and allows us to come together to demand changes, including better protection for journalists or legal reform that defends media freedom. It also helps the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) to offer meaningful support to frontline journalists who need it. 

And it couldn’t be easier. Mapping Media Freedom is a crowd-sourcing platform that can be used by anyone; a journalist who sees a colleague in distress, an editor worried about staff  reporting from a danger zone, or a passerby witnessing an attack on their way home from the shops.

Here’s how to report an incident;

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

That’s it! Our network of experts from ECPMF, European Federation of Journalists and the International Press institute will verify every alert before it is published.

By telling us what you see, hear or experience, you are helping us to support journalists and media workers in every EU Member State and Candidate Country. Our support includes practical and legal support as well as advocacy. You are ensuring journalists can stand in solidarity with their colleagues across national borders and you are demonstrating that people are watching when journalists are threatened. 

So if you see a threat against journalists or media workers…Report It

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