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Sofia edit-a-thon: for a plural ecosystem of information - Article

14 December 2017 - Media freedom, public interest, transparency, data journalism, facts-based information: all these issues have been dealt with in Sofia, during the Wiki4MediaFreedom edit-a-thon, a writing marathon on media freedom-related issues in Wikipedia which gathered journalists, experts and activists

RESOURCE CENTRE | About - Article

What?

The online Media Freedom Resource Centre 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.

Who?

The platform is developed by Osservatorio Balcani e 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 mediafreedom, and for this reason it has contributed to ECPMF activities since the very start in 2015.

OBC Transeuropa takes part in the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR), a Europe-wide mechanism which tracks, monitors and responds to threats to journalists and violations of press and media freedom across Europe. 

How?

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, by topic or through 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, comprising different stakeholders.

Lastly, a “Wiki for media freedom” section developed by OBCT's Wiki curators produces open-access and freely-reusable contents in multiple languages.

Where?

OBCT is based in Italy (Trento), ECPMF is based in Germany (Leipzig), 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.

When?

The Resource Centre is a young project: it was launched in December 2015. Nevertheless, with over a thousand of resource already uploaded, we can say it is a fast-growing kid.

Why?   

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, not only in developing countries. In the last decade Europe as a whole was the second region in the world in terms of decline of press freedom – such a bad news is further aggravated by the citizens' progressive loss of trust in the importance of media freedom.

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.

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