Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR), comprised of press freedom groups, publishes report charting worrying decline of media freedom in Europe. Key factors in the decline were COVID-19, police violence and online harassment.
This statement was originally published on europeanjournalists.org on 30 July 2020.
The year 2020 seems to add another sad chapter on the decline of media freedom in Europe. Main reasons were the impact of the COVID-19 crisis, police violence and online harassment. Find all details in first MFRR-report.
Themonitoring reportcompiled by European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) and International Press Institute (IPI), with support from ECPMF, gives unprecedented insight into the threats to media freedom in EU member states and Candidate Countries. Within the monitored period from March to June a total of 120 alerts were registered on the mappingmediafreedom.org platform from two-thirds of the countries covered by the MFRR. This data is the basis for the present report. EFJ, IPI and ECPMF are part of the Media Freedom Rapid Response consortium.
One key trend observed is the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on media freedom. Some governments used the pandemic as a pretext to restrict democratic discourse or reinforce authoritarian tendencies. In Hungary Prime Minister Viktor Orbn pursued tighter information control and intensified its now decade-long campaign to discredit and undermine critical journalism. Meanwhile, new criminal legislation against the spreading of false or distorted information, passed during the state of emergency, caused uncertainty and self-censorship among media outlets and actors. Hungary must be regarded as an outstanding example, but restrictions of media freedom due to COVID-19 were also seen in other European countries mappingmediafreedom.org registered 37 alerts related to the pandemic.
Another trend are the dangers to journalists and media workers when covering protests and demonstrations. The beginning of 2020 has seen unprecedented public protest across Europe, protesting on a range of issues including opposition to governments responses to the COVID-19 pandemic, calls for addressing systematic racism, as well as right wing opposition to these movements. At a number of protests in countries such as Germany, France, UK and Italy, journalists and media workers were verbally harassed and threatened, while in a majority of alerts (17) they were attacked, leaving some in need of medical treatment. The report highlights that in total, 45 journalists and media workers were attacked between March and June during demonstrations and protests according to 28 alerts from EU Member States and Candidate Countries.
Demonstrators are not the only risk to media professionals. As the report shows, violence and threats from police officers and security services is second only to attacks from private individuals. The responsibility of the police to protect journalists against threats and attacks has been neglected; in some countries security forces actively tried to hinder media workers from doing their jobs. In 2019 ECPMFs launched theMedia Freedom Police Codexto address this problem.
In general the range of different types of threats faced by media workers is broad. According to the MFRR analysis, the most common type of threat is Intimidation/Threatening (59), followed by Insult/Abuse (26). These threats can have a devastating effect on a journalists ability to do their job. In Italy at least 20 journalists and TV presenters live under 24-hour police guard, many due to threats made against them both online and off. Gender-based abuse against women in journalism, oftentimes shared online, often includes threats of sexual violence and represents a significant threat that needs immediate and robust attention.
The Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) was launched in March 2020 to support at-risk journalists and media workers across the EU Member States and Candidate Countries. Mapping Media Freedom is a platform that enables anyone to upload details of an attack, threat or media freedom violation and help to visualise and collect information about media freedom across Europe. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) and the International Press Institute (IPI), with support from the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF) form the expert network that verifies, analyses and publishes all alerts on the platform. These alerts form the basis of the Mapping Media Freedom Monitoring Report.
Download the full report.
This statement is part of the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR),a Europe-wide mechanism, which tracks, monitors and responds to violations of press and media freedom in EU Member States and Candidate Countries. This project, co-funded by the European Commission, provides legal and practical support, public advocacy and information to protect journalists and media workers.
- Diversity Dialogues Raise Issues of Women's Rights, Sexual Identity and Individual Freedom - University of Arkansas Newswire - February 20th, 2021
- Capitol Talk: Antifa; 'Religious Freedom', And Limits On Local Control - MTPR - February 20th, 2021
- John Mayall: The blues have given me musical freedom - Olean Times Herald - February 20th, 2021
- Greta comes out in support of Disha, says freedom of speech and right to peaceful protest non-negotiable - The Tribune India - February 20th, 2021
- Mosaic Announces Long-Term Partnership with Freedom Forever - PRNewswire - February 20th, 2021
- Creative freedom restricted by cloaking it in religion - The Hindu - February 20th, 2021
- Statutes of Liberty: Freedom of Information Act Requests are Free for Immigrants and U.S. Citizens - ARLnow - February 20th, 2021
- Woman who fought for racial equity as a Freedom Rider reflects on the past, gives outlook on the future - WLWT Cincinnati - February 20th, 2021
- Rescue horses move to Freedom to teach, provide therapy for people in need of rescue - Boothbay Register - February 20th, 2021
- Sudan: Forces of Freedom of Change refuses army appointments as governors - Middle East Monitor - February 20th, 2021
- Freedom Foods sees another CFO depart troubled Australian dairy business - just-food.com - February 20th, 2021
- Opinion | Give Fred Gray the Medal of Freedom, because no one deserves it more - alreporter.com - February 20th, 2021
- Biden Has No Time to Lose on Freedom of Navigation Operations Against China - Foreign Policy - February 20th, 2021
- The scars of solitary: Albert Woodfox on freedom after 44 years in a concrete cell - The Guardian - February 20th, 2021
- Washington Spirit owners, Freddy Adu, and more: Freedom Kicks - Black And Red United - February 20th, 2021
- Readers Write: Impeachment trial, freedom of speech, the cold weather - Minneapolis Star Tribune - February 20th, 2021
- What the Trump administration meant for freedom of information requests - Columbia Journalism Review - February 20th, 2021
- Freedom and security: On social media platforms operating in India - The Hindu - February 20th, 2021
- 'You have to stay strong': 102-year-old freedom fighter's message to Disha Ravi - Hindustan Times - February 20th, 2021
- Freedom | Definition of Freedom at Dictionary.com - December 3rd, 2020
- Freedom - Wikipedia - December 3rd, 2020
- After 400 Years, The Reason People Come To America Is Still ... - December 3rd, 2020
- Medicare Advantage Plans for Florida at Freedom Health ... - December 3rd, 2020
- Freedom of Religion or Belief club formed at BYU - The Daily Universe - Universe.byu.edu - September 18th, 2020
- Freedom 76 At Grandview Will Be Live On FloRacing - FloRacing - September 18th, 2020
- Aviation Analysis: Revival of Fifth Freedom Flights? - Sam Chui - September 18th, 2020
- Trump Attacks The 1619 Project: U.S. Wasnt Founded On Slavery And Oppression, It Was Freedom - Moguldom - September 18th, 2020
- PAUL TIYAMBE ZELEZA - Beyond Political Freedom to Inclusive Wealth Creation and Self-Reliance - The Elephant - September 18th, 2020
- Backyard pool will bring joy and freedom to Niagara Falls boy - StCatharinesStandard.ca - September 18th, 2020
- Parson James Talks New Single, Lockdown, and Artistic Freedom - vmagazine.com - September 18th, 2020
- Private Railways Will Have Freedom To Set Their Own Fares: Government - NDTV - September 18th, 2020
- McCarthy focused on election, not Freedom Caucus push to remove Pelosi - Roll Call - September 18th, 2020
- Julian Assange, and Press Freedom, on Trial in London - Democracy Now! - September 18th, 2020
- Heres How to Retire at 45 with Financial Freedom - Investment U - September 18th, 2020
- Freedom and Madison off to a 'super' school year - Conway Daily Sun - September 2nd, 2020
- Freedom and Independence group formed to combat Soviet terror founded 75 years ago today - The First News - September 2nd, 2020
- COMMENTARY: Your freedom hinges on freedom of speech - The Cherokee One Feather - Cherokee One Feather - September 2nd, 2020
- Will it be Freedom Hilly cross country course? - The Macomb Daily - September 2nd, 2020
- Joliet Township Sued Under The Freedom of Information Act; Unauthorized Fees - Edgar County Watchdogs - September 2nd, 2020
- OPINION/LETTER: Gun range noise is the 'sound of freedom' - Cape Cod Times - September 2nd, 2020
- What was the Red Sox best trade-deadline acquisition? Freedom from luxury-tax penalties - The Boston Globe - September 2nd, 2020
- Fortify Your Home on the Cheap, Part 2 - America's 1st Freedom - September 2nd, 2020
- Sen. Gardner touts vaccine progress, pandemic legislation at Steamboat Institute's Freedom Conference in Beaver Creek - Steamboat Pilot and Today - September 2nd, 2020
- 'Zombies of the Corn' haunted attraction set for 8th season of frightful fun in Freedom - TribLIVE - September 2nd, 2020
- President Armen Sarkissian: Artsakh Was the Spark Which Lit the Fire of Freedom - Armenian News by MassisPost - September 2nd, 2020
- One Database to Rule Them All: The Invisible Content Cartel that Undermines the Freedom of Expression Online - EFF - September 2nd, 2020
- Personal freedom is still limited in most of the Islamic world - The Economist - September 2nd, 2020
- 'Mental Freedom' part two - The River Reporter - September 2nd, 2020
- Tuesday Freedom Kicks: Gelmin Rivas to D.C. United, continued fallout at Real Salt Lake, and more - Black And Red United - September 2nd, 2020
- Freedom Means Something Different to Liberals and Conservatives. Heres How the Definition SplitAnd Why That Still Matters - TIME - August 31st, 2020
- Trademark Parody and Freedom of Speech in the U.S. - JD Supra - August 31st, 2020
- D.C., Loudoun lose, Weston to Juve done & more: Freedom Kicks for 8/31/20 - Black And Red United - August 31st, 2020
- Letter to the Editor: The real meaning of freedom - The Bakersfield Californian - August 31st, 2020
- Bass: Exercising freedom to be exposed to COVID-19 - Berkshire Eagle - August 31st, 2020
- Dean Cain: NYC becoming land of the flee as people leave in search of more freedom - Fox News - August 31st, 2020
- In Conversation: Georgia Anne Muldrow on Finding Freedom as Jyoti - FLOOD Magazine - August 31st, 2020
- Watershed moment for freedom of speech: Prashant Bhushan on SC verdict. Read full statement here - Hindustan Times - August 31st, 2020
- Trumps ban of TikTok and WeChat would reduce Americans freedom of speech and harm foreign investment in the U.S. - MarketWatch - August 31st, 2020
- Letter to the Editor: It's All About Freedom - Centralia Chronicle - August 31st, 2020
- CLARK B. HALL: Rare images record freedom in the making - starexponent.com - August 31st, 2020
- Tantrum Or Freedom Of Expression Over Face Masks? - wcrz.com - August 31st, 2020
- This is my freedom of speech - Newnan Times-Herald - August 31st, 2020
- There are limits to freedom - Mount Airy News - August 31st, 2020
- Freedom in the Muslim World - Cato Institute - August 31st, 2020
- Shevar Perry to Open Solo Exhibit Moments of Freedom August 24th, 2020 - Suburban Journals - August 31st, 2020
- 'I enjoy the freedom and picking funds': why this doctor ditched his 250,000 NHS pension - Telegraph.co.uk - August 31st, 2020
- Freedom and the pursuit of safety - The Boston Globe - August 10th, 2020
- Texas History: Sizing up daily lives in the states freedom colonies - Brownwood Bulletin - August 10th, 2020
- Columbia Professor Sarah Seo to Talk about 'Cars, Police and Freedom in the United States' on Thursday - Redheaded Blackbelt - August 10th, 2020
- Finding Freedom by Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand Harry and Meghan and the making of a modern royal family - The Guardian - August 10th, 2020
- She Wanted More Freedom and Meaning From Her Career - The Story Exchange - August 10th, 2020
- This Week in Washington IP: Injunctions for SEPs, How Innovation Flourishes in Freedom, and Reviewing SBIR/STTR at the National Science Foundation -... - August 10th, 2020
- Adolescent bodily integrity and freedom from violence in Ethiopia - Ethiopia - ReliefWeb - August 10th, 2020
- Breaking the loan shackle: How to win freedom from debt - Moneycontrol.com - August 10th, 2020
- Behind The Blue: 'Embattled Freedom' And Confederate Memorials - Patch.com - August 10th, 2020
- Mapping Media Freedom: Big Increase in Threats Reported in Albania During 2020 - Exit - Explain Albania - August 10th, 2020
- Flight to Freedom: Pilot lands in Nueces County to pick up two abandoned dogs due to pandemic and flies them to their new foster home - KIIITV.com - August 10th, 2020
- Opinion | With Trump appointing anti-abortion judges, the fight for reproductive freedom is critical - Street Roots News - August 10th, 2020
- 'Behind the Blue': 'Embattled Freedom' and Confederate Memorials With Amy Murrell Taylor - UKNow - August 10th, 2020
- Trump's Threat to Press Freedom Is Global - Truthout - August 10th, 2020