Strategic partnership seeks to strengthen press freedom
On the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists, the Alliance for Journalists’ Freedom (AJF) and Media Defence announce a strategic partnership to strengthen press freedom in the Asia–Pacific.
Media Defence is a UK-based organisation supported by UNESCO and the National Endowment for Democracy among others that provides legal help to journalists and media outlets around the world who are facing prosecution for doing their jobs.
The AJF, based in Australia, works to ensure press freedom is supported in law, and advocates in the Asia–Pacific wherever journalists are censored, threatened imprisoned or killed.
As Media Defence expands into the region, both organisations recognised the opportunity for a complimentary and collaborative partnership, via a Memorandum of Understanding, to address attacks on press freedom as they arise.
Alinda Vermeer, CEO of Media Defence, says:
“Each year, Media Defence provides legal help to hundreds of journalists and media organisations around the world.
“There is a great need for this work in the Asia–Pacific, particularly at a time when geo-political tensions are high, democracies are under threat, and increasingly those in power are using the law to silence uncomfortable journalism.
“2021 Nobel Peace Prize recipient, Maria Ressa, is a shining example of why press freedom matters, and why legal help in partnership with strategic advocacy is essential to address these incursions. We look forward to working with the AJF.”
Olivia Pirie-Griffiths, Executive Director of the AJF, says:
“In July AJF launched our Press Freedom Tracker, which logs press freedom incidents in the region in real time. This growing data set shows a deeply concerning trajectory for press freedom and democracy, including the abuse of the law to intimidate and silence legitimate reporting.
“Media Defence have a tried and tested method to support press freedom through legal help around the world.
“In partnership with our advocacy, which seeks to work with governments where possible, we think the two organisations can together defend journalists against attacks on their freedom, in a comprehensive and strategic way.”