Safety is a basic need for independent media. Journalists who are subjected to personal threats or obstructed by laws or censorship cannot fulfill their crucial role as a source of objective, unbiased information.
That is why Free Press Unlimited assigns top priority to creating safe working conditions for journalists. Over the years, we trained a large number of journalists and media organisations, helping them to arm themselves against violence and to communicate without other parties ‘listening in’. Additionally, Free Press Unlimited also manages an emergency fund for media workers, develops safety tools and actively advocates for a safer working environment for journalists worldwide.
At Free Press Unlimited we consider safety an all-embracing concept that includes the physical, the psycho-social, digital and the legal domains equally. We believe that there are no one-size-fits-all solutions, as the safety challenges vary per context the solutions differ as well. Therefore all our programmes are informed by organisational and individual needs.
The pillars of our safety programme
- Emergency support: Journalists and media organisations in distress can apply for emergency support from Reporters Respond. Through this fund, Free Press Unlimited enables them to resume their work as quickly as possible when faced with obstruction, vandalism, or intimidations.
- Legal support: With the Legal Defense Fund, we provide financial support to journalists and media organisations worldwide. We give support to journalists who face prosecution or imprisonment and who are unable to afford a lawyer or trial costs. This way, they will not be forced to withdraw their defense and accept the consequences of, often false, accusations.
- Safety trainings & tools: Training on journalistic safety is essential, especially for media workers operating under challenging – often life-threatening – conditions. In collaboration with international partners, Free Press Unlimited supports (media) organisations and media workers with safety training.
- Advocacy: Independent media and press freedom cannot exist if safety for journalists isn’t guaranteed. Therefore, Free Press Unlimited actively lobbies for a safe work environment for journalists. An environment which enables them to work free of fear and danger.
9 October 2020: How does Free Press Unlimited support press freedom and independent journalism worldwide? In this podcast we focus on the importance of safety for journalists. They are threatened and attacked worldwide because of their work. We support them. Jantine van Herwijnen, Senior Programme Coordinator of Free Press Unlimited's Safety programme, explains what we do to keep journalists safe.