Reporters Respond

Target group

Media professionals and media outlets which are in an emergency situation and hence in need of support as a direct result of their profession

Other stakeholders

Free Press Unlimited's local partner organisations; member organisations of the Journalists in Distress (JID) Network

Country Partners Budget Duration
Worldwide Free Press Unlimited works with several media support partners in various countries to provide emergency support 750.000 EUR January 2016 until December 2020
Theory of Change Themes Donor
Intermediate Outcome 1 Conflict, Safety of journalists Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs


Media professionals are often confronted with violence, prosecution and harassment while conducting their work. This may lead to suspension of work or the inability to continue a journalistic career. Therefore, Free Press Unlimited launched Reporters Respond in 2011, which is an international emergency fund for journalists. This fund can support journalists who have been confronted with (online) harassment, intimidation or violence, among other things, to continue their vital work as quickly as possible. This way, journalists can continue to function as change catalysts within society, especially in countries where democracy is under threat and the government engages in corruption and oppression. Support is provided irrespective of the medium and the area covered by the journalist or outlet. Reporters Respond’s focus on keeping (or bringing back) media workers at (or to) work contributes to their continued impact in the public sphere.

While Reporters Respond has been running since 2010, this case focuses on the current project period which started on 1 January 2016 and has a duration of five years.

Overall objective

To ensure that journalists and media outlets which are in an emergency situation as a direct result of their work can resume work as quickly as possible

Intended outcomes

Intended outcome 1: Reporters Respond is a global player that effectively supports media workers in distress to continue their work.

  • Intended output 1.1: Reporters Respond effectively provides emergency support to media professionals in distress worldwide.
  • Intended output 1.2: Reporters Respond provides training opportunities to media workers in challenging environments.
  • Intended output 1.3: Reporters Respond makes a plan of action on the establishment of a global emergency fund.

Intended outcome 2: Reporters Respond maintains an active international network of actors working on emergency support for media workers.

  • Intended output 2.1: Reporters Respond continues and expands its collaboration within the Journalists in Distress (JID) network.
  • Intended output 2.2: Reporters Respond collaborates with, and supports local partners on local emergencies.


  • Medical assistance: for injuries sustained in the course of the journalists work;
  • Subsistence costs: short term support for journalists who are not able to work, or costs to temporarily flee an unsafe or vulnerable situation;
  • Psychological support: advice, referral, and funds to seek psycho-social assistance;
  • Work provisions: digital tools like VPNs for online protection and work materials in exceptional cases;
  • Family support: temporary support for family members of journalists who are unable to work, who are imprisoned, or who are deceased;
  • Preventive safety measures: knowledge and resources that help the recipient to circumvent censorship and communicate safely and securely, as well as security training (on location or online).

In addition to its emergency fund, Reporters Respond is also able to provide advice, coaching and support, sometimes in the form of referrals, on the subject of digital, physical and psycho-social safety.

Achieved outputs

  • Output 1.1: In 2016, 193 applications were received, out if which 50 cases were supported. In 2017, 166 applications were received, out of which 43 cases were supported. In 2018, 224 applications were received, out of which 107 cases were supported. In 2019 233 applications were received, out of which 102 cases were supported.
  • Output 1.2: In 2016, a trauma training for media professionals in the MENA was supported and a psycho-social support training was organised for journalists in exile in Sub-Saharan Africa. In 2017, a psycho-social safety training was supported for media professionals in Asia. In 2018, a trauma training was organised and supported for media professionals in Latin America. In 2019 a physical security training was organised for journalists in Latin America.
  • Output 1.3: Since 2016, Free Press Unlimited has coordinated efforts for safety of journalists on global level through the International Civil Society Coalition on the Safety of Journalists. This is not limited to ideas for a global emergency fund, but is instead broader and includes advocacy and research.
  • Output 2.1: Collaboration within the JID Network intensified through the use of a secure online platform that members use on a daily basis to coordinate applications for support. Many cases were supported with knowledge and logistical support through collaboration with JID members.
  • Output 2.2: Since 2016 Reporters Respond has collaborated with several partner organisations in Sub-Saharan Africa, the MENA and the Americas.

Achieved outcomes

Journalists who are hampered in carrying out their work are supported through emergency support, training and advocacy. Through collaboration with the Journalists in Distress (JID) Network and local partnerships, journalists can be supported more efficiently and speedily.