Europe: Updated directory to protect journalists

Europe: Updated directory to protect journalists - Protection

Journalists reporting on protests in Paris, France, 2019. Photo: Jose HERNANDEZ Camera 51/Shutterstock

ARTICLE 19 Europe – as part of the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) project – has released an updated second edition of our popular Directory of initiatives on the safety of journalists in Europe.

While there are many such initiatives across Europe, before we published our Directory in 2022, they had never before been listed in one place. Indeed, some of the initiatives in the Directory had not been documented at all.

ARTICLE 19 Europe therefore set out – with the support of Osservatorio Balcani Caucaso Transeuropa – to map initiatives on the safety of journalists deployed by the State, or in which the State is involved, in the countries covered by the MFRR. 

The result of that mapping exercise is this Directory.

Download the Directory

New for 2023: Deep dives into protection mechanisms in Serbia and the Netherlands

Initiatives like the ones listed in our Directory are crucial to enhancing journalists’ safety and fighting widespread impunity for crimes against them – yet it is not always clear how they were created, how they operate, or how to set one up. 

We therefore decided to dive into two of the initiatives listed in our Directory more deeply: 

  • Serbia: Stalna radna grupa za bezbednost novinara (Standing Working Group for the Safety of Journalists); and
  • The Netherlands: PersVeilig (Press Safety).


Who is this Directory for?

  • Journalists: First and foremost, we hope that this Directory enhances journalists’ safety. It provides journalists with information about initiatives that exist to enhance their safety, which they may not have been aware of previously, and information on how to report attacks.
  • Civil society organisations, such as media freedom groups and journalists’ associations and unions: Mapping existing initiatives makes gaps in provision clearer. We hope that civil society organisations use this Directory to lobby for more – and better – initiatives in their respective countries.
  • Governments: Officials working on the safety of journalists will find this Directory useful to improve public policy and provision of initiatives for the safety of journalists.
  • Intergovernmental organisations: The Directory will help international civil servants working on the safety of journalists to better understand how international standards are being implemented at the national level.

Requirements for inclusion in the Directory 

To be included, an initiative had to fulfil three requirements: 

  1. The initiative had to operate at the national level
  2. The State had to be actively involved;
  3. The initiative had to be within the countries covered by the MFRR, meaning EU member states and candidate countries (Albania, the Republic of North Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Turkey).


ARTICLE 19 Europe and the MFRR do not necessarily endorse the initiatives featured in this Directory, which is a descriptive mapping project rather than an evaluation of efficacy. The next stage of the project will analyse some of the initiatives collected in the Directory.

ARTICLE 19 Europe has made every effort to research eligible initiatives to include in this Directory. However, we do not claim that it is inclusive of all existing initiatives. Please contact us if you know of any other initiatives that may be eligible for inclusion, or with any updates regarding existing entries: [email protected]  

About the MFRR

This announcement has been coordinated by the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR), which tracks, monitors and responds to violations of press and media freedom in EU Member States and Candidate Countries. This project provides legal and practical support, public advocacy and information to protect journalists and media workers. The MFRR is organised by a consortium led by the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF) including ARTICLE 19 Europe, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), Free Press Unlimited (FPU), International Press Institute (IPI) and CCI/Osservatorio Balcani Caucaso Transeuropa (OBC Transeuropa). The project is co-funded by the European Commission.


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