The Council of Europe Platform for the Protection of Journalism and Safety of Journalists is a unique mechanism which helps the dialogue between the governments and the organisations of journalists, with the aim of stopping violations to press freedom in the member states of the Council of Europe and enabling journalists to exercise their profession without the risk of compromising their safety.
The platform enables partners to submit alerts documenting threats to media freedom across member states. This includes physical threats of violence, as well as threats of arrest, detention and censorship, as well as legal threats such as SLAPPs. Every alert posted on the platform is then submitted to the relevant Council of Europe member state, who are expected to act and address the issues and inform the Platform on the actions taken in response to the alerts. Council of Europe member states also have a positive obligation to ensure an enabling environment for media pluralism.
It aims to improve the protection of journalists, better address threats and violence against media professionals and foster early warning mechanisms and response capacity within the Council of Europe.
Partners to the platform submit alerts to the platform that are published after they are verified by the platform secretariat. They are selected due to their expertise on the issue, as well as their reach across Europe to source and fact check all alerts prior to submission. Partners are:
Association of European Journalists
Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ)
European Broadcasting Union (EBU)
European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF)
European Federation of Journalists (EFJ)
Free Press Unlimited
Index on Censorship
International Federation of Journalists (IFJ)
International News Safety Institute (INSI)
International Press Institute (IPI)
Justice for Journalists Foundation (JFJ)
Reporters Without Borders (RSF)
Rory Peck Trust
All the alerts on the platform are publicly accessible and searchable, with further links to any responses received from member states as well as links related to the original incident.
The platform also visualises data from the platform to identify trends and monitor the state of media freedom and reporting to the platform in real time. For example we can see:
For aggregated data since 2015, 1230 alerts remain active with only 297 being resolved.
In 2022, there were 289 alerts published on the platform. This represents the highest amount to date since the platform’s inception in 2015.
For aggregated data since 2015, the UK’s response rate has been 41%. For 2022, the last year we have complete date, this response rate was 18%.
Every year the platform partners collaborate on an annual report to bring together the key themes, topics and alerts from the previous year. This will highlight key clusters that require concerted attention from European institutions and national governments. The importance of SLAPPs across Council of Europe member states is highlighted by the fact that SLAPPs has had a chapter dedicated to it for the last three years
Platform partners can submit an alert once it is drawn to their attention. Once they have fact checked and verified its accuracy, it can be submitted for approval on the platform. If you know of a SLAPP action that should be submitted, please contact the UK Anti-SLAPP Coalition. A number of the platform partners are involved, including Index on Censorship, which is a co-chair of the coalition.
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