In 2019, the UK Government announced plans to form the National Committee and Action Plan forthe Safety of Journalists to “ensure that those who threaten journalists are held to account.” This committee will be the responsibility of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and the Home Office.
To support and help shape the direction of this much needed initiative, the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) has published a briefing outlining examples of good practice that can be incorporated into the committee’s approach to this complex topic to encourage greater collaboration and coordination to protect journalists and media workers across the UK.
This briefing includes summaries and explanations of processes and systems built to protectj ournalists and media workers in The Netherlands, Sweden, South East Europe (including Montenegro, Serbia, Kosovo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Albania and North Macedonia), Serbia and Italy.
Each comes with a different approach to press freedom to respond to specific actions, histories, capacities and situations. In this manner, this document is not set out to offer approaches that can be incorporated into UK policy wholesale. Instead, this is to demonstrate the width and breadth of different approaches, alongside specific actions or policy decisions that can be amended to suit the specific situation in the UK.
The MFRR advocates for responses and policies that respond to and reflect the lived experiences of journalists and media workers in the UK and are tailored to specific needs and requirements; with accessibility and practical support atits centre. However, the MFRR believes it is valuable to look to other countries and jurisdictions to explore and learn from approaches that have been designed and implemented. One needs to be aware oft he difference and distance between plans or commitments made and the plans as implemented. How these commitments are implemented can offer practical guidance regarding necessary funding and structures needed to adequately respond to threats against journalists.
However, it isimportant to identify situations where implementation has failed to live up to the promise of the initial plans or commitments.
Here the full text of the briefing, listing systems of protection and recommendations.
Safety of journalists