Covid-19 Media Freedom Monitoring
The Covid-19 pandemic is having an enormous impact on the viability of news media. Next to a decline in advertisement revenue (most of which has already been captured by Facebook and Google), the pandemic has been used by authorities all around the world to throttle the free flow of life-saving information. This is happening through restrictions on access to information, to censorship, to excessive fake news regulation next to the blunt instruments of arrests and physical attacks.
The International Press Institute (IPI) is monitoring media freedom violations across the world and has already reported over 425 media freedom violations . For more information, see the Covid-19 theme page on this website or the IPI website.
Council of Europe Media Freedom Alerts
Since 2015, the Council of Europe maintains a searchable database that is part of a platform to promote the safety of journalists. The database contains alerts that i.a can be filtered on status of alert, state replies and source of threat. Next to categories such as attacks on journalists, detention and imprisonment, harassment and intimidation of journalists and impunity, one can search on ‘other acts having chilling effects on media freedom‘ by state or non-state actors. This delivers search results such as blacklisting of media outlets by government actors, illegal attempts of judges to gain access to communications or critical media being excluded or sidelined from a Covid-19 state funding package.
Free Press Unlimited is platform member and one of the contributing freedom of expression and media freedom and support partners.
Mapping Media Freedom
Mapping Media Freedom, a project of the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF) in which Free Press Unlimited participates along with other NGOs and institutes, identifies threats, violations and limitations faced by media workers throughout European Union member states, candidates for entry and neighbouring countries. Anyone can submit reports about threats, violations or limitations to media freedom and pluralism through the Mapping Media Freedom website and anyone can search the reports.
This project is run by the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) mechanism, a rapid response mechanism against violations of press and media freedom in EU Member States and Candidate Countries. It provides legal support, shelter, public advocacy and information to protect journalists and media workers.
Media Freedom Resource Centre
A host of research, publications, training opportunities, tools, access to legal support and resources are available via the Media Freedom Resource Centre. It contains the Wiki4MediaFreedom, which aims to create knowledge about freedom and pluralism in Europe. It focuses ‘on media landscapes and media freedom-related issues in the Visegrád countries and the 3 Baltic States, as well as in South-east Europe, the Eastern Partnership countries and Turkey’. Four key aspects have received particular attention:
- transparency of media ownership
- media concentration
- access to public information
- censorship and self-censorship