Support centres

NGOs, unions and firms providing media and journalism professionals with legal, financial and advocacy support, protection and training opportunities, and other tools

Media Legal Defence Initiative

The Media Legal Defence Initiative (MLDI) is a NGO based in London. Through the collaboration with national organizations and individual lawyers around the world, MLDI helps journalists, bloggers and independent media outlets under legal threat to defend their rights. The long-term goal is to strengthen the media legal defence capacity around the world by enlarging legal knowledge, skills and effectiveness of those active in the field.

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Observatory of Media Freedom (Poland)

'The Observatory of Media Freedom in Poland' is a legal program founded by the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights (HFHR) in 2008 and operates in Poland. Its focus is on the protection related to freedom of expression in traditional media as well as on the Internet.

The program provides legal aid concerning inter alia issues such as criminal defamation, press law offences, protection of journalistic sources of information, the liability of the Internet service providers etc. During court proceedings, the ‘Observatory’ can as well arrange pro bono legal assistance for journalists who cannot afford to pay for regular legal aid.

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Legal support by Ossigeno per l'Informazione (Italy)

Ossigeno per l'Informazione grants free legal assistance for journalists to help them resist the pressure of intimidation, thanks to the cooperation with the London-based Media Legal Defence Initiative (MLDI).

The legal support offered by Ossigeno per l'Informazione is coordinated by the attorneys Andrea Di Pietro e Valerio Vartolo. This support can prove particularly helpful for those categories of media professional who are not covers by the support granted by their editors, such as bloggers and freelance.

For further information and to request legal assistance:

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Kosovo Free Helpline

Journalists in Kosovo experiencing harassment or receiving threats can call Kosovo Free Helpline, a free help 24/7 helpline for support and advice. Launched in October 2015 by the Association of Professional Journalists of Kosovo (AGPK) and the OSCE Kosovo Mission, the phone line is accompanied by an awareness campaign urging journalists to report all cases of intimidation and violence. The telephone number to be contacted is 080011333.

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On</the>Line - International Press Institute

On</the>Line is the International Press Institute (IPI)’s digital media initiative and seeks to expose and counter a range of threats against press freedom and free expression in the digital sphere – e.g. via Twitter, Facebook, email etc. – including threats of violence, of death or other harm. The website includes a specific section allowing to securely report digital attacks, threats or other violations.

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Front Line Defenders

Front Line Defenders seeks to provide 24 hour support to human rights defenders at immediate risk. If there is a crisis you can contact Front Line at any hour on the emergency hotline. The emergency service gives human rights defenders an option to be forwarded to someone speaking Arabic, English, French, Russian or Spanish who will be able to mobilise rapid international support and action.

Secure Email Support: Human rights defenders in need of urgent assistance can also email Front Line through a secure and encrypted channel: secure contact form .

Click here to find out more information on Front Line's Security Grants Programme

Contact information: Emergency Hotline +353 121 00489 - SKYPE: front-line-emergency

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Center for the protection of freedom of expression - Centar za zaštitu slobode izražavanja

Inaugurated in July 2015, the Center for the protection of freedom of expression is a service offered by the Association of Croatian Journalists (Hrvatsko Novinarsko Drustvo). The Center is open to collaboration by all interested lawyers, experts and other professionals who want to contribute to this project aiming to protect freedom of expression. Interested professionals may contact the Center at the HND (telephone number 01 4828 333) or by contacting the president of HN, Saša Leković (mob.: 098 484049). The timetable of lawyer available at the Center can be consulted here .

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Committee to Protect Journalists

CPJ supports journalists who are in dire situations as a result of persecution for their work. The CPJ provides a Journalist Assistance program which helps journalists through a combination of financial and non-financial assistance. CPJ's Gene Roberts Emergency Fund dispenses emergency grants to journalists in distress worldwide. When necessary, CPJ lobbies governments or international agencies to help secure refugee or asylum status for journalists. CPJ work include:

  • Helping get medical care for journalists following brutal assaults in retaliation for their work, or for journalists suffering from mistreatment in prison.
  • Supporting journalists forced to go into hiding or to relocate within their countries to escape threats from local officials, militia, or criminal gangs.
  • Contributing to legal funds for journalists facing prison.
  • Evacuating journalists at risk into temporary havens.
  • Providing support for families of imprisoned journalists.

The safest way to report a press freedom violation is to contact CPJ is via SecureDrop. Here’s how

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Free media help line Bosnia Herzegovina - Linija za pomoć novinarima Bosnia Hercegovina

Free Media Help Line is part of the Journalists' Association of Bosnia Herzegovina, and functions as a local institution for the support and assistance to journalists in the implementation of their work, and for the protection of journalists rights and freedoms. Free Media Help Line encourages all journalists to report every threats or any interference in the exercise of journalistic duties.

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European Center for Press and Media Freedom

The ECPMF offers a Journalists-in-Residence Programme, providing a safe house in Leipzig, a scholarship, health insurance and publicity to dedicated journalists, who have come under pressure due to their work. To relieve them from a permanent state of anxiety, focus public attention on their situation and support their work, we shall host them in Leipzig. As an alternative it offers a scholarship to journalists and media freedom experts, who contribute in an extraordinary way to media freedom in Europe. If a proposed project is evaluated as essential, it is supported by the scholarship and the infrastructure of the ECPMF. More information about the Journalist-in-Residence Programme can be found here .

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