Digital Agenda for Europe
A Europe 2020 Initiative

Media Freedom – Pilot Projects

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The European Commission selected four projects following a call for proposals in the field of violations of media freedom and pluralism in 2013. The projects aim to provide practical solutions and guidance to journalists in Europe in order to enhance and defend media freedom.
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In the framework of the call on media freedom and pluralism, four projects have been selected. Their activities started in early 2014 for a duration of one year.

Strengthening Journalism in Europe: Tools, Networking, Training

Centre for Media Pluralism and Media Freedom (European University Institute), in cooperation with Center for Media and Communication Studies (Central European University)

This project aims at enhancing practical support mechanisms for journalists in Europe with particular regard to situations in which reporters’ editorial freedoms are threatened or violated. In particular, the project will develop: (1) an international network of media lawyers providing support to journalists; (2) tools for journalists facilitating their understanding of regulatory and legal parameters related to newsgathering, reporting and publishing activities; (3) a comprehensive, interactive and publicly accessible database monitoring violations to press freedom, and information of country-specific laws, policies, and case law related to specific aspects of journalistic practices; (4) cross-border networks between journalists by involving them in training activities. Moreover, the project will support new modes of journalism by awarding the best European investigative journalism initiative carried out online.

In August 2014, CMPF published a map showing the differences in working conditions and status of journalists across EU Member States.  The map is available here.

Strengthening Journalists' Rights, Protections and Skills: Understanding Defamation Laws versus Press Freedom

The International Press Institute

The project focuses specifically on providing legal, theoretical and practical support to journalists on criminal defamation, which is considered as a key challenge to freedom of expression. The project intends to contribute to the creation of a positive legal environment that respects the role of the media in society while making sure that the victims of false or misleading press coverage can adequately redress any damage done to their reputation.

In July 2014, IPI published three documents on Defamation law.  They are available here.

Taking action and mapping violations of media freedom and plurality across the European Union

Index on Censorship (The Writers and Scholars Educational Trust)

The project will build real-time mapping of violations of media freedom and plurality in EU member states and candidate countries. Regional correspondents and other contributors will use digital tools to capture reports via web and mobile applications. The action will involve practical online workshops, training on the suite of digital tools and in-depth analysis of the data collected. The online workshops will be an opportunity for media professionals as well as citizen journalists across Europe to gather and discuss contemporary challenges and share good practices.

Index on Censorship and Osservatorio Balcani e Caucaso are joining forces, using a crowd-sourcing approach to map the state of media freedom in Europe. You can access and contribute to the map here.

Safety Net for European Journalists

Osservatorio Balcani e Caucaso, SEEMO, Ossigeno Informazione, Professor Eugenia Siapera (Dublin City University)

Safety Net for European Journalists is devoted to media freedom in Italy, South East Europe and Turkey.
Thanks to multiple actions and a network of 10 media partners, the project intends to stimulate a transnational debate as well as an active role of the EU in support of media pluralism in 11 European countries.
OBC and its partners will: monitor, verify and document violations to media freedom in Italy, South East Europe and Turkey; launch a crowd-sourcing platform collecting online data regarding the needs of threatened journalists; publish a cross-country report on their needs; publish a manual offering concrete support to journalists undergoing threats or limitations to their work; foster the exchange of good practices for the protection of media freedom in Europe; sensitize the European public on the all-important role of media freedom for democracy; and finally publish and exchange information among media outlets in 11 European countries.

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