Defending Press Freedom in Times of Tension and Conflict
UK launch of the Safety of Journalists Platform 2022 Annual Report.
This event is being hosted by the Council of Europe’s (CoE) Safety of Journalists Platform, the mechanism which reports on serious threats to the safety of journalists and media freedom in Europe, and the Foreign Policy Centre (FPC). The event is the UK launch for the Safety of Journalists Platform’s 2022 Annual Report. The report examines the key media freedom trends across Europe with 282 ‘alerts’ raised by NGOs to the Platform in 2021, a 41% increase on the previous year. It can be read here.
Key findings: The 2022 Annual Report finds that six journalists were killed in Europe in 2021, three of whom (in Greece, the Netherlands and Turkey) were directly targeted, while the others lost their lives covering street protests and the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. The report addresses how 56 journalists and media actors were imprisoned in CoE Member States and a range of other important tools used in the intimidation against journalists, including the use of strategic lawsuits against public participation (SLAPPs), smear campaigns, reporting restrictions, online threats, and surveillance as well as impunity for past crimes against journalists.
The event will examine issues in the wider media environment, from efforts to undermine the independence of public service media to the need to guarantee media pluralism, transparency of media ownership and control, and regulatory independence and fair funding. It will also look at steps being taken to protect journalists in Sweden, the Netherlands and the UK’s first National Action Plan for the Safety of Journalists that is highlighted in the Annual Report.
The event will address the importance of improving the responses by Member States to alerts raised through the platform and of taking action on the non-execution of European Court of Human Rights’ rulings relating to media freedom. It will also discuss ways in which CoE Member States should be encouraged and incentivised to enact reforms to their domestic laws and practices to provide greater Protection of journalists, improve Prevention of harm against them and deliver effective Prosecution of those responsible for threats and attacks against journalists.
Listen to an audio recording of the event here:
Committee Room 8, Houses of Parliament, London, SW1A 0AA
Fabian Hamilton MP, Shadow Minister for Peace and Disarmament
Sarah Clarke, Head of Europe and Central Asia, Article 19
William Horsley, Media Freedom Representative of the Association of European Journalists
Jessica Ní Mhainín, Policy & Campaigns Manager, Index on Censorship
Chair: Susan Coughtrie, Project Director at the FPC