The Media Freedom Coalition is a partnership of countries working together proactively to advocate for media freedom at home and abroad. The MFC also advocates for the safety of journalists and media workers, and holds to account those who harm journalists and severely restrict them from doing their job.
The MFC does this through a combination of advocacy, diplomatic interventions, encouraging and supporting legal reforms, international events, and making funds available for media freedom initiatives.
The MFC was established in July 2019 at the Global Conference for Media Freedom and now comprises 50 member states from six continents. MFC member states work closely with civil society (through the Consultative Network), legal experts (through the High Level Panel of Legal Experts on Media Freedom) and other international bodies such as UNESCO, as well as journalists and media workers themselves.
Why does the MFC exist?
Media freedom is an integral element of democracy, global security and prosperity. People need free and independent media to provide them with accurate information and informed analysis if governments and other powerful actors are to be held to account. The free exchange of views and information allows communities to identify and pursue emerging opportunities and to recognise problems that must be addressed.
Yet media freedom faces growing threats around the world. Challenges include restrictive laws, punitive legal measures, arbitrary and/or unlawful surveillance, censorship, undue interference in the circulation of information online, physical violence and online harassment. These are exacerbated by financial challenges, which jeopardize media independence and sustainability, and by the prominence of mis- and disinformation, which erodes public trust in, and support for, a free media.
Governments, which are responsible for protecting human rights, are too often the source of threats to media freedom. The unique added value of the Media Freedom Coalition is its access to governments, and its ability to intervene at the highest level with the governments of countries where media freedom is at risk, while showing solidarity with countries that work to improve media freedom.
Goal and objectives of the MFC
The goal of the Media Freedom Coalition is to improve the media freedom environment and the safety of journalists both at home and abroad.
The MFC understands the media freedom environment to incorporate critical enabling factors in three areas:
- The presence and implementation of relevant laws, policies and supporting institutions that enable media freedom and reduce impunity for crimes against journalists
- Political and societal norms and attitudes that favour media freedom and deplore attempts to restrict or intimidate journalists for doing their work
- An economic environment that enables journalists and media outlets to report independently in the public interest, as part of a diverse and plural media sector
The MFC understands the safety of journalists to encompass physical, legal, digital, and psychosocial safety, in recognition of the range of threats and intimidatory tactics that journalists face today.
- Improve the enabling environment for media freedom, by strengthening laws, policies, and the economic climate for independent media
- Influence governments, state actors and other powerful individuals to uphold media freedom and hold to account the perpetrators of crimes against journalists
- Ensure journalists and news organisations are better protected and better able to protect themselves from threats and intimidation
- Energise and mobilise the MFC’s member countries to ensure a diverse, informed, engaged and coordinated Coalition