Funding favourable coverage? Big tech’s influence over independent journalism

Funding favourable coverage? Big tech’s influence over independent journalism

11 September, 15:00 CEST.

Through philanthropic funding mechanisms such as the Meta Journalism Project and the Google News Initiative, big tech platforms have extended their reach into the world of journalism and news media. Billed as initiatives to strengthen independent journalism at a time when media sustainability is in crisis, recent research shows that they may have instead fostered a climate of reliance on big tech and provided an opportunity for platforms to reap reputational gain through favourable media coverage from grantees. 


This webinar will feature a panel of experts discussing the undue influence of big tech companies over independent media through such mechanisms and their possible impact on press freedom and editorial independence.


Mark Dempsey

Senior Advocacy Officer, ARTICLE 19


Marius Dragomir

Founding Director of the Media and Journalism Research Centre

Charis Papaevangelou

Postdoctoral researcher at the Institute of Information Law of the University of Amsterdam.

Dr. Courtney Radsch

Director of the Center for Journalism and Liberty at the Open Markets Institute

Media freedom in Serbia: A deepening crisis

Media freedom in Serbia: A deepening crisis

Media freedom in Serbia: A deepening crisis

03 May, 11:00 CEST.

Independent journalism in Serbia faces one of its deepest crises in years.


Media workers regularly face orchestrated smear campaigns, verbal harassment, physical attacks, damage to property, and major pressure from state and non-state actors. Leading political figures are adding fuel to the fire, discrediting journalists and undermining their watchdog role. As well as this, powerful individuals abuse the legal system, filing SLAPPs against independent journalists in order to prevent them from carrying out investigations or exposing corruption and abuses of power. As a result, Serbia remains one of the most dangerous countries in Europe to work as a journalist.


To mark World Press Freedom Day on May 3, the MFRR hosted a webinar to take a closer look at the conditions which have allowed this hostile climate for independent media to thrive, and what can be done to address it. The webinar follows a recent mission to Belgrade, joined by MFRR partners, to mark the 24 year anniversary of the murder of leading Serbian editor and publisher Slavko Ćuruvija.


Roberta Taveri

Media Freedom Senior Programme Officer/Europe Programme Officer


Ivana Stevanovic

Executive Director, Slavko Ćuruvija Foundation

Rade Đurić

Researcher and expert for media law and public procurement, NUNS (Independent Journalists Association of Serbia)

Jelena Zoric

Journalist, BIRN

One year of war: The true cost of journalism

One year of war: The true cost of journalism

01 March, 11:00 CET.

On 1 March 2022, Ukrainian camera operator Yevhenii Sakun was killed during the bombing by Russian military forces of the Kyiv TV tower. The indiscriminate attack on the TV tower and the murder of the journalist marked the first major attack on the media after Russia’s full-scale invasion began on 24 February 2022.


In the months that followed, at least eight more journalists and media workers were confirmed to have lost their lives in the line of duty or because of their work. Multiple journalists reporting from the front lines, both Ukrainian nationals and foreign correspondents, have also suffered serious injuries.


One year on from the killing of Mr. Sakun, this webinar will examine the impact the war has had on press freedom, remember those who lost their lives, and discuss what more needs to be done to support free and independent media in Ukraine in its hour of need.


This topic will be discussed further at the MFRR Summit 2023.


Karol Łuczka

Eastern Europe Monitoring and Advocacy Officer, International Press Institute (IPI)


Anastasiya Stanko

Ukrainian journalist and TV presenter, co-founder of Hromadske, and member of the “Stop censorship” movement

Lina Kushsch

Lina Kushch

First Secretary of the National Union of Journalists of Ukraine (NUJU) and journalist, media expert, and media trainer with more than 25 years of experience, including contributing to Reuters and BBC.

Andrey Boborykin

Andrey Boborykin

Executive Director, Ukrainska Pravda

Public service media

Threats to independent public service media in Central Europe

Threats to independent public service media in Central Europe

24 November, 10:00 CET.

In the last few years, Central Europe has emerged as a regional flashpoint in the battle for the future of independent public service media in the European Union.


In Slovenia, editorial staff are currently in a stand-off with the management over what they say are politicised efforts to erode editorial independence. As internal disagreements escalate and strikes continue, the new government is pushing for legislative reforms which depoliticise Radiotelevizija Slovenija – and faces an upcoming referendum challenge by the opposition in doing so.


In the Czech Republic meanwhile, a country often lauded as the regional model for professional public service media, after years of sustained political pressure under the previous government of former PM Andrej Babiš, the new administration is close to passing legislation aimed at limiting political interference and shoring up the broadcaster’s institutional independence.


Two countries, with a shared set of pressures on independent public media, and similar initiatives by newly elected governments to pass democratic reforms.


In this webinar, speakers will discuss the latest developments in both countries, explore parallels in the challenges faced, and asses the ongoing legislative efforts to insulate their country’s public broadcasters against future illiberal attacks.


Jamie Wiseman

Europe Advocacy Officer at International Press Institute (IPI)


Ksenija Horvat

Journalist and broadcaster at Radiotelevizija Slovenija (RTV SLO)

Jan Bumba

Presenter at Czech National Radio (ČRo Plus).

Radka Betcheva

Head of Member Relations Central & Eastern Europe, European Broadcasting Union (EBU)

Justice Delayed: Impunity

Justice Delayed: Insights from Impunity Cases Across Europe

Justice Delayed:

Insights from Impunity Cases Across Europe

10 November, 11:00 CET.

The Council of Europe Platform for the Protection of Journalism and Safety of Journalists currently states that there are 26 ongoing cases of impunity for the murder of journalists in Europe.


We know that to bring an end to these heinous crimes, those who commit them cannot walk free. Indifference towards the seriousness of these crimes helps cultivate a culture of impunity in Europe and stands in the way of justice. But what would full justice look like in these cases? And how can we work together to achieve it?


Throughout this webinar, we will hear from speakers with close ties to journalists who paid the ultimate price for their vital and critical reporting. Through this conversation, we hope to understand what true justice will look like, how it can be achieved, and what needs to be done to halt the culture of impunity for crimes against journalists in Europe.


Flutura - Impunity Webinar

Flutura Kusari

Senior Legal Advisor, European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF)


Photo: Francesca Bellizzi #ifj18

Corinne Vella

Sister of Daphne Caruana Galizia and Head of Media Relations at the Daphne Caruana Galizia Foundation

Lukas Diko - Impunity Webinar

Lukáš Diko

Chairman and Editor-in-Chief of the Jan Kuciak Investigative Center

George Gavalas

Vice-President of the Executive Board of the Journalists’ Union of Athens Daily Newspapers

The EC Recommendation on journalists’ safety: A view from…

The EC Recommendation on journalists’ safety:

A view from the field one year on

21 September, 14:00 CEST.

On 16 September 2021, the European Commission published their Recommendation on the protection, safety and empowerment of journalists. The Recommendation illustrated the European Commission’s commitment to the safety of journalists and set out a range of measures that – if implemented – would see a marked improvement to journalist safety in EU member states.


One year on, journalists in Europe still face major threats to their safety and security. In this webinar, we will hear from a range of journalists about their experiences with the aim of creating a view from the media field, one year after the publication of the Recommendation.


Guusje Somer

Policy & Advocacy Officer, Free Press Unlimited


Emilia Sercan

Romanian investigative journalist, author and senior lecturer at the Faculty of Journalism and Communication Science within the University of Bucharest

Maja Sever

Journalist and President of the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ)

Rule of Law in decline: Media freedom in Hungary…

Rule of Law in decline:

Media freedom in Hungary and Poland

19 July, 14:00 CEST.

Following the publication of the European Commission’s annual Rule of Law Report, the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) will host a webinar with policy makers and experts for a closer look at this year’s findings. The event will focus in particular on Hungary and Poland. Panellists will consider the problem as well as the way(s) forward for improving media freedom and the rule of law at the domestic and regional levels.


Scott Griffen

Deputy Director at International Press Institute

twitter: @scott_f_griffen


Gwendoline Delbos-Corfield

Greens/EFA Member of the European Parliament & European Parliament Rapporteur for the Rule of Law situation in Hungary

twitter: @GDelbosCorfield

Dr. Polyák Gábor

Associate professor, head of the Media and Communication Department at Eötvös Loránd University Budapest

twitter: @polyak_gabor

Piotr Stasiński

Special Media Advisor,Gazeta Wyborcza Foundation, Former Gazeta Wyborcza Deputy Editor-In-Chief

Agnes Urban

Head of Mertek Media Monitor