RESOURCE CENTRE | About
The Resource Centre on Media Freedom in Europe is an open and ever growing platform providing access to curated contents related to media freedom and pluralism in Europe. Items range from reports to academic sources, from legal tools to practical instruments such as trainings and manuals, as well as opportunities for media professionals and young journalists.
The platform was developed by Osservatorio Balcani Caucaso Transeuropa (OBCT) as part of the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF). Launched in 2000, OBCT is a think tank focused on South East Europe which supports transnational issues that are crucial for European democracy: one of them is exactly media freedom, and for this reason it has contributed to ECPMF activities since the very start in 2015.
Curated by OBCT, the Resource Centre on Media Freedom in Europe is now a platform that is part of the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR), a mechanism co-funded by the European Commission which tracks, monitors and responds to threats to journalists and violations of press and media freedom in EU Member States and candidate countries.
Thanks to a real-time research by its curators, the Resource Centre collects and catalogues existing contents and provides different options to access them: by country and by topic. A tools section shows the existing tools for monitoring media freedom, the support centres, stakeholders and training opportunities available, legal resources and datasets.
The first goal of the platform is to make any source easily searchable for different target groups: journalists, policy-makers, scholars, as well as ordinary citizens interested in these crucial issues. The Resource Centre also functions as a networking tool, encouraging the exchange of knowledge among a broad range of actors committed to support media freedom all over Europe. This is done particularly through the crowdsourcing platform, where users can upload and share their own contents. The platform aims to encourage the participation and mutual knowledge of the media community.
OBCT is based in Italy (Trento), but the Resource Centre has its mind set on Europe (in the broad sense of the term): it was born to be a transnational endeavour to tackle the European dimension of media freedom issues.
The Resource Centre is a young project: it was launched in December 2015. Nevertheless, with over two thousand resources already uploaded, we can say it is a fast-growing kid.
The creation of an online Resource Centre on media freedom stems from the consideration that despite the growing pressure on European media, public awareness remains very low. Political and economic pressure, erosion of professional standards and increasing of self-censorship are gradually deteriorating the quality of information together with the new challenges posed by the digitalisation.
On the other side, many associations, NGOs and professional organisations have been carrying out valuable activities of documentation, analysis and advocacy. If existing and valid sources remain fragmented, scattered around the web and therefore difficult to access, it will be impossible to develop an informed and inclusive debate on media freedom. That is why we are building this virtual space of curation as an open map in which reliable contents are selected and presented, and as a space of mutual knowledge for the ever-growing community of stakeholders, driven by a transnational idea of knowledge, responsibility and democracy.