Call for interest for media outlets: digital security trainings

Free Press Unlimited announces a call for interest for media outlets in the MENA region called ''Core Support for Independent Media in the Southern Neighbourhood''. Interested candidates are encouraged to apply below.

Please find the information in Arabic here:

Free Press Unlimited (FPU) is implementing a programme called “Core Support for Independent Media in the Southern Neighbourhood” with the support of the European Union from 2021 to 2026. The main objective of this programme is to provide comprehensive bespoke core support the pluralism, independence, and resilience of the media sector in the Southern Neighbourhood to withstand existing threats. The overall strategy of the programme aims to:

  • Objective 1: improving sector capacities to safely produce and share more high-quality content within and outside the Southern Neighbourhood
  • Objective 2: improving business viability and resilience among the independent media outlets in the Southern Neighbourhood.
  • Objective 3: strengthening existing regional networks to more efficiently convene communities of practice in the Southern Neighbourhood.

It is worth to mention that collaboration with local partners with access to regional expertise and networks ensures regional ownership and a more tailored and locally driven approach in the implementation phase.

In order to contribute to the achievement of objectives 1 and 2, FPU aims to provide online digital safety trainings to 9 media outlets in the MENA region (please see below the eligible countries). Those trainings will:

1. Help journalists and media organizations safeguard their online presence, data, and communications. It will equip them with the knowledge and skills to identify and mitigate risks such as hacking, phishing, malware, and online harassment.

2. Help the media to protect themselves from misinformation, disinformation, and manipulation. This, in turn, helps maintain trust and credibility with their audiences.

3. Support the media in the implementation of secure communication channels and practices, protecting the anonymity and safety of sources and whistleblowers. This is crucial for investigative journalism.

4. Provide them on the latest technological advancements, cybersecurity practices, and emerging threats. It will allow them to adapt their strategies and protocols accordingly, ensuring they remain resilient and capable of addressing new challenges in the digital landscape.


Prior to the digital safety scans, participants will enroll in at least 3 digital security modules via the online FPU Totem e-learning platform and receive completion certificates.

The participants will benefit from a deep digital security scan from a digital security expert. Minimum 3 persons from each media outlet will be appointed (at least the safety focal point, one journalist, the editor in chief) and be mentored by the digital security expert.

Scans will be followed by a tailored action plan to increase digital safety. This includes for instance hands-on practical guidance; adopting security tools, other specific digital security questions, international digital security trends/developments, posting safely on social media, metadata on photos, protecting phones with basic security apps, placing secure phone calls, safe browsing. Etc.

Besides, the focal points from each media outlet will be part of a network (via email, Signal or another channel) where they will have the opportunity to share experiences, needs, challenges etc. in regards to digital security. Once a year, FPU will conduct an online meeting with the 9 focal points in order to collect and discuss their experiences, challenges etc. Result of this annual meeting will be the publication of a report compiling inputs from the focal points and proposition of solutions.


Eligible organisations must fullfill the following criteria:

  • Be established as a media outlet, with at least 3 years of experience in the media sector
  • Operating in one of the following countries: Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Palestine, Lebanon, Jordan, Syria
  • Comply with core journalism principles (fact-based, accurate, independent, fair, impartial, accountable, etc.)
  • Show strong willingness to address security and safety challenges (e.g. setting up a security plan)
  • Be able to dedicate some staff and time to the digital safety scan and trainings

Priority will be given to media outlets experiencing urgent threats.


Selected media outlets will benefit from:

  • 1 day of digital security scan
  • Approx. one week of tailored trainings

These trainings will be conducted during year 2024.

Evaluation procedure

Media outlets who are interested in building knowledge and practice in the field of digital security are invited to submit a questionnaire on their organisation mission and their safety and security situation. If you are interested into this programme, please send an email to in order to request the questionnaire template.

Applications must be submitted in English or Arabic to before 25 February 2024 11PM CET. The email sent must include in the Subject field “Digital safety training” and the questionnaire & note must be attached to the email.

The selection committee/the jury will be composed of: FPU Programme Coordinator, FPU Programme Officer and FPU Digital Security Expert.

Funded by the European Union

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