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Here you will be able to browse all statements, reports, resources, open letters and other documents produced by the MFRR and all relevant partners.

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European Commission study on journalist safety lacks solutions while security deteriorates

MFRR calls for more comprehensive and relevant measures to prioritise journalist safety, address economic and social vulnerabilities, and effectively tackle online threats in the EU.

MFRR partners call for lifting ban on journalists’ access to Georgian parliament

MFRR condemns the barring of journalists from reporting within the Parliament of Georgia.

Media freedom groups call on Slovakia’s Parliament to reject public broadcasting bill

Journalists and media freedom groups are urging Slovakia’s MPs to reject the proposed public service broadcasting bill.

Germany: Journalist Ignacio Rosaslanda physically assaulted by police while covering police operation

On 23 May 2024, Ignacio Rosaslanda was physically attacked at the Humboldt University’s Institute of Social Sciences when covering protests by pro-Palestinian activists.

(Lokal-)Journalismus unter Druck: Monitoring und Schutzmechanismen in Zeiten wachsender Gefährdung

Patrick Peltz und Andreas Lamm vom ECPMF in Leipzig berichten über „Feindbild Journalist:in 8“ und den neuen „Mapping Media Freedom Monitoring Report“.

Romania: Super election year calls for press freedom assessment

A coalition of media freedom organisations will conduct a mission to Bucharest on 17-18 June 2024 to assess key challenges amid Romania’s super election year.

Urgent action needed to address the financial deadlock facing Radio-Television of Bosnia and Herzegovina

Today the partners of the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) express concern at the critical financial situation facing Radio-Television of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BHRT).

Two decades of impunity in case of murder of Duško Jovanović

On the 20th anniversary of the murder of Montenegrin journalist Duško Jovanović, the SafeJournalists Network and Media Freedom Rapid Response call for stronger action from the authorities.

Death threats to editorial of weekly magazine Nacional in Croatia

The editorial office of the weekly magazine Nacional received death threats in an SMS message on Monday, 20 May 2024.

Defending Press Freedom in Georgia as the foreign agent bill passes the third reading

We are writing to express our deep concern about the recent ruling of the Georgian Dream party passing the Russian-style foreign agent bill.

Italy: Media freedom coalition sounds the alarm on political meddling and legal threats to journalism

Amid the forthcoming EU elections, the MFRR was prompted to organise an urgent advocacy mission to Italy on May 16-17.

BiH: Authorities must urgently break the deadlock facing public broadcasters and solve the financial problems

MFRR denounces the temporary interruption of the TV and radio programs of the RTV Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina on 8 May 2024.

Ukraine: MFRR partners highlight ongoing press freedom issues

MFRR partners today highlight ongoing press freedom concerns in Ukraine, over two years following the start of Russia’s full-scale invasion.

Georgian PM urged to withdraw Foreign Agent Law and to guarantee journalist safety

Georgian PM urged to withdraw the Law on Transparency of Foreign Influence, guarantee the safety of journalists and uphold press freedom in Georgia.

MFRR to conduct a mission to Italy amid worsening state of media freedom in the country

The deteriorating state of press freedom in Italy has prompted the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) consortium to organise an urgent mission to Rome on May 16 and 17.

Serbia: MFRR partners demand Belgrade court set Belarusian journalist free

The undersigned partner organisations of the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) demand the immediate release of Andrey Gniot.

Press freedom in Italy: those in power are not to be criticised

In 2021, then opposition leader Giorgia Meloni sued Roberto Saviano for defamation. Last October, the Rome Criminal Court issued a sentence against the Italian writer. A ruling that alarmed Italian and European civil society. We had a conversation about it with Antonio Nobile, Saviano’s lawyer.

WPFD 2024: Media freedom groups sound the alarm over press freedom in Europe

On World Press Freedom Day (WPFD) 2024, the partner organisations of the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) stand in solidarity with media workers everywhere.

Terrorism investigation into Catalan journalist raises concerns ahead of elections

Journalists and media freedom organisations express concern over the investigation for terrorism of Catalan journalist Jesús Rodríguez Sellés.

World Press Freedom Day 2024: Europe’s press freedom battlegrounds

Join our webinar on World Press Freedom Day 2024. Explore Europe’s press freedom challenges ahead of the crucial election season and learn about rising threats and the support independent media need.

Bulgaria Minister urged to drop defamation lawsuit

The MFRR criticises the criminal defamation lawsuit filed by Interior Minister Kalin Stoyanov against the Bureau for Investigative Reporting and Data (BIRD).

Georgia: Press Freedom Erosion amid Reintroduced ‘Foreign Agent Law’

On 25 April, the MFRR will host a webinar addressing the recent decline in press freedom in Georgia and reintroduction of a Russia-style foreign agent law.

Feindbild Journalist 8: Fear of self-censorship

In 2023, the number of physical attacks on journalists in Germany increased compared to 2022. Rising from 56 cases in 2022, 69 cases of physical attacks on journalists were verified by the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF) as part of the MFRR in 2023.

Georgia: MFRR partners strongly condemn new attempts to introduce a “foreign agent” law

The undersigned media freedom organisations strongly condemn Georgia’s ruling party’s renewed effort to pass a Russian-style foreign agent law.

Safety and justice: demanding accountability for attacks against journalists in Serbia

Commemorating 25 years since the brutal murder of Serbian journalist Slavko Ćuruvija, media freedom organizations unite to condemn continued impunity in this case.

Three years later: Still no justice for murdered Greek journalist Giorgos Karaivaz

Three years have elapsed since the assassination of Giorgos Karaivaz, a veteran Greek crime reporter. Today, the undersigned members of the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) commemorate his death and renew demands on the Greek authorities to redouble their efforts to bring the perpetrators to justice.

Slovakia: Independence of Slovakia’s leading TV news channel must be protected

The members of the MFRR are alarmed by the actions of the Slovak government towards Slovakia’s leading commercial broadcaster, TV Markíza.

Media in Albania, under the blows of power

The recent angry attack by the Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama against a journalist has brought the constant pressure and intimidation that the power in Albania exerts on the media and media professionals back under the spotlight.

Mission Report: Media Freedom in Romania Ahead of Super Election Year

Amidst Romania’s Super Election Year, the MFRR unveils a report delving into the pressing issues surrounding media freedom in the country.

MFRR joins call for EU to prioritise rule of law

On Wednesday, MFRR partners and other media freedom organisations called on the European Commission to strengthen its fifth annual rule of law report.

Media freedom in Romania ahead of Super Election year

Media freedom in Romania ahead of Super Election Year 4 April, 14:00 CET On April 4, the International Press Institute (IPI) and the Media Freedom Rapid Response will host a webinar to mark the publication of a major report assessing press freedom and independent journalism in Romania.   In Romania, the main instrument of political

Urgent action needed to protect journalists Ana Lalić Hegediš and Dinko Gruhonjić

Over the past fifteen days, two journalists have been subjected to online death threats following their participation in the Rebedu Festival in Dubrovnik.

Poland: Regulator Fine against TVN appears to punish independent journalism

Poland’s politically controlled media regulator punishes private TV channel for a documentary on child abuse in the church

Serbia: escalating threats and attacks against journalists in Novi Sad

The escalation of threats and violence suffered by journalists in Novi Sad, northern Serbia, has reached an unprecedented level in the past fortnight.

North Macedonia, media and public funds

In view of the upcoming political and presidential elections, the Macedonian government has reintroduced forms of public funding for the media. However, the country’s media organisations argue that the move may aggravate the influence of political interests on news outlets

1,117 media freedom alerts in the past year – MFRR Monitoring Report 2023

The partners from the MFRR consortium today publish the latest edition of its Monitoring Report which documents press freedom violations from January to December 2023.

Call for withdrawal of Slovakia’s repressive broadcast law

Journalists and media freedom groups call for the urgent withdrawal of a proposed legislation allowing political control over public-service media in Slovakia.

Georgia: MFRR partners denounce smear campaign against journalist by speaker of the Parliament

The MFRR today expresses concern at the discrediting of a prominent Georgian journalist by Shalva Papuashvili, Speaker of the Georgian Parliament.

Safeguarding women journalists in the digital age

On International Women’s Day, MFRR coalition partners publish a critical examination of attacks against women journalists in the European Union and candidate countries.

Italy: MFRR partners strongly condemn investigation into Domani journalists

The undersigned media freedom and civil society organisations strongly condemn the investigation of three Domani journalists.

SafeJournalists and MFRR: Physical Confrontation with Journalist in Serbia is Unacceptable and Must be Sanctioned

We strongly condemn the behaviour of the local authorities in Indjija, who forcibly removed the journalist Verica Marincic from a municipality building.

International Media Freedom and Human Rights Organisations Demand Release of Journalist Dicle Müftüoğlu in Upcoming Trial

As the next hearing of journalist Dicle Müftüoğlu approaches on February 29, 2024, we call for immediate attention to her case and her unjust detention.

Occupied Ukraine: Media reporting in the shadow of Russian forces

Two years after 24 February 2022, the MFRR partners investigate what occupation means for media. How do Ukrainian journalists continue to report on regions they cannot travel to? What happened to media outlets in towns and cities now under Russian control?

2 years on, Ukrainian journalists still pay a heavy price for the war

February 24 marks two years since the start of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine and the ongoing difficulties for Ukrainian journalists.

Slovakia: Lack of justice for Kuciak and Kušnírová’s assassination exacerbated by growing attacks on press freedom

On the sixth anniversary of the brutal killing of Ján Kuciak and his fiancée Martina Kušnírová, the undersigned organisations renew our call for long-awaited justice.

Montenegro: Jelena Jovanović, journalist targeted by the mafia

Dealing with organised crime and risking your life, needing police protection just to be able to do your job and live your everyday life. Jelena Jovanović, journalist from the Montenegrin newspaper Vijesti, explains what it is like to live under police protection

The true cost of journalism: Ongoing impunity cases in Europe

During the latest MFRR webinar, marking the sixth anniversary of the murder of Ján Kuciak and Martina Kušnírová, panellists will discuss ongoing impunity cases for crimes against journalists in Europe with a spotlight on Slovakia, Turkey, and Serbia.

Bosnia and Herzegovina: Recommendations to national and entity level authorities to improve media freedom standards

Following a fact-finding mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina, the MFRR and the South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO) published a report assessing the state of media freedom there. Other organisations are invited to add their signature to the list of recommendations.

Serbia, no justice for the Ćuruvija murder

Twenty-five years after the murder of journalist Slavko Ćuruvija and nine after the start of the trial against the four accused of the murder, after a first conviction in 2019 and the repetition of the trial, on Monday 5 February the Court of Appeal of Belgrade acquitted the defendants

Serbia: Court of Appeals acquits suspects of journalist Slavko Ćuruvija’s murder

On Friday 2nd February 2024, the Belgrade Court of Appeals reversed the decision of the Special Department for Organized Crime of the High Court in Belgrade, and acquitted the four suspects for the murder of journalist Slavko Ćuruvija. This disappointing development constitutes a grave backslide to the fight against impunity and further undermines journalists’ safety.

Serbia: media pillory for independent journalists

Verbal attacks and serious threats against two journalists from independent broadcasters, the Cenzolovka portal and even an NGO and a Belgrade court judge raise concerns about the climate of increasingly heavy repression in Serbia

Croatia, journalists on the streets

Hundreds of journalists took to the streets in Zagreb against the Plenković government’s amendments to the Criminal Code, which limit the right to report. According to the Association of Croatian Journalists, the prime minister wants to silence investigations into his government’s corruption.

Mission Report: Stemming the Tide of Greek Media Freedom Decline

Today the partner organisations of the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR), together with Reporters Without Borders (RSF) and the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), launch the report of a recent press freedom fact-finding mission to Greece.

Webinar: Assessing the state of press freedom in Greece

On 30 January, international media freedom groups will hold a webinar and press conference to mark the publication of a major report assessing the landscape for press freedom and independent journalism in Greece, following a mission to Athens in September 2023.

Report Launch: Bosnia and Herzegovina: Media Freedom in Survival Mode

Today the partner organisations of the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) launch their report from a recent international press freedom fact-finding mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Bosnia and Herzegovina: Media Freedom in Survival Mode

In this MFRR webinar, speakers will discuss the findings of a recent press freedom fact-finding mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Romania: MFRR to conduct media freedom mission ahead of super electoral year

The Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) will conduct a mission to Romania to take the pulse of the current state of press freedom and independent journalism as the country gears up for a super electoral year in 2024.

Silencing Voices in Italy: The Erosion of Media Freedom

Italy’s media is in crisis, battling legal onslaughts and facing a surge of censorship one year after the establishment of the far-right government led by Giorgia Meloni.

MFRR highlights threats to media freedom in EU Commission’s Rule of Law report

Updates on some of the biggest developments and threats to media freedom and pluralism across European Union Member States throughout 2023 were submitted to the EU Commission’s annual Rule of Law Report by partner organisations of the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR).

Greece: Ahead of court hearing, SLAPP lawsuit against media and journalists must be dropped

The undersigned international freedom of expression and media freedom organisations today renew our condemnation of a groundless defamation lawsuit filed against Greek journalists and media by Grigoris Dimitriadis.

Croatia, the assault on the local press

2024 is the year of elections for Croatia: European, political and presidential elections will take place between next June and December. And with the electoral competitions, the race for control of the local media, particularly the regional ones, is gaining ground in a hardly transparent way.

Poland: MFRR reasserts recommendations for democratic reform for press freedom and public media

The undersigned partner organisations of the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) today renew their call for democratic and comprehensive reform to Poland’s public broadcasters.

Albania: SPAK must respect source protection in case of journalist Elton Qyno

The MFRR partners today join our partners in the Safe Journalists Network and Reporters Without Borders to express our concerns over the recent actions taken by Albania’s Special Prosecution against Corruption and Organized Crime (SPAK) and their decision to seize journalist Elton Qyno’s equipment and to pressure him to reveal his sources.

Podcast: Navigating Hungary’s new Sovereignty Protection Act

The situation for Hungary’s embattled independent media is about to become even more challenging.

Poland: Upheaval at Polish public broadcaster must lead to comprehensive reform to restore and safeguard independence

Upheaval at Polish public broadcaster must lead to comprehensive reform to restore and safeguard independence Sudden dismissal of supervisory boards risks setting dangerous precedent. The new Polish government’s abrupt dismissal of the supervisory bodies of the country’s public television broadcaster TVP and national news agency PAP risks setting an alarming precedent that must be urgently

Romania: IPI stands by Libertatea as layoffs deepen concerns over pressure on editorial independence

The International Press Institute (IPI) today outlines its support for staff at the Romanian daily newspaper Libertatea and expresses growing concern over alleged pressures on its independent journalism after the recent firing of three members of its editorial management team.

Turkey: Press freedom crisis deepens amid earthquake and national elections

The partners of the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) today publish the findings of an international press freedom mission to Turkey in a report titled “Press freedom crisis deepens amid earthquake and national elections”.

Malta risks missing the opportunity to safeguard journalists

On October 2, Prime Minister Robert Abela announced that he would publish a white paper on proposed laws for the media in Malta. This declaration came as he tabled in Parliament the final report of the Committee of Media Experts he had appointed last year to advise on reforming media laws in Malta.

Hungary: Draft Sovereignty Protection Act poses fresh threat to independent media

The Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) today alerts the European Union about the chilling impact that the Hungarian ruling party’s proposed Sovereignty Protection Act will have on what remains of the country’s embattled independent media community.

North Macedonia: Ruling against Investigative Reporting Lab and its editor must be overturned

The organisations of the MFRR and the SafeJournalists Network (SJN) today express shared dismay at a recent defamation verdict by a judge in North Macedonia which recommends shutting down one of the country’s leading investigative media outlets.

Bosnia and Herzegovina: Republika Srpska president Dodik verbally attacks journalist

The undersigned partner organisations of the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) today condemn the insulting and threatening behaviour of the President of Republika Srpska, Milorad Dodik, towards journalist Snezana Mitrović and her employer N1 television.

Poland: Media freedom reform faces obstacles after opposition victory

After coming first in the parliamentary elections on October 15, Poland’s centrist opposition parties, led by Donald Tusk’s Civic Coalition, look set to form a coalition government in the weeks ahead.

Italy: MFRR partners condemn summons of RAI presenter Sigfrido Ranucci

The MFRR partners strongly condemn the summoning of Sigfrido Ranucci, a RAI presenter, by the Parliamentary Committee overseeing broadcasting.

Slovakia: New PM rages against media while Culture Minister plans future of public service media

Robert Fico and his Smer party have returned to power in Slovakia. The politician who was forced to resign as prime minister after the murder of journalist Ján Kuciak in 2018 is back at the head of a new governing coalition creating deep unease among Slovakia’s journalists about the future for media freedoms and public service journalism.

The Netherlands: The MFRR and the CASE deplore abusive lawsuit against Het Financieele Dagblad

The MFRR and the CASE deplore the lawsuit against Het Financieele Dagblad and stand in solidarity with the FD and its journalists.

Turkey: Repeal the “disinformation offence” and overreaching legal amendments

As the Turkish Constitutional Court reviews the constitutionality of the “disinformation offence”, the MFRR partner organisations reiterate their call for the annulment of Article 217/A of the Turkish Penal Code.

Romania: Political advertising in media is further corroding independent journalism

Press freedom in Romania is under renewed threat as political parties have been distorting journalism with tens of millions of euros of public money flowing into the media.

Media freedom groups dismayed at the abrupt closure of investigation into smear campaign against Romanian journalist

Journalists and media freedom groups today expressed dismay at the decision of Romania’s Prosecutor Office at the Bucharest Court of Appeal to close the investigation into the smear campaign against journalist Emilia Șercan.

Turkey: International groups condemn arrest of journalist Tolga Şardan

The undersigned media freedom, freedom of expression, human rights and journalists’ organizsations strongly condemn the arrest of seasoned journalist Tolga Şardan in Ankara.

End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists

On International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists, we pay tribute to those reporters in Europe whose families still await justice for their murders.

Croatia: “Anti-leaks” legislation and new media law proposal spell trouble for journalists

The Croatian government is looking to criminalize unauthorized leaks of material from criminal proceedings. While the authorities insist that the new law will protect the presumption of innocence, media professionals and numerous law experts decry the proposal, warning it will silence journalists and their potential sources.

Analysis: Backsliding in Bosnia and Herzegovina as media freedom faces myriad challenges

Media freedom in Bosnia and Herzegovina is undergoing a worrying period of backsliding amidst a string of restrictive new legislative efforts, hostile rhetoric and denigration of journalists by public officials, and ongoing systemic challenges facing the independence of public service media.

Threats to Journalists must be addressed by institutions in Serbia

The SafeJournalists Network (SJN) and the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) express concerned about the rising threats targeting the presenter and podcast host Nenad Kulacin.

Media freedom groups demand renewed investigation into crimes against Romanian journalist Emilia Șercan

In an open letter to the Romanian General Prosecutor the MFRR partners have condemned the negligent and error-strewn investigation into the crimes committed against journalist Emilia Șercan.

Bosnia and Herzegovina: Media freedom in survival mode

Following a press freedom mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina, the MFRR warned that media freedom in the country is in retreat against a backdrop of new restrictive laws, hostile rhetoric and denigration of journalists by public officials.

Monitoring Report – 575 media freedom violations in the first half of 2023

Today the MFRR publish the latest edition of the consortium’s monitoring report, compiling and analysing all media freedom violations recorded on Mapping Media Freedom between January and June 2023 in all EU Member States and candidate countries.

Poland’s unfair election reinforces demands for Europe-wide Media Freedom Act

As the European Parliament, Council and Commission enter the final negotiations on the EMFA, media freedom and human rights groups today call for the adoption of the Parliament’s text.

Webinar – Assessing the quiet press freedom gains in Bulgaria

In this webinar on press freedom in Bulgaria organised by the MFRR, we’ll hear from a leading newspaper editor, a media expert and press freedom advocate, and one of the country’s top media lawyers about the major developments in the country in the last year.

Reporting surveillance: The experience of Omer Benjakob

Investigative tech reporter Omer Benjakob speaks to OBCT/MFRR about the challenges of covering the surveillance tech industry in Israel.

Italy: Roberto Saviano’s conviction a major blow to free expression

The undersigned international media freedom, free expression, and journalist organisations express shock over yesterday’s criminal conviction of writer and journalist Roberto Saviano, in a case brought by current Italian PM Giorgia Meloni, and we convey our full solidarity with him.

Preventive wiretaps: A violation of the right of defence?

After the book by former journalists Bisignani and Madron, which talks about 400 politicians and journalists controlled by the services, the alarm came from former MP Marco Cappato, who fears being under surveillance. The government denies, but the debate is about the law that regulates preventive wiretapping rather than the specific case.

Turkey: International groups alarmed by the targeting of journalist Alican Uludağ

The undersigned media freedom, freedom of expression and human rights organizations denounce the inflammatory rhetoric directed at Deutsche Welle (DW) Turkish service reporter Alican Uludağ by Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) officials.

MFRR partners to carry out media freedom mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina

Partner organisations of the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) will travel to Banja Luka and Sarajevo from 22 to 25 October 2023 to assess the current state of play for media freedom in the country and start a dialogue with the authorities.

Report Launch – Relocation of Journalists in Distress in the European Union

Relocation of Journalists in Distress in the European Union Today, the partner organisations of the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) launch their report "Relocation of journalists in distress in the European Union: Emergency visa mechanisms in the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Lithuania, the Netherlands and Poland." Uncovering the truth is dangerous and can put journalists

Turkey’s press freedom crisis deepens amid earthquake and national elections

Five international press freedom and journalism groups conclude press freedom mission to Turkey.

Media freedom at a crossroads: Journalism in Poland faces uncertain future ahead of election

The Media Freedom Rapid Response today issued its report “Media Freedom at a crossroads: Journalism in Poland faces uncertain future ahead of election” following its mission to Warsaw on 11 – 13 September.

Serbia: New draft media laws represent another step backward for media freedom

The partner organisations of the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) today raise the alarm about two draft media laws brought forward by the Serbian government for their lack of compliance with international freedom of expression standards.

Media-Democracy Nexus in the European Space

On 17 October 2023, the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) will host a high-level conference in Rome, Italy and online to explore the intersection between media and rule of law across Europe from different thematic angles, geographic and/or professional backgrounds.

Serbia: Convicted killers of journalist Slavko Ćuruvija must not be acquitted

The International Press Institute (IPI) today renews its two-decade long demand for the killers of Serbian journalist and newspaper publisher Slavko Ćuruvija to face justice for their crimes and for the Court of Appeal to reach its verdict on the landmark retrial in a fully impartial and independent manner.

Report Launch: Relocation of journalists in distress in the European Union

On October 9th 10:30-11:30 CEST, the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) will present the findings of a thematic fact-finding mission organised earlier this year, which aims to contribute to a better understanding of six pioneering relocation mechanisms for journalists in distress within the European Union.

For a transnational anti-SLAPP network: Countering gags on public participation

On October 16, 2023, the first public event of CASE Italia dedicated to countering SLAPPs will take place in Rome. Speakers include journalists, activists, experts in the field, and representatives of a range of organisations advocating for freedom of expression.

Greece: Decisive action needed to protect journalists and salvage press freedom

Following a mission to Athens, eight international organisations call on the Government and Prime Minister to show political courage and take specific measures aimed at improving the climate for independent journalism and salvaging press freedom.

Turkey: Annual international press freedom mission to Ankara, Diyarbakır and Istanbul.

Between 2 and 5 October 2023, five international media freedom organisations will conduct an annual joint press freedom mission to Ankara, Diyarbakır and Istanbul.

France: IPI condemns arrest of investigative journalist Ariane Lavrilleux

The International Press Institute (IPI) today condemns the arrest and interrogation of French journalist Ariane Lavrilleux and demands her immediate release from custody.

Surveillance: after Pegasus and Predator, the EU is (slowly) taking action

While the European Parliament’s Commission enquires on the various states where surveillance technologies have been commercialised despite the bans, the emphasis remains on civil society and digital security.

Greece: Refugee reporting in times of surveillance

It could be the plot of a psychological thriller movie. It’s the true story of a young investigative journalist, Stavros Malichudis, who unintentionally became one of the protagonists of the Greek Watergate. His reports, awarded with many international prizes, told the stories of refugees in Greece.

Cyprus: Call for thorough investigations into surveillance of Makarios Drousiotis

We are highly concerned about the alleged surveillance of journalist Makarios Drousiotis, and the lack of prompt, adequate or thorough investigation of the matter.

Greece: International press freedom mission to Athens

Between 25 and 27 September 2023, eight international press freedom and freedom of expression organisations will conduct a joint advocacy and fact-finding mission to Athens.

Polish media grapple with unprecedented challenges and uncertain future as the country faces electoral crossroads

At the conclusion of their press freedom mission to Warsaw from 11-13 September, partner organisations of the MFRR declared that the media in Poland are facing unprecedented challenges including legal threats, financial precarity, political pressure, regulatory capture and growing polarisation.

Wiretapping and trojans: The Nordio bill alarms journalists

Wiretapping and trojans: The Nordio bill alarms journalists For the Italian Press National Federation and trade associations, the crackdown on the dissemination of transcripts is a new attack on freedom of the press and citizens' right to be informed. Even MPs are in turmoil, worried that the "cyber interceptor" – aka trojan - will get

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

The latest MFRR webinar will examine the undue influence of big tech companies over independent media through philanthropic funding mechanisms and their possible impact on press freedom and editorial independence.

Greece: Swift investigations required after two attacks against journalists

The undersigned journalists’ and media freedom organisations strongly condemn the recent attacks against Greek journalists Giorgos Papachristos and Kostas Vaxevanis and call on the authorities to swiftly investigate the attacks and ensure that those responsible are held accountable.

Poland: MFRR to visit Warsaw for press freedom mission

Partner organisations of the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) will travel to Warsaw on 11-13 September 2023 to conduct an international press freedom mission ahead of the country’s upcoming general election on 15 October.

Hungary: DDoS cyber attacks pose major new threat to media freedom

The International Press Institute (IPI) today warns that an unprecedented wave of cyber-attacks predominantly targeting independent media outlets in Hungary in recent months represents a serious and growing threat to the free flow of information in what arguably is already the European Union’s worst country for press freedom.

European Media Freedom Act: The end of source confidentiality?

The new European regulation aims to protect the secrecy of journalistic sources, the key concept at the heart of journalism, but actually risks legitimising its systematic violation.

Turkey: International groups condemn fifth imprisonment order against journalist Barış Pehlivan

The undersigned media freedom, freedom of expression, human rights, and journalists’ organisations strongly condemn the latest incident of judicial harassment against journalist Barış Pehlivan and reiterate calls to the Turkish authorities to respect media freedom.

Purchase of services for an external content evaluation of MFRR-III

The Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) consortium is seeking proposals for an external content evaluation of the MFRR-III project.

Turkey: International groups condemn detention of journalists in Ankara, Diyarbakır, İstanbul, and İzmir

We strongly condemn Turkey’s detention of T24 editor Sibel Yükler, Mezopotamya Agency (MA) reporters Delal Akyüz and Fırat Can Arslan, bianet editor Evrim Kepenek and freelance journalist Evrim Deniz on July 25.

Urgent measures needed to safeguard journalists in Albania

In the wake of recent events, the SafeJournalists Network (SJN) and the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) join hands to bring attention to the alarming situation plaguing media freedom in Albania.

BiH: MFRR urges Republika Srpska deputies to not re-criminalise defamation

Republika Srpska’s National Assembly will vote on 18 July 2023 to re-introduce criminal penalties for defamation. Media Freedom Rapid Response partners urge deputies to reject these amendments, as they would suppress journalism and public discourse across the country.

Poland: Media capture fears confirmed in new report examining PKN Orlen takeover of Polska Press

Acquisition of country’s largest regional publisher Polska Press by state-controlled oil company PKN Orlen has led to shrinking journalists freedoms.

Italy: Support for Roberto Saviano in SLAPP case initiated by Giorgia Meloni

We stand in solidarity with Roberto Saviano as he attended the fourth Court hearing in the SLAPP case initiated by the Prime Minister of Italy.

EU must prioritise media freedom reforms and human rights in relations with Turkey

The undersigned organisations call on the incoming Spanish Presidency of the Council of the European Union to place media freedom and human rights front and centre of relations with the newly re-elected Government of Turkey.

Turkey: International groups condemn attack against journalist Sinan Aygül

The MFRR partners today join media freedom, freedom of expression and human rights organisations to strongly condemn the recent attack on journalist Sinan Aygül that took place in Tatvan, a city in eastern Turkey.

Italy: International Media freedom groups raise alarm about RAI’s independence

Following major politically-influenced internal management changes at RAI, we express alarm about threats to the editorial independence of the broadcaster.

Poland: International support for TOK FM amidst regulatory pressure

We join TOK FM, the largest independent news and talk radio station in Poland, in their plea for their licence to be renewed by the National Broadcasting Council (KRRiT).

Serbia: Fresh attacks and smears on media raise threat level

Break in at broadcaster N1 and latest high-level political smears underscore deep concerns over journalists’ safety.

Sara Manisera: The challenges of investigative journalism

Investigative journalists, in addition to the risks of the trade, often incur libel lawsuits, SLAPPs, etc. Especially if, like Sara Manisera, they deal with sensitive issues such as organised crime.

Slovenia: Media freedom groups welcome court ruling on RTV SLO reform

We welcome the decision of the Slovenian Constitutional Court to approve the passing of amendments to the law on Radiotelevizija Slovenija (RTV SLO) and give our support to current efforts to depoliticise the public broadcaster.

Türkiye: İstihbarat bir gazetecinin yaşamını nasıl mahvedebilir?

Medyada çalışmanın zorlukları, mülteci statüsünün kırılganlığı: Türkiye’nin kendisi için çalışmasını istediği bir gazetecinin hikayesi.

Kosovo: Concern over attacks on journalists and media workers

The current political developments in Kosovo have once again stirred up an atmosphere that hinders the ability of journalists to carry out their responsibilities with credibility and without obstacles.

Protests in Belgrade and violence in reality shows

After the massacres of recent weeks, street demonstrations continue against the government and above all the media, which according to critics have created a climate of intolerance and violence over the years.

Turkey: How the secret services can destroy a journalist’s life

The difficulties of working in the media, the fragility of refugee status, and the story of a journalist that the Turkish state wanted for itself.

Serbia: Legal harassment of investigative media outlet KRIK must stop

The legal harassment against Serbian investigative media outlet KRIK continues as the portal was condemned in a SLAPP case at the same time as a new abusive lawsuit has been filed against it.

Slovakia: Profound disappointment as suspected mastermind in Ján Kuciak murder acquitted again

Following the acquittal of the suspected mastermind in the killing of Ján Kuciak, we express our profound disappointment, renew our calls for justice and convey our steadfast solidarity with the families of Ján Kuciak and Martina Kušnírová.

Poland: TOK FM fine sparks renewed concerns about regulatory capture

The International Press Institute (IPI) raises alarm over the controversial fine imposed on the independent radio TOK FM by the chair of Poland’s broadcast media regulator.

Slovakia: A story of fragile pluralism, media resilience and the struggle against corruption

As part of the MFRR, the International Press Institute has published a new report on media capture in Slovakia.

Media pluralism in a legal limbo in Serbia

The allocation of national broadcasting frequencies in Serbia highlights the lack of transparency and pluralism in the sector. Frequencies are only awarded to government-friendly media. Concerns have been expressed by both the European Commission and the European Parliament.

Greece: MFRR partners welcome first arrests over 2021 assassination of journalist Giorgos Karaivaz

The partners in the MFRR welcome the arrests of two suspects in connection with the 2021 assassination of crime reporter Giorgos Karaivaz in Greece.

Media Freedom on the Line as Turkey Approaches Elections

As Turkey prepares for presidential and parliamentary elections, press freedom and human rights groups demand that, whoever forms the next government, unwinding a decade of restrictions on media freedom must be a central priority for the country.

Bulgaria: Investigative journalists hit by smears and lawsuits after corruption revelations

The partners of the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) today raise the alarm about a latest wave of legal pressure exerted against two of Bulgaria’s leading investigative media platforms, BIRD.bg and Bivol.bg.

Media Freedom Groups troubled with the CULT report on the EMFA proposal

The MFRR has joined a group of press freedom organisations in writing to the Rapporteur of the EU’s CULT Committee to raise concerns over proposed amendments which would water down the draft European Media Freedom Act (EMFA).

Serbia: Independent journalism faces biggest crisis in years

Following a visit to Belgrade on April 10 and 11 2023, the undersigned organisations issue a stark warning over the state of media freedom and journalists’ safety in Serbia.

Turkey: International groups demand release of Kurdish journalists, lawyers, political party officials

On 25 April, coordinated dawn raids in Turkey targeted homes and offices of 126 people including journalists, lawyers, rights defenders, political activists and artists in 21 provinces, based on unclear charges.

Media freedom in Serbia: A deepening crisis

To mark World Press Freedom Day, the MFRR is holding a webinar to take a closer look at the conditions which have allowed a hostile climate for independent media to thrive in Serbia.

Greece: Impunity continues two years after murder of journalist Giorgos Karaivaz

Two years ago, veteran Greek crime reporter Giorgos Karaivaz was assassinated in Athens. Today, the undersigned partners in the Council of Europe’s Platform to promote the protection of journalism and safety of journalists honour Karaivaz’s memory.

Weaponizing GDPR: How EU data protection threatens press freedom in Greece

The instrumental use of EU data protection threatens press freedom in Greece, as shown by the case of journalist Stavroula Poulimeni and the independent media outlet Alterthess.

Greece: MFRR to fund legal appeal for lawsuit against Alterthess

The MFRR consortium will provide funding to help cover legal fees to support Greek media outlet Alterthess in their ongoing appeal against a SLAPP.

Turkey: Broadcast regulator must stop punishing critical reporting ahead of elections

We call on Turkey’s broadcast regulator (RTÜK) to immediately stop fining broadcasters for their critical reporting.

Serbia: Press freedom groups mark anniversary of Slavko Ćuruvija murder

MFRR partners, alongside other international press freedom organisations, are currently in Belgrade to mark the 24th anniversary of the murder of Serbian editor and publisher Slavko Ćuruvija.

Italy: Thorough investigation required after arson attack on car of journalist Rossella Puccio

The MFRR partners have expressed their condemnation of the recent arson attack on the car of freelance journalist Rossella Puccio in Palermo, Italy.

Urgent action needed by the Netherlands to protect civic space against SLAPPs and other forms of legal intimidation

Legal intimidation and SLAPPs are attempts to intimidate and silence public watchdogs through lengthy and expensive litigation proceedings by starting meritless lawsuits.

Albania: Press freedom organisations and journalist associations call for swift justice following deadly attack on Top Channel

The partners in the Media Freedom Rapid Response and the Safe Journalists Network are deeply saddened to learn about the shocking attack on Top Channel Albania, in which a security guard was killed.

Ireland: How the wealthy and powerful abuse legal system to silence reporting

It was a scoop that packed a punch. As Ireland struggles with a grinding housing crisis that has made record numbers of people homeless, a young newspaper reporter discovered a landlord was planning a mass eviction – of an entire apartment block.

Feindbild Journalist 7: Berufsrisiko Nähe

As part of the MFRR, ECPMF has published the latest Feindbild studying, analysing attacks against journalists in Germany in 2022.

Bosnia and Herzegovina: Call on the National Assembly to reject defamation law amendments

The MFRR is concerned by recent developments in Republika Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina, where the government has introduced amendments to the Criminal Code that would re-criminalise defamation.

Czech Republic: What Andrej Babiš’s potential sale of Mafra could mean for the media landscape

Andrej Babiš, the former Czech prime minister and oligarch, will probably offload his media. Paradoxically, not because he is withdrawing from politics, but so that he can stay in it.

Malta: Lack of proper public consultation affects the quality of media laws

The 2018 assassination of Ján Kuciak and his fiancée Martina Kušnírová in Slovakia occurred just months after that of Maltese journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, in October 2017, raising urgent questions about the state of press freedom in both countries. However, the outcomes could not be more different.

Malta: Press freedom groups urge PM to deliver strong media law reforms

The undersigned international press freedom and journalists organisations urge the government of Malta to follow up on the recent public consultation into media law reforms by implementing changes which will significantly strengthen the draft legislation.

Action needed: The European Commission Safety of Journalists Recommendation

The MFRR partners urge the EC Member States to take action for the safety of journalists without further delay and implement the provisions of the Recommendation on ensuring the protection, safety and empowerment of journalists and other media professionals.

Slavko Ćuruvija: Cycle of impunity for killing of journalists in Serbia must be broken

Following the start of the retrial last week at the Court of Appeal for the 1999 murder of Slavko Ćuruvija, the partners of the MFRR and the SafeJournalists Network today renew our call for justice for his killing to finally be secured.

Italy: Prosecutor issues seizure order for article published by newspaper Domani

Italian press freedom is seriously threatened by yet another attempt by a member of the current government to silence independent journalism.

Romania: In conversation with investigative journalist Emilia Șercan

We spoke to Romanian investigative journalist Emilia Șercan about the smear campaigns she has faced, conducting investigations amid declining press freedom in Romania, and being a role model for young women journalists.

Analysis: How much has media freedom in Slovakia changed five years after Ján Kuciak murder?

IPI reflects on press freedom progress following a joint mission to Bratislava.

Ukraine: One year since the start of Russia’s full-scale invasion, MFRR calls for continued solidarity and support for journalists covering the war

Today, marking one year since the beginning of the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) partners reiterate our condemnation of Russia’s war of aggression.

One year of war: The true cost of journalism

One year on from the killing of journalist Yevhenii Sakun in Ukraine, 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.

Slovakia: Fifth anniversary of Kuciak and Kušnírová’s killing marked by fragile press freedom progress

To mark the 5th anniversary of Jan Kuciak and Martina Kušnírová’s murders, a delegation of international media freedom organisations conducted a joint press freedom fact-finding mission to Bratislava.

Romania: Renewed call for action after fresh smear campaign against Emilia Șercan

The partners of the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) renew a call on the Romanian authorities to prioritise their investigation into the alleged leak of Emilia Șercan’s stolen pictures from within the police force.

Slovakia: Press freedom groups to visit Bratislava for Ján Kuciak murder anniversary

Between 20 and 21 February 2023, a delegation of international media freedom organisations will conduct a joint mission to Bratislava to mark the five-year anniversary of the killing of Slovak investigative journalist Ján Kuciak and his fiancée Martina Kušnírová.

Call on Turkish authorities to abstain from further restrictions on media in the aftermath of devastating earthquakes

The partners in the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) express their condolences with the victims of the devastating earthquakes in Turkey and reiterate the need for a free media as a crucial element of all disaster relief processes.

Nataliya Gumenyuk announced as keynote for MFRR Summit 2023

The MFRR partners are delighted to announce that Ukrainian journalist and author, Nataliya Gumenyuk, will deliver the keynote speech at the 2023 MFRR Summit. 

MFRR Monitoring Report 2022 – 813 media freedom violations in Europe

Partners of the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) have published the latest MFRR Monitoring Report, analysing the 813 media freedom violations recorded in Europe in 2022.

Montenegro: After a new acquittal, the hopes and projects of journalist Jovo Martinovic

After over seven years of judicial ordeal and after spending fifteen months in pre-trial detention on drug trafficking charges, investigative journalist Jovo Martinovic was acquitted for the second time by the Supreme Court on 17 January. We interviewed him while waiting for the final verdict.

Albania: MFRR and Safe Journalist Network condemn attack on journalist Elvis Hila and his wife

The Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) and the Safe Journalists Network condemn the shocking physical attack on Albanian journalist Elvis Hila and his wife.

Bosnia and Herzegovina now covered under MFRR mandate

On 15 December 2022, the leaders of the European Union voted unanimously to grant EU candidate status to Bosnia and Herzegovina. With this development, the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) can now include the country in its activities – including monitoring, support projects, and advocacy work.

Hungary: Investigative media Átlátszó targeted in latest smear campaign

In January 2023, Hungarian investigative media outlet Átlátszó and its editor-in-chief, Tamás Bodoky, became the target of the latest smear campaign in pro-government news outlets aimed at discrediting what remains of the country’s independent media.

MFRR Summit 2023 | Press Freedom on the Line

The MFRR Summit is back, and this year we’re holding our conference under the title of “Press Freedom on the Line”.

Greece: MFRR alarmed by latest revelations of spying on journalists

The partners in the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) are alarmed by the continued lack of transparency of the Greek authorities about the surveillance of journalists.

How the European Media Freedom Act could affect Hungary and Poland

The European Union’s institutions are well aware of the concerted, structural attacks on media freedom and pluralism in Hungary and Poland plus several other member states, and the European Commission’s flagship annual rule of law reports are proof of that.

France: Three journalists summoned by security agency over suspected violation of national defence secrecy

The partner organisations of the MFRR today express concern over the latest summons issued by France’s top security agency to journalists from investigative platform Disclose and Radio France over suspected violation of national secrecy.

Italy: Lawsuits against Saviano and Domani highlight wider SLAPP problem

In recent weeks there has been much talk in Italy about a recently opened legal case against the journalist and writer Roberto Saviano, who is accused of defamation in a lawsuit filed in 2020 by Giorgia Meloni, the new prime minister. A description of a wider Italian SLAPP problem.

Latvia: Media regulator urged not to revoke Dozhd license pending court review

The partners of the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) today express serious concern over the decision by Latvia’s National Electronic Mass Media Council (NEPLP) to revoke the broadcast license of exiled independent Russian TV station Dozhd.

Portugal: Press freedom remains robust even as media face resource strains

Press freedom remains strong in Portugal. The country is democratically stable and the risks of government interference in the media are low. Both the constitution and the national Press Law safeguard journalists in their daily reporting.

Multiple journalists threatened and harassed in Serbia, authorities must take urgent action

In the past month in Serbia, several journalists have been targeted by serious threats raising fears for their physical safety. Partners of the Media Freedom Rapid Response and the Safe Journalists Network in condemning in the strongest terms the intimidation and often orchestrated campaigns by pro-government media outlets and members of the public to silence journalists.

Italy: Prime Minister sues Domani newspaper for defamation

The undersigned organisations call for the lawsuit against the newspaper Domani to be dropped and for the Italian Parliament to adopt a comprehensive reform of defamation laws in Italy.

Slovenia: Media freedom groups back legislative efforts to depoliticise public media

Reform aimed at limiting political interference over RTV SLO faces upcoming referendum challenge.

Journalists in Residence Milan – 25th November

Osservatorio Balcani Caucaso Transeuropa, Q Code Mag, and ECPMF, in collaboration with the Feltrinelli Foundation, present the event “Milan shelter city: protected residences for threatened journalism”.

Bulgarian far-right party’s ‘foreign agent’ bill sparks media freedom concerns

Partners of the MFRR have expressed alarm over a draft law submitted to Bulgarian parliament by the far-right Vazrazhdane (Revival) party which would introduce a Russian-style “foreign agent” law involving potential sanctions for media outlets that receive funding from abroad.

Italy: a call of support for Roberto Saviano, defendant in a defamation trial

Members of the Coalition Against SLAPPs in Europe (CASE), with the support of the coalition’s Italian group and Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR), express solidarity with Roberto Saviano who attended the first hearing in the proceedings for aggravated defamation initiated against him by current Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni.

Czech government edges closer to disinformation and public media initiatives

The new Czech government promised to shore up democracy by fighting disinformation and strengthening public media, but fast enough?

How Slovak politicians did not learn from the murder of a journalist

In Slovakia, recent legal reforms show promise for improving media freedom, yet discrediting attacks on journalists continue.

Malta: No substantial reform five years after Daphne Caruana Galizia’s assassination

Systematic change remains elusive despite recent prosecution of hitmen brothers.

Italy: Journalists brace for impact as Giorgia Meloni’s new government begins

Italy: Journalists brace for impact as Giorgia Meloni’s new government begins Questions over how new administration will handle press freedom challenges By IPI contributor Christian Elia “On World Press Freedom Day my thanks go to the many journalists who fight for the truth. We will always be at their side against all forms of censorship

Slovakia: Government pushes ahead with ambitious media reform program

Slovakia has passed important legislative changes which will ensure a better media environment closer to standards outlined by the EU Media Freedom Act.

Italy: Concern about prosecutor’s demand for prison sentence for three journalists in response to their factual reporting

The undersigned media freedom and journalist associations today express shared concern over an Italian prosecutor’s request for a six-month prison sentence in a case of defamation through the press involving three journalists.

Netherlands: Press freedom groups concerned about video with hostile rhetoric by Dutch politician against reporter

The Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) and its partners express today their concerns about hostile rhetoric used against independent journalists by Dutch political party Forum for Democracy (FvD). Such problematic language creates an intimidating climate for public interest journalism, normalises both online and physical targeting of the press, and can lead to self-censorship amongst the journalistic community. We urge the FvD to put an end to its dangerous smear campaign against independent media.

Greece: SLAPP award winner Grigoris Dimitriadis urged to drop defamation lawsuits

The undersigned international media freedom and journalists organisations wrote to Grigoris Dimitriadis to express our shared concern about defamation claims filed against investigative journalists and media outlets following your resignation from the role of general secretary in the office of the Greek Prime Minister in August 2022.

Malta: Civil society denounces government’s lack of ambition and transparency in press freedom reforms and renews calls for full justice for Daphne Caruana Galizia

Five years ago, investigative reporter Daphne Caruana Galizia was brutally assassinated in a car bomb attack in Malta. Our thoughts are with her family, friends and colleagues. Together with them, we continue to fight for justice.

Turkey: International delegation condemns passage of disinformation law and issues call to protect safety and freedom of journalists ahead of 2023 elections

Turkey’s journalists are bracing themselves for a renewed attack on their safety and freedoms in the run up to the country’s 2023 general elections following passage of a new disinformation law that threatens to close down public criticism and debate, an international media freedom mission visiting Turkey from October 12 to 14, 2022, has found.

Czech Republic: Media freedom groups urge MPs to pass media act amendment

The undersigned media freedom and journalists organisations and unions today urge the Chamber of Deputies of the Czech Republic to vote to pass a draft bill which would amend the law on public broadcasting to strengthen the institutional independence of Česká televize (Czech Television) and Český rozhlas (Czech Radio).

Press freedom groups visit Malta on five-year anniversary of Daphne’s murder to push for reforms

Between 13 and 17 October 2022, an international press freedom mission will visit Malta, five years after the assassination of investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia on 16 October 2017. The country visit follows up on similar missions held in previous years.

Greece: Full scale of surveillance on journalists must be unearthed

The partner organisations of the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) today back calls for the testing of mobile devices belonging to journalists in Greece who suspect they may have been targets of intrusive spyware or other advanced surveillance.

Slovakia: Deputy PM’s attacks undermined government’s broader efforts to strengthen press freedom

The undersigned international media freedom and journalists organisations today express dismay over the recent attempts by deputy Slovak Prime Minister Igor Matovič to denigrate the country’s media and warn they were undermining wider efforts by the government to improve the landscape for media freedom.

International Press Freedom Groups Condemn Turkey Disinformation Bill Placed before Parliament

A group of international media freedom, freedom of expression and journalists’ organisations today called on Turkish Members of Parliament (MPs)MPs to vote against down the bill on “disinformation and fake news”.

Slovenia: Government faces hurdles in effort to ‘depoliticise’ public broadcaster

Since coming to power in April 2022, Slovenia’s new centre-left government led by Prime Minister Robert Golob has pressed ahead with a campaign pledge to reform the country’s outdated media law and strengthen the independence of Radio-Television Slovenia (RTV).

Albania: Media must not face criminal prosecution for public interest reporting

The undersigned media freedom and journalist associations express shared concern over the blanket publication ban issued by Albanian prosecutorial authorities regarding a trove of hacked data.

Call for Italian political forces to take a stand against SLAPPs

A group of media freedom and journalists’ organisations have published a statement outlining a list of measures that must be adopted in order to protect SLAPP victims in Italy.

Joint Statement on the Proposal for the European Media Freedom Act

Partners of the MFRR have joined a group of journalists’, media freedom, and human rights organisations to welcome the European Commission’s initiative to strengthen the free and pluralistic media system and the commitment to protect journalists and editorial independence within the European Union through the publication of the European Media Freedom Act.

MFRR Monitoring Report: 311 European media freedom violations recorded in first half of 2022

The Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) has published the latest edition of the MFRR Monitoring Report, outlining the state of media freedom throughout all European Union Member States and candidate countries from January to June 2022.

Albania: Press freedom groups call for a fair trial in defamation lawsuit by former top prosecutor against Isa Myzyraj

A group of media freedom and freedom of expression organisations and journalist unions and associations are concerned by the defamation lawsuit filed against journalist Isa Myzyraj.

The EC Recommendation on journalists’ safety: A view from the field one year on

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

Turkey: Solidarity with twenty journalists including TGS leadership blacklisted by police

The partner organisations of the MFRR expressed solidarity with the twenty journalists blacklisted by the Turkish General Directorate of Security (EGM) for their writing and joined Turkey’s Journalists Union (TGS) in denouncing an apparent attempt to intimidate independent journalists and trade unionists.

Serbia: Support for OK Radio as it faces intimidation by powerful businessperson

The partner organisations of the MFRR today express support and solidarity with embattled broadcaster OK Radio and urge Serbian law enforcement authorities to put an end to the dangerous campaign of harassment and pressure exerted on the media outlet by a powerful local businessperson.

Analysis: Strengthening Moldova’s independent press in the shadow of polarization and propaganda

Following the election of a pro-EU president in 2020, Moldova’s independent press has grown in strength and significance. However, challenges remain as a result of the country’s political and social instability, its vast levels of corruption, and the ripple effects of the war in Ukraine.

Turkey: International groups call to restore Evrensel’s right to receive public ads

18 press freedom, freedom of expression, and human rights organisations call on the Turkish Press Advertising Agency (BİK) to withdraw its decision to revoke the right of the independent Evrensel newspaper to receive public ads.

Greece: The government must not cover up “Greek Watergate”

Despite mounting pressure, the Greek government is still refusing to provide substantive answers regarding the revelations that two journalists and an MEP and leader of an opposition party have been targeted for surveillance by EYP (the Greek Intelligence Service), as well as by yet unknown operators using the spyware “Predator”.

Greece: The government must not cover up “Greek Watergate”

Despite mounting pressure, the Greek government is still refusing to provide substantive answers regarding the revelations that two journalists and an MEP and leader of an opposition party have been targeted for surveillance by EYP.

Ukraine: MFRR partners reiterate call for safety and support of media 6 months after invasion

To mark 6 months since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and the day of Ukrainian Independence, partners of the MFRR reiterate continued solidarity with the journalists and media workers who risk their lives and safety to bring the world independent and accurate information from the frontline.

Germany: Misuse of funds at RBB highlights need for greater accountability in publicly funded media

The partners of the MFRR denounce the misuse of public funds by Patricia Schlesinger, former director of Berlin’s public broadcaster RBB. We welcome her instant dismissal while demanding a thorough investigation and calling for improved accountability in publicly funded media.

Malta: IPI supports Shift News in unprecedented freedom of information battle

The International Press Institute (IPI) and its global network stand behind our member The Shift News as it faces an unprecedented legal battle with the Maltese government over freedom of information requests it submitted linked to expenditure of public contracts.

Greece: EFJ demands full disclosure on illegal surveillance of journalists

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) condemns the legal actions aimed at muzzling and intimidating the press in the context of the scandal of illegal government practices in Greece, in particular the tapping of journalists and politicians.

Serbia: REM’s awarding of TV licences underscores media pluralism and media diversity failure

Partners of the MFRR have expressed concern about the Serbian Regulatory Body for Electronic Media (REM)’s decision to award TV licenses to media outlets all supportive of the ruling Serbian Progressive Party.

Poland: Ombudsman must appeal acquisition of newspaper by state-controlled oil company

Poland: Ombudsman must appeal acquisition of newspaper by state-controlled oil company Partners of the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) have written to Marcin Wiącek, Polish Human Rights Ombudsman, expressing concern at his decision to refrain from appealing the acquisition of regional newspaper publisher Polska Press by PKN Orlen, a state-controlled media company. Office of the

Tackling Impunity: Lessons from the Public Inquiry into the Assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia

To mark one year since Malta’s Public Inquiry findings were unveiled, ARTICLE 19 Europe and The Daphne Caruana Galizia Foundation published a report that explores the efficacy of the Maltese Public Inquiry model.

Malta: Public Inquiry report recommendations must be implemented

The MFRR partners have joined a group of organisations to express concern at the lack of implementation of the recommendations of the milestone Public Inquiry into the assassination of Malta’s leading investigative journalist, Daphne Caruana Galizia.

Hungary: Media freedom groups welcome EU court referral over Klubrádió frequency

Together with media freedom and freedom of expression organisations, today MFRR partners welcome the European Commission’s decision to refer Hungary to the Court of Justice of the European Union over the February 2021 decision of the country’s Media Council to force independent broadcaster Klubrádió from the airwaves.

Greece: Real Group media offices targeted in arson attack

The partner organisations of the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) today join the Journalists’ Union of Athens Daily Newspapers (JUADN) in condemning the arson attack on the offices of newspaper Real News and the radio station Real FM in Athens on 13 July 2022.

Chance for Czech Presidency of EU to champion media freedom

Seventeen media freedom and freedom of expression organisations from across Europe wrote to Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala to urge his government to use it upcoming presidency of the European Union to help drive forward vital EU initiatives to protect media freedom across the bloc, including the European Media Freedom Act (EFMA).

Albania: MFRR partners join an open letter to Prime Minister Edi Rama

The partner organisations of the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) today join an open letter to Prime Minister Edi Rama from international press freedom groups over decision to ban journalists from press conferences.

Greece: MFRR partners welcome acquittal of journalists in Novartis criminal case

The partner organisations of the MFRR today welcome the resounding exoneration of four Greek journalists and publishers who faced criminal charges and potential lengthy prison sentences linked to their media outlets’ investigative reporting.

Netherlands: Press freedom organisations welcome policy debate on media freedom and journalists’ safety

The partners in the MFRR and other undersigned press freedom organisations welcome the publication of a letter from the Dutch Government to the Parliament regarding a proposed policy approach on media freedom and safety of journalists.

Concern over delay in investigation into leak of Emilia Șercan’s stolen photos

Media freedom groups concerned by delay in investigation into leak of Emilia Șercan’s stolen photos MFRR consortium joined a collection of media freedom and freedom of expression groups in writing to Nicolae Ciucă, Prime Minister of Romania, Minister of Internal Affairs of Romania, Lucian Bode, General Prosecutor of Romania, Gabriela Scutea, General Prosecutor attached to

Czech Republic: MFRR pushes for reforms to strengthen independence of public broadcaster

Representatives from IPI and ECPMF travelled to Prague on June 15 to meet with officials from the Ministry of Culture and push for the development of reforms which strengthen the independence of the country’s public broadcaster.

Spain: Fine against photographer underscores urgent need for reform of Gag Law

Partners of the MFRR today express serious concern over the recent €1,000 fine issued to Pulitzer prize-winning photographer Javier Bauluz under Spain’s controversial “Gag Law”.

Feindbild Journalist 6 – Hatred on the Doorstep

ECPMF, as part of MFRR, has published the English translation of “Feindbild”, a study into politically-motivated violence against journalists in Germany.

International groups call on Turkey’s parliament to reject the “disinformation” bill as a tool of digital censorship

The MFRR, together with a group of international media freedom, freedom of expression, and journalists’ organisations has called for the immediate dismissal of the bill on “disinformation and fake news” in Turkey.

Italy: Concern after authorities search Rai 3 editorial office and home of journalist

The partner organisations of the MFRR have expressed serious concern over the searches carried out by police at the offices of Rai 3’s investigative programme ‘Report’.

Serbia: Tendering process of national FTA TV licences must be open and transparent

Partner organisations of the MFRR and the Independent Journalists’ Association of Serbia are concerned about the lack of a transparent process for the allocation of national free to air (FTA) TV licences in Serbia.

Launching Media Freedom Rapid Response III

The consortium running the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) has been granted €1.95 million in funding from the European Commission to continue its work to defend and support press and media freedom throughout all EU member states, candidate countries, and Ukraine.

Podcast: Engrained challenges for press freedom in Bulgaria

New episode of ‘MFRR in Focus’ podcast series examines challenges facing independent journalism in one of the EU’s most corrupt countries.

Hungary: Fidesz Media Council moves to silence independent station Tilos Rádió

The partners of the MFRR express serious concern over the decision by the Fidesz-controlled Media Council to block the frequency license renewal of Tilos Rádió.

Who is afraid of journalists? The MFRR Italy Mission Report

On 11 May, partners of the MFRR launched the report of its fact-finding mission to Italy during a live event with journalists and media freedom stakeholders.

Czech Republic: Independence of public broadcasters must be insulated against future attacks

Partners of the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) have published a statement urging the Czech Government to come good on its promises to strengthen the independence of public broadcasters and to seize the opportunity to put press freedom at the centre of its EU presidency programme.

Albania: Private data breaches and intimidation of journalists must be investigated

The MFRR, together with Safe Journalists Network and RSF, have written Mr. Besnik Dervishi, Commissioner for the Right to Access to Information and Personal Data Protection of Albania, calling for a thorough investigation into a recent private data breach and intimidation of journalists in Albania.

Estonia: Criminal fines for journalists over public interest reporting send dangerous signal

The Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) partners are concerned about the imposition of fines on two journalists and a news outlet in Estonia after they published information about pre-trial criminal proceedings without seeking permission or informing the prosecutor’s office.

Albanian ‘Ministry of Propaganda’: Where we are today?

New government Media and Information Agency (MIA) up and running. Lines of communication between the Albanian government and the media have long been tenuous. Whoever is in power picks and chooses the media they interact with and feeds them with information to report, whereas those who are out of favour or ask difficult questions often find themselves sidelined.

Greece: Letter to government after spyware surveillance of journalist Thanasis Koukakis

The partners of the Media Freedom Rapid Response are concerned about surveillance measures hitting journalists in Greece

Romania: Open Letter calling for swift and independent investigation concerning publication of stolen pictures of Emilia Șercan and leak from criminal investigation

Ten European and international press freedom and freedom of expression organisations, members of the MFRR and their partners, have reacted to the harassment of Emilia Șercan, expressing serious concerns about the case and its implications for media freedom in Romania. Today, the ten organisations sent an open letter to the Romanian authorities calling for swift and independent investigations. The letter recalls that the threats and harassment of Șercan are set against a background of recent aggression and undue pressure against journalists and media workers in Romania coming from politicians, prosecutors, police, and military officers.

Netherlands: Towards a safer haven: Advancing safety of journalists amidst rising threats in the Netherlands

Following interviews with more than twenty local stakeholders, the MFRR concludes that policy and practice around the safety of journalists in the Netherlands in many ways constitutes a best practice example, thanks to its pioneering PersVeilig mechanism. Nevertheless, there remains a need to strengthen several areas to better protect journalists and media workers against the increasingly hostile climate pursuant to intensified societal polarisation and threats emanating from organised crime.

Recommendations for government and EU to improve media freedom in Hungary

After the re-election victory of Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and his ruling Fidesz party, the International Press Institute (IPI) today sets out fifteen recommendations for the government to help improve the landscape for media freedom in Hungary.

Hungary: Independent journalism needed more than ever after Orbán victory

The International Press Institute (IPI) and its global network of leading journalists, editors and media executives today expressed steadfast support and solidarity with independent journalists and media outlets in Hungary, who continue to produce important public interest journalism in an increasingly resistive media landscape.

Greek authorities are pretending independent journalists don’t exist

Lack of transparency from government poses challenges for journalistic reporting. Among the many challenges faced by independent journalists in Greece, the failure — or, at times, refusal — of authorities to provide information is arguably one of the most disquieting.

ECPMF Feindbild Study 2022

83 gewaltsame Angriffe registrierte das EECPMF für das Jahr 2021. Damit wurde der Negativrekord des Jahres 2020 nochmals um 14 verifizierte Fälle übertroffen. Die Sicherheitslage für Journalist:innen blieb damit auch im zweiten Pandemiejahr stark angespannt.

Remembering Giorgos Karaivaz: One year later, targeted killing remains unresolved

April 9 marks the one-year anniversary of the killing of veteran Greek crime reporter Giorgos Karaivaz in Athens. Ahead of the date, the partners of the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) honour Karaivaz’s memory and call on the Greek authorities to urgently bring to justice all those responsible for this abhorrent murder and to provide more transparency about the investigation.

MFRR to host press conference on journalist safety in the Netherlands

As part of an MFRR international fact-finding mission to the Netherlands, Free Press Unlimited, ECPMF, and IPI are organising an international press conference on April 13th 3:30-4:30 PM CEST.

MFRR to hold press freedom mission to Italy

From 4 to 6 April, representatives of all partner organisations of the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) will be in Italy for a fact-finding mission focused on two main topics: safety of journalists and state protection measures on one side, and SLAPPs against journalists and the need for comprehensive legislative reforms of the framework of defamation and media freedom on the other.

Controlling the Message: Challenges for independent reporting in Greece

Today, the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) publishes the report “Controlling the Message: Challenges for independent reporting in Greece”, which details the findings and recommendations of its online fact-finding mission to Greece.

Report launch: “Controlling the Message: Challenges for independent reporting in Greece”

The MFRR has conducted a media freedom mission in Greece and the report consisting of findings and recommendations will be launched on 28 March, 2022 with an online event.

IPI report shines light on hidden alliances and vested interests behind media capture in Bulgaria

Third report as part of IPI’s campaign on media capture. The International Press Institute (IPI) today published a new report on media freedom and independence in Bulgaria. The report explores the capture of media by vested business and political interests and the corrupting relationship between media owners and politicians as they compete for power and profit.

IPI publishes report on media capture in the Czech Republic

New government must help strengthen media independence and pluralism. The International Press Institute (IPI) today published a new report on media freedom and independence in the Czech Republic. The report focuses on the spread of media capture under the former government of Andrej Babiš and sets forth recommendations for the new government of Petr Fiala to reform and strengthen independence and pluralism in the media sector.

MFRR in Focus Podcast: How do women journalists report on crisis situations?

New episode of ‘MFRR in Focus’ podcast series studies the important work of women journalists during times of political turmoil and war.

EU: Amidst war in Ukraine, EU must provide emergency visas for Russian & Belarusian journalists fleeing repression

The undersigned partners of the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) today call on the Member States of the European Union to set a global example of support for media freedom in crisis by extending emergency shelter and visa waivers to Russian journalists fleeing the country, as well as Belarusian journalists seeking refuge from war and repression.

MFRR Summit 2022 | Boosting Press Freedom

This year’s MFRR summit will take place from 22 – 24 March. The panels will all be streamed online.

Poland: IPI urges release of Spanish journalist detained near Ukraine border

Security services urged to provide justification for arrest. The IPI global network today urged authorities in Poland to immediately secure the release of Spanish freelance journalist Pablo González and to provide more details on the reason for his arrest.

Serbia: SLAPPs used to intimidate journalists and evade public scrutiny

Powerful individuals in Serbia are abusing the law by filing lawsuits without merit against journalists, media outlets and activists. They are doing this to prevent journalists from investigating them or exposing corruption and abuses of power.

Turkey: MFRR calls for swift and thorough investigation into murder of Güngör Arslan

The partners in the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) strongly condemn the murder of Güngör Arslan, the owner and managing editor of the local Ses Kocaeli newspaper in Turkey.

Slovakia: Remembering Ján Kuciak: On fourth anniversary of murder, IPI renews call for justice

Retrial of suspected masterminds must exhaustively consider all evidence. Today marks four years since the brutal murder of Slovak journalist Ján Kuciak and his fiancée Martina Kušnírová in their home. The IPI global network today remembers Ján and Martina, and stands with their families, friends, and colleagues in the ongoing fight for justice. The retrial of the suspected masterminds, which begins later this month, must exhaustively consider all evidence in the case.

Croatia: Journalist convicted of damaging judge’s reputation

On 2 February, the Croatian Journalists’ Association (CJA) has voiced dismay after the Rijeka Municipal Court sentenced Novi list journalist Dražen Ciglenečki to a fine of 30 days’ income for statements made on former Zagreb County Court President and now High Criminal Court Judge Ivan Turudić in one of his columns. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joined its Croatian affiliate in condemning the continuous pressure on journalists and media freedom in the country through the use of criminal and civil laws.

Finland: EFJ condemned violence against journalists during convoy protest

During the first weekend of February, journalists, police officers, and MPs faced unprecedented threats and intimidation from participants taking part in the Convoy Finland protest in the capital of Helsinki. The EFJ joined its affiliate in Finland, the Finnish Union of Journalists (UJF) in condemning any forms of violence towards journalists and media workers.

Spain: Energy company launches €17.6 million SLAPP lawsuit against El Confidencial

International media freedom groups express concerns. The undersigned partners of the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) today condemn the vexatious SLAPP lawsuit against the newspaper El Confidencial by the Spanish electricity company Iberdrola, which is claiming €17.6 million for alleged “reputational damage”. The MFRR partners see the lawsuit as another example of the urgent need for the introduction of anti-SLAPP legislation at the EU and national levels and reform of the current legal provisions on protection of honour and reputation in line with international freedom of expression standards.

IPI publishes report on the role of Hungarian capital in foreign media

New report produced by IPI in cooperation with regional media experts and investigative journalists. The International Press Institute (IPI) today published a new report written by regional media experts and investigative journalists on the investment of Hungarian capital in foreign media and the implications for the spread of Viktor Orbán’s “illiberal” model of media control.

Portugal’s Expresso newspaper still recovering from debilitating ransomware attack

‘It is a way of deliberately destroying the means of production of the media’. It has been a month since the Portuguese weekly newspaper Expresso became the victim of a ransomware attack, causing it to lose access to its website, its archives, and its Twitter account. How is the newspaper recovering from such a disruptive event?

Purchase of services for an external content evaluation of MFRR-II

The final evaluation of the current Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) project is scheduled to take place during the last two months of the project period, from March to April, 2022. Ahead of this, we are seeking external evaluators to conduct the final evaluation and assess the MFRR-2 project in relation to its objectives and the wider European media freedom scene.

Hungary: Government bypasses court order on journalists’ hospital access

Hungary is the only EU member state not to give media access to hospitals during pandemic. The IPI global network today condemned a Hungarian government decree which – despite a court order – ensured journalists from independent media titles could continue be barred from reporting from inside hospitals. IPI called on the Fidesz government and its pandemic management body to approve future requests for journalists to access health facilities and stop hindering the media from doing their jobs and reporting on the realities of COVID-19.

Poland: Dismissal of SLAPP-targeted journalist Grzegorz Rzeczkowski sets concerning precedent

The undersigned partners of the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) extend their support to journalist Grzegorz Rzeczkowski who faces four SLAPPs and was recently dismissed by Polityka, one of the major independent weekly magazines in Poland, without a transparent reason.

Malta: Media battle for access to public information

Press freedom groups raise concern over unprecedented FOI obstructions. The undersigned international media freedom organisations today express growing concern over the challenges that media outlets in Malta face in accessing public information through the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act. The unprecedented appeals by some 30 government ministries and entities against a decision by the Information and Data Protection Commissioner which ordered the disclosure of information on public expenditure requested by The Shift News are emblematic of these challenges.

Turkey: 27 international media freedom and free expression groups call for release of journalist Sedef Kabaş

27 undersigned human rights and journalists’ organizations including the MFRR consortium members, call for the immediate release of journalist Sedef Kabaş following her late-night arrest on January 22 and for an end to the judicial harassment of independent media.

Spain: Press freedom in 2021: Towards the end of the ‘gag law’?

Public Safey Law, online harassment remained key challenges for journalists in Spain last year

Plataforma por la Libertad de Información (PLI)

Albania: news outlets faced cyber attacks following reports about Mayor of Tirana

The partners in the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) are worried about developments in Albania this week. Cyber-attacks on news outlets believed to be in relation to their reporting on Tirana’s Mayor Erion Veliaj and the appointment of government loyalist Endri Fuga to lead the Media and Information Agency add to existing challenges for media freedom in the country.

Lithuania: State Data Protection Inspectorate (SDPI) must not obstruct journalistic activity in the country

The Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) and partner organisations have written to Director Raimondas Andrijauskas and Deputy Director Danguolė Morkūnienė of the Lithuanian State Data Protection Inspectorate (SDPI)’s to express concern at their attempted obstruction of investigative project “Karštos Pėdos” (“Hot Feet”)’s journalistic activity. 

Turkey: IPI calls for release of Turkey journalist Sedef Kabaş

Kabaş arrested and charged with insulting the president after comments on television programme. The IPI global network and IPI’s Turkey National Committee call for the immediate release of Turkish journalist and author Sedef Kabaş, who was arrested over the weekend on charges of “insulting the president”.

Despite election defeat, Babiš’s influence over the media still matters (FORUM 24)

After Czech election result, political influence over the media remains a major problem
Johana Hovorková, editor-in-chief, FORUM 24

Greece: Concern over criminal charges against investigative reporters

The undersigned international media freedom and freedom of expression organisations today register their concern over the serious criminal charges levelled against two investigative journalists in Greece linked to their reporting on a major corruption scandal. Our organisations are following these two legal cases with utmost scrutiny given the obvious concerns they raise with regard to press freedom. Authorities must issue guarantees that the process is demonstrably independent and free of any political interference.

Montenegro: Impunity must end for shooting of journalist Olivera Lakić

The undersigned partners of the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) today renew our call for an end to impunity for the shooting of investigative journalist Olivera Lakić in 2018 and hope the recent arrest of suspects will lead to all those involved ultimately facing justice.

Bulgaria: Serious threat against investigative journalist Atanas Tchobanov

New government must prioritize journalist safety and media freedom. The IPI global network today expresses serious concern over the warning received by one of Bulgaria’s most prominent investigative journalists, Atanas Tchobanov, about an immediate threat to his life. IPI urges Bulgarian authorities to thoroughly investigate the threat, take all necessary measures to protect his safety and ensure those responsible are swiftly identified.

Netherlands: International media freedom mission on the safety of Dutch journalists

As part of the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR), Free Press Unlimited and the European Center for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF) are organising an international media freedom mission to the Netherlands. With the mission the consortium members want to map the decreasing security of journalists in the Netherlands. We want to contrast this with the fact that with the establishment of PersVeilig (Press Safe) at the end of 2019 there is a strong security mechanism for journalists. The mission will be held at the beginning of 2022.

Bulgaria: Magnitsky sanctions against mogul Delyan Peevski shift media landscape

In the past six months, Bulgaria, considered the poorest and most corrupt country in the European Union, has undergone a serious change. After nearly 12 years of almost uninterrupted rule, prime minister Boyko Borissov left power. Following six months of political deadlock a four-party coalition appointed Kiril Petkov as Prime Minister. Parallel to the change of political power, however, there was another, no less significant change – in the media sector.

Bulgaria: Magnitsky sanctions against mogul Delyan Peevski shift media landscape

Ray of hope for change after oligarch offloads media assets following U.S sanctions

By IPI contributor Rossen Bossev

Poland: Media freedom groups urge President Duda to veto ‘Lex-TVN’

The undersigned international media freedom and journalists groups are writing to urge you to apply a presidential veto to the so-called “Lex-TVN” amendment passed by the Sejm on December 17, which we believe poses a fundamental threat to media freedom and pluralism in Poland. This bill represents a direct attack on the independence of the country’s biggest private broadcaster, U.S-owned TVN, and its news channel TVN24.

Serbia: Wave of lawsuits against investigative portal KRIK chills media freedom

We, the undersigned partners of the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR), express our concerns over the recent wave of vexatious lawsuits against the investigative portal Network for Investigation of Crime and Corruption (KRIK) in Serbia. We believe that these lawsuits are a form of strategic lawsuit against public participation (SLAPPs) that aim to stifle scrutiny and critical issues of public importance and demand urgent action from the Government and judiciary to impartially and swiftly address the growing phenomenon of SLAPPs in the country.

Killing of Peter R. de Vries highlights press freedom challenges in Netherlands

The line in front of the Royal Theatre Carré in Amsterdam was almost a kilometer long, and the waiting time was over two hours for mourners who had come to pay tribute to renowned Dutch crime reporter Peter R de Vries. The 64-year-old journalist had been shot in the evening of July 6, only moments after leaving a TV studio where he had participated in a talk show. He died in hospital nine days later.

Germany: MFRR expresses concern over rising attacks against journalists covering protests

The undersigned partners of the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) today express their concern about the increasing number of attacks against journalists across Germany, particularly in the context of anti-vaccine demonstrations. We call for better safety measures and protection as well as thorough investigations of attacks against journalists covering such demonstrations. Moreover, preventative measures are needed to stop such attacks from happening. Finally, we encourage media workers to report press and media freedom violations.

ARTICLE 19 published Report on Spain: SLAPPs – legal harassment against journalists

Journalists and media outlets in Spain are facing multiple lawsuits for exposing corruption, reporting on matters of public concern or covering protests. Known as Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation, or SLAPPs, public officials, businessmen, politicians or police officers typically initiate these lawsuits. They do so to evade public scrutiny, and to harass or subdue journalists who expose their wrongdoings.

EFJ Statement on Croatia: fact-checking portal Faktograf.hr threatened with death and lawsuits

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joined its affiliates in Croatia and the SafeJournalists Network in condemning the threats received by the fact-checking portal Faktograf.hr and its employees, targeted by intimidations attempts since 10 December 2021.

EFJ Statement on Denmark: Intelligence services warn media against publishing classified information

Danish intelligence services warned the Danish media companies JP/Politikens Hus, Berlingske Media and DR Nyheder not to publish any classified information. This happened after the recent arrest of four intelligence officers accused of leaking information. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) and the Danish Union of Journalists (DJ) strongly condemned this disturbing “warning” to Denmark’s leading media outlets and called on the concerned services to stay away from the press.

EFJ Statement: Italian journalists locked up by Romanian anti-vax senator

A reporter and her crew working for Italian public broadcaster RAI were held in a Bucharest police station for several hours on Monday 13 December after an anti-vax Romanian Senator sequestered during an interview in her office. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) condemns the attack on the RAI crew and the unjustified arrest of the journalists by the Romanian police.

Malta: MFRR expresses concern at anonymisation of court judgements

The Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) together with Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has written to Prime Minister of Malta Dr. Robert Abela and Minister for Justice, Equality and Governance, Dr Edward Zammit Lewis to express concern about Legal Notice L.N. 456 of 2021 and the online publication of court judgements.

Video: How Hungary’s state media interviews Orbán (Telex)

Viktor Orbán ignores questions from independent news outlets. But he’s happy to speak to state-controlled media that lob softball questions his way, explains Telex.hu

Serbia: MFRR welcomes renewed convictions for murder of Slavko Ćuruvija

The undersigned partners of the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) today welcome the confirmed guilty verdicts handed down to four former officials in the Serbian state security services for the murder in 1999 of leading journalist and editor-in-chief Slavko Ćuruvija.

Serbia: Penal Code amendments require open and comprehensive debate

The Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR), the Independent Journalists’ Association of Serbia (IJAS) and the Lawyers’ Committee for Human Rights in Serbia (YUCOM) express concern over the limited time and space available to openly debate various amendments of the Penal Code proposed by the Ministry of Justice of Serbia.

Poland: Journalist’s criminal defamation conviction may impair freedom of expression

The undersigned partners of the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) express deep concern over the recent judgement in the case brought by two judges in Poland in their private capacity against Polityka journalist Ewa Siedlecka, who was convicted of criminal defamation.

After Czech elections, new push for public media independence (HlídacíPes)

The nationalization of the Czech Television and the Czech Radio has not taken place yet. On the contrary, they are to receive a “vaccine” against political pressures, writes HlidaciPes.org.

The shredding of the free press in Hungary (Telex)

Viktor Orbán’s takeover of the media didn’t come overnight. It’s been a long time in the making. Hungary’s Telex.hu traces the evolution of media capture.

MFRR to hold press freedom mission to Greece

The Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) will hold an online fact-finding mission to Greece in the first half of December to assess increasing concerns about media freedom and the safety of journalists in the country.

Poland: Journalist must not be jailed for refusing to disclose source

MFRR urges district prosecutor to drop legal case. The undersigned partners of the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) today call on the District Prosecutor’s Office in the Polish city of Gdansk to drop its legal case against Gazeta Wyborcza reporter Katarzyna Włodkowska and to respect the journalist’s right of source confidentiality protected under the European Convention of Human Rights.

France: EFJ statement on four journalists who were shot at in Martinique

Four French journalists covering the protests against the Covid-19 rules and civil unrest in Martinique have been fired upon three times. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joined its affiliates in France (SNJ, SNJ-CGT, CFDT-Journalistes) in expressing full support to the targeted journalists and strongly condemning a new attack on press freedom, which must be promptly investigated by the French authorities.

Slovenia: Concerns over controversial changes to RTV programming

The undersigned partners of the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) today express concern over proposed modifications to news programming at the Slovenian public television RTV, which would reduce the broadcaster’s ability to inform the public and scrutinise power. We therefore urge the broadcaster’s management to enter into dialogue with its editorial board to ensure adjustments are proportionate and in the best interest of public interest reporting.

Poland: Journalists must be allowed access to Belarus border

Reporting crews facing increasing intimidation by border guards. The undersigned partners of the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) today call on the Polish government to respect and facilitate the free flow of information by allowing journalists access to the border with Belarus to report on the humanitarian situation. We also urge Polish police and military personnel to refrain from arbitrary detentions and intimidation of media workers working in the area around the restricted zone.

Greece: Answers needed over alleged state surveillance of journalist

Intelligence service leak reveals monitoring of investigative platform and journalist in Greece. The undersigned partners of the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) today urge the Greek government to immediately provide clarity over allegations that a state intelligence agency conducted surveillance on journalist Stavros Malichudis and the investigative media organisation Solomon, which focuses on refugees and migration in Greece.

Dutch journalist forced to leave Greece after threats and intimidation

The IPI global network today expresses regret over the involuntary departure of Dutch journalist Ingeborg Beugel from Greece, after she faced physical and online threats following a heated exchange with the Greek prime minister over refugee pushbacks in the Aegean Sea. IPI stands in full support and solidarity with Beugel and calls on Greece to provide a safe working environment for all journalists.

SLAPP lawsuit in Greece underscores need for swift EU directive

The undersigned partners of the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) today express serious concern over a SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation) targeted against the small independent media outlet Alterthess and its journalist Stavroula Poulimeni by a Greek gold mining executive convicted of serious environmental crimes. Our organisations note that this case again underscores the need for a swift European Union directive and Council of Europe Recommendation to protect journalists and media outlets reporting in the public interest from this kind of abusive litigation.

Poland: Access to public information must not be constrained

The undersigned partners of the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) are highly concerned about new possible restrictions on the right to information in Poland that could further erode press freedom in the country. On 17 November 2021, the Constitutional Tribunal will hold a hearing on the constitutionality of core provisions of the bill that regulates access to public information.

MFRR in Focus News Webinar — Episode 4

Media Freedom Rapid Response’s MFRR in Focus News Webinar focuses on November 2, International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists this month.

Slovenia: MFRR welcomes end to STA funding crisis

The Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) today welcomes the signing of a contract which ends the immediate financial crisis at the Slovenian Press Agency (STA). However, the MFRR also raises concerns that the current conditions of the deal could leave the agency in a financially weaker position in the long term as it carries out its vital public service mission.

MFRR in Focus News Webinar — Episode 2

MFRR in Focus News Webinar — Episode 2 The second episode of the MFRR in Focus News Webinar focuses on International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists. In this month's episode you may find the monthly and annual media freedom alerts, as reported on MappingMediaFreedom.org and presented by ECPMF's Antje Schlaf. Among the

Austria: Election of new ORF head shines spotlight on selection process

Appointment raises recurring question over politicization of oversight bodies. On 10 August, the Austrian public service broadcasting company ORF (Österreichischer Rundfunk) elected a new head. Roland Weissmann will become its new director general on January 1, 2022, for a five-year term.

The struggles of Albania’s 30-year-old media landscape

Anti-defamation package and new information agency pose fresh challenges
Alice Taylor, IPI member & co-editor of exit.al

Finland: EFJ reacts to three journalists being accused of ‘disclosing state secrets’ in Finland

Three journalists from Finland’s largest national daily Helsingin Sanomat were charged on 29 October 2021 with “attempted disclosure of a security secret” and face jail term. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joined its affiliates in Finland, the Finnish Journalists’ Union (UJF), in expressing solidarity with the journalists and condemning Finland’s deputy prosecutor general’s decision to prosecute them.

Finland: IPI criticizes Finland for charging three journalists with ‘disclosing state secrets’

IPI strongly criticizes decision to prosecute Helsingin Sanomat journalists following four-year investigation

Greece: Probe into killing of Giorgos Karaivaz remains in “darkness”

Authorities remain tight lipped on status of investigation into murder six months on

By IPI contributor Stavros Malichudis

Italy: Journalists face fresh violence covering ‘green pass’ protests

The undersigned partners of the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) are highly concerned about yet another series of violent attacks and threats to journalists and media workers covering protests against the government’s pandemic-related measures across Italy

Netherlands: IPI condemns arrest of three journalists covering climate protest

Dutch police question journalists’ identity despite possession of press cards

Netherlands should better protect privacy of freelance journalists

Despite new regulations, personal information of freelance journalists still accessible via Dutch Chamber of Commerce, potentially risking journalists safety

IPI Contributor Anne ter Rele

MFRR in Focus News Webinar — Episode 1

MFRR in Focus News Webinar — Episode 1 Media Freedom Rapid Response's MFRR in Focus News Webinar in its first episode presents an overview of the press and media freedom violations across the EU states and candidate countries, elaborating on the rapid response mechanisms. ECPMF's Antje Schlaf explains the 2021 statistics and all the alerts

Greece: Justice Ministry must withdraw amendment on ‘false news’

MFRR partners warn controversial amendment would threaten media freedom

Greece: Little progress on Karaivaz murder investigation six months on

After six-month anniversary of assassination, IPI urges fresh impetus in police probe

Albania: MFRR urges government to scrap new Media and Information Agency

MFRR partners have serious concerns about plans for a new agency that would centralise control over the government’s public relations within a single entity

MFRR in Focus News Webinar — Episode 3

MFRR in Focus news webinar October episode Media Freedom Rapid Response's MFRR in Focus webinar for October has been published. {{ vc_btn: title=Watch+on+Youtube&style=outline-custom&outline_custom_color=%23ff6600&outline_custom_hover_background=%236d6d6d&outline_custom_hover_text=%23ffffff&shape=round&i_icon_fontawesome=far+fa-file-pdf&add_icon=true&link=url%3Ahttps%253A%252F%252Fwww.youtube.com%252Fwatch%253Fv%253D_dVE9Rk-k1Y%7Ctarget%3A_blank }}

IPI condemns exclusion of journalists during Babiš-Orbán press conference

Several Czech and foreign journalists blacklisted and denied entry to prime ministers’ joint press conference.

United Kingdom: MFRR partners join call for justice for Martin O’Hagan

Twenty years ago today, Sunday World journalist Martin O’Hagan was shot dead in Lurgan, Northern Ireland. To this day, no one has been held to account for his brutal murder. The undersigned partners in the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) stand in solidarity with O’Hagan’s family, colleagues and friends as we call for justice in his case.

Media in Croatia, unprecedented censorship

The Zagreb court applied temporary and preventive censorship against the H-Alter portal and journalist Jelena Jindra, effectively banning the publication and writing of further articles on the Municipal Children and Youth Protection Polyclinic and its director. Toni Gabric, chief editor of H-Alter, explains this unprecedented decision

Croatia: Temporary reporting injunction on the Association of Independent Media Culture must be lifted

The Municipal Civil Court of Zagreb, Croatia, imposed a temporary reporting injunction on the publisher of the news website H-alter following a series of articles about the Child and Youth Protection Centre’s work irregularities. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joined its affiliates, the Croatia Journalists’ Association (CJA) and the Trade Union of Croatian Journalists (TUCJ), in denouncing a direct form of censorship.

MFRR partners concerned about wave of abusive legal actions against Croatian outlet

We consider that several lawsuits filed against index.hr have many of the hallmarks of abusive litigation which are used by powerful individuals and companies as a means of silencing critical expression

Slovakia: Two Denník N journalists face charges for Kuciak murder probe revelation

IPI calls for criminal indictment to be dropped immediately

Romania: Filmmakers badly beaten while shooting documentary on illegal logging

Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) partners today express serious concern over the brutal beating of two filmmakers who were shooting a documentary about illegal logging in Romania and call on the country’s prosecutor general and law enforcement authorities to ensure all those responsible are swiftly brought to justice

MFRR partners welcome European Commission’s Recommendation on protection, safety and empowerment of journalists

The partner organisations in the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) welcome the European Commission’s Recommendation on ensuring the protection, safety and empowerment of journalists and media professionals in the European Union

EU action needed to tackle spyware abuses after Pegasus revelations

Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) partners call for an immediate investigation into the alleged use of the spyware against journalists by Hungarian authorities and urge the strong implementation of new EU rules on the export of cyber-surveillance technology around the world

France: Journalist Thomas Dietrich interrogated for two hours by police

Police summoned Le Média journalist Thomas Dietrich to Puteaux police station (Paris), where he was interrogated for two hours over a recent journalistic investigation. The International and European Federations of Journalists (IFJ/EFJ) joined their affiliate in France, the SNJ-CGT, in denouncing the attempted intimidation and have called on the authorities to dismiss the groundless complaint against him

Urgent solution needed as Slovenian Press Agency funding crisis passes 250 days

More than 250 days have now passed since the Slovenian Press Agency (STA) last received state funding for carrying out its public service mission from the government of Janez Janša, which currently presides over the Presidency of the Council of the European Union

Slovak journalists denied entry to press conference on high-level corruption case

IPI joins leading Slovak media in protesting move

Slovenia: MFRR calls for firm response after storming of public broadcaster RTV

Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) partners today strongly condemn the attack on the Slovenian public broadcaster RTV Slovenija (RTVS) by Covid-19 deniers and anti-vaccination protesters last Friday

Malta: Concerns over campaign of disinformation and spoof websites targeting media

Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) partners are highly concerned about attempts to spread disinformation and discredit Maltese journalists and bloggers who write about the recently indicted murder suspect alleged to have orchestrated and funded the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia in 2017

Montenegro, a justice free country

Interview with Milka Tadic Mijovic, one of Montenegro’s leading journalists and president of the Center for Investigative Journalism, who has always been at the forefront of the fight for a better country and for the defence of freedom of expression

MFRR urges swift police action over Molotov cocktail attack on home of Dutch journalist

Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) today expresses serious concern over the Molotov cocktail attack on the home of journalist Willem Groeneveld in Groningen last night

Malta: Tycoon Yorgen Fenech to face trial for murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia

Yorgen Fenech, a Maltese business mogul, has been indicted for the murder of anti-corruption journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia in 2017 and will face a trial by jury on a date yet to be set

Malta: Yorgen Fenech to stand trial for murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia

Prosecutors seek life imprisonment on charges of complicity in murder and criminal association

Poland: PiS accelerates repolonization drive with passing of ‘Lex TVN’

IPI urges Senate and president to reject amendment to media ownership law that targets critical broadcaster

Poland: open letter to the Sejm in ‘lex TVN’ matter

Open letter to all members of the Sejm of the Republic of Poland, asking them to oppose the draft law that would restrict media ownership in Poland by investors based in countries outside the European Economic Area

Spying scandal further increases worries of Hungarian journalists

In mid-July, revelations about the abuse of the Israeli Pegasus spyware sparked scandals across the world. Viktor Orbán’s Hungary made international headlines as the only EU member state where, evidence suggests, the highly intrusive cyberweapon was used against journalists, lawyers, politicians, and businessmen critical of the government.

Disturbing pattern of violence and harassment at COVID-related protests across Europe

The partners in the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) are highly concerned by a barrage of attacks and harassment of journalists by protesters at demonstrations across Europe in recent weeks against new government measures taken in light of the Coronavirus-pandemic

Poland: Stronger U.S. and EU action required over ‘lex TVN’

The Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) today calls for swift and robust action by the European Union and U.S. to defend media freedom in Poland and counter the serious attack on the independence of the country’s largest private television