Georgia foreign agent law Event

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

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

25 April, 12:00 CEST

On April 25, 2024, the Media Freedom Rapid Response will host a webinar addressing the recent decline in press freedom in Georgia. This decline has been exacerbated by the reintroduction of a Russia-style foreign agent law earlier this month. 


The new law, titled ‘Transparency of Foreign Influence’ requires independent media and civil society organizations that receive funding from abroad to label themselves as “organizations pursuing the interests of a foreign power.” 


Since then, journalists from online media were barred from the parliament when the law was being debated and on April 16, 2024, reporters from online media outlets Publika, Tabula, and Aprili were physically and verbally assaulted while reporting large scale protests against the bill. 


Join us and leading Georgian journalists and press freedom advocates as  we delve into the implications of the law and explore the broader state of press freedom in the country.


Teona Sekhniashvili

Europe Network & Press Freedom Coordinator at the International Press Institute (IPI)


Mariam Nikuradze

Co-founder and Executive Director at Open Caucasus Media

Lika Zakashvili

Co-founder and Editor-in-chief of Publika

Tamar Kintsurashvili

Executive Director of the Media Development Foundation

Mamuka Andguladze

Chairperson of the Media Advocacy Coalition

Media in occupied Ukraine Event

Occupied Ukraine: Media reporting in the shadow of Russian…

Occupied Ukraine

Media reporting in the shadow of Russian forces

29 February, 14:30 CET.

As of February 2024, a significant proportion of Ukraine remains under occupation by Russian forces. This includes Crimea, as well as vast areas in the regions of Donbas, Zaporizhia, and Kherson. While some of these territories are under Russian control since 2014, most were torn away from Ukraine at the start of Russia’s full-scale invasion.


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?


This webinar will focus on the timeline of events with the aim of understanding the realities Ukrainian media face under Russian occupation. Starting from forced closures of media by the military, panellists will recount stories of journalists fleeing from invasion, before turning to the challenges that the current situation creates, such as the need to conduct work undercover, in the shadow of Russian forces. Perspectives for the return of free media to a future de-occupied Ukraine will also be examined.


To delve into these questions, the MFRR partners will be joined by several Ukrainian journalists with first-hand experience of working under Russian occupation.


Karol Łuczka

Eastern Europe Advocacy and Monitoring Officer at the International Press Institute


Nastya Stanko

Editor-in-chief of Slidstvo.Info

Olha Reshetylova

Coordinator of the Media Initiative for Human Rights

Sevgil Musaieva

Editor-in-chief of Ukrainska Pravda


The true cost of journalism: Ongoing impunity cases in…

The true cost of journalism:

Ongoing impunity cases in Europe

19 February, 11:00 CET.

On 21 February 2018, journalist Ján Kuciak and his fiancée Martina Kušnírová were murdered in Veľká Mača, Slovakia. The assassination sparked mass protests and the eventual resignation of Prime Minister Robert Fico. Although those who ordered and carried out the murder have been found guilty and sentenced to time in prison, the alleged mastermind was acquitted in May 2023.


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.


Jasmijn de Zeeuw

Legal Advisor, Free Press Unlimited


Massimo Moratti

Osservatorio Balcani e Caucaso Transeuropa (OBC Transeuropa)

Barış Altıntaş

Co-Director, Media and Law Studies Association (MLSA)

Lukas Diko

Editor-in-Chief, Investigative Center of Jan Kuciak

Press freedom Greece Event

Webinar: Assessing the state of press freedom in Greece

Webinar: Assessing the state of press freedom in Greece

30 January, 11:00 CET.

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.


The report examines the clear period of deterioration in media freedom in the EU Member State over the last few years, identifies the reasons behind this deterioration, and sets out recommendations for steps to be taken to address these many challenges.


It also provides a detailed analysis of the measures taken by the New Democracy government in recent years to try and address the problems and assesses their effectiveness of these policies so far, including the government’s Task Force for journalist safety.


The report has been jointly produced by the organsiaitons of the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR): ARTICLE 19 Europe, the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF), the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), Free Press Unlimited (FPU), the International Press Institute (IPI) and the Osservatorio Balcani e Caucaso Transeuropa (OBCT), along with the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) and Reporters Without Borders (RSF).


During the webinar, representatives of these organisations will present the conclusions and findings of the mission delegation on five key themes: surveillance and spyware; the safety of journalists and impunity; SLAPPs and legal threats; media pluralism and independent journalism; and the role of unions and importance of solidarity.


There will be a press conference at the end of the event. The report will be published first in English, with a translated Greek version to follow in the coming weeks.


Pavol Szalai

Reporters Without Borders (RSF)

Jasmijn de Zeeuw

Free Press Unlimited (FPU)

Attila Mong

Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ)

Jamie Wiseman

International Press Institute (IPI)

Massimo Moratti

Osservatorio Balcani e Caucaso Transeuropa (OBCT)

Thodoris Chondrogiannos

Reporters United

Marina Rafenberg

Greece correspondent for Le Monde and AFP

Bosnia media freedom webinar Event

Bosnia and Herzegovina: Media Freedom in Survival Mode

Bosnia and Herzegovina:

Media Freedom in Survival Mode

25 January, 10:00 CET.

On 15 December 2022, the European Council granted Bosnia and Herzegovina candidate status for EU membership. While Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 accelerated the EU enlargement process, Bosnia and Herzegovina has yet to improve its environment for the media to continue on its path towards potential EU accession, as limited progress has been made since submitting its application in 2016.


In this MFRR webinar, speakers will discuss the findings of a recent press freedom fact-finding mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina, highlighting the suffocating environment for independent journalists in the country and issues ranging from the criminalisation of defamation in Republika Srpska, hostile rhetoric and denigration of journalists by public officials, the so-called “foreign agent law”, sanctions against the dissemination of “fake news”, and the effect of the financial crisis on media.


Maksym Popovych

ARTICLE 19 Europe


Frane Maroevic

Executive Director of the International Press Institute (IPI)

Maja Sever

President of the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ)


Webinar – Assessing the quiet press freedom gains in…

Assessing the quiet press freedom gains in Bulgaria

31 October, 11:00 CEST.

In the last two years, Bulgaria has undergone a subtle yet steady period of improvement in press freedom. Long ranked among the worst countries in the EU for media freedom, the Eastern European country is finally now experiencing an upward trajectory after years of stagnation. After the formation of a coalition government following a protracted political crisis, there is cautious hope amongst the journalistic community that this positive momentum can now be consolidated. However, engrained challenges regarding media ownership, lawsuits and the safety of journalists continue, and recent gains are fragile.


In this webinar organised by the Media Freedom Rapid Response (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 last year, to ask about the conditions behind the subtle improvements in the press freedom environment and examine the many outstanding challenges that remain. The MFRR webinar will also look at the impact that the EU Commission’s planned European Media Freedom Act (EMFA) could have in Bulgaria and review the push to legislate against SLAPPs.


Jamie Wiseman

Advocacy Officer at International Press Institute (IPI)


Antoinette Nikolov

Director of Balkan Free Media Initiative, former journalist at bTV

Alexander Kashumov

Leading media lawyer

Velislava Popova

Editor-in-chief of Dnevnik


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

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

11 September, 15:00 CEST.

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


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


Mark Dempsey

Senior Advocacy Officer, ARTICLE 19


Marius Dragomir

Founding Director of the Media and Journalism Research Centre

Charis Papaevangelou

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

Dr. Courtney Radsch

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

Media freedom in Serbia: A deepening crisis Event

Media freedom in Serbia: A deepening crisis

Media freedom in Serbia: A deepening crisis

03 May, 11:00 CEST.

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


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


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


Roberta Taveri

Media Freedom Senior Programme Officer/Europe Programme Officer


Ivana Stevanovic

Executive Director, Slavko Ćuruvija Foundation

Rade Đurić

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

Jelena Zoric

Journalist, BIRN


One year of war: The true cost of journalism

One year of war: The true cost of journalism

01 March, 11:00 CET.

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


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


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


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


Karol Łuczka

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


Anastasiya Stanko

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

Lina Kushsch

Lina Kushch

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

Andrey Boborykin

Andrey Boborykin

Executive Director, Ukrainska Pravda

Public service media Event

Threats to independent public service media in Central Europe

Threats to independent public service media in Central Europe

24 November, 10:00 CET.

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


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


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


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


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


Jamie Wiseman

Europe Advocacy Officer at International Press Institute (IPI)


Ksenija Horvat

Journalist and broadcaster at Radiotelevizija Slovenija (RTV SLO)

Jan Bumba

Presenter at Czech National Radio (ČRo Plus).

Radka Betcheva

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