One key strength of a government-led Coalition such as the Media Freedom Coalition is the wide network of embassies and diplomatic missions its members have around the world.
The embassies of MFC member states are able to closely monitor the media freedom situation in the countries where they are based and take a range of collective actions to protect and advance media freedom.
Within the MFC’s Diplomatic Networks Initiative, a diplomatic network involves a group of MFC member embassies working together in this way in a specific country.
Diplomatic networks can take various actions to promote media freedom, some public, some private. These actions are planned based on the individual country context, meaning that they can vary significantly from one country to the next. Networks also collaborate and coordinate their actions with journalists, civil society, and other stakeholders in the countries where they are based. This ensures any actions taken are informed by the people most affected by, and most at risk from, restrictions on media freedom.
Actions taken by diplomatic networks include:
- Joint statements on thematic issues and specific cases of concern
- Other public actions on media freedom cases, such as meeting the journalists involved in cases of concern or highlighting cases of concern via social media
- Engagement with host governments, including private diplomacy on media freedom cases
- Events to highlight media freedom issues and the work of media professionals
- Monitoring the court cases of media professionals
- Communications activities on media freedom, including op-eds, videos and online campaigns
- Capacity building programmes for journalists
- Referring journalists to specific support programmes
- Facilitating interventions on domestic media freedom issues at relevant regional or multilateral bodies
In addition, embassies of MFC member countries can also engage with other MFC member governments to exchange information and support domestic reforms.
Diplomatic networks meet regularly to share information and collaborate on actions. They are coordinated by a network lead – an MFC member embassy that serves as the main point of contact for the network and organises meetings and network communications.
If you work for a diplomatic mission of a member country and wish to engage in this work, please contact the MFC Secretariat. Diplomatic missions can also consult the MFC’s Diplomatic Toolkit for more information on the Diplomatic Networks Initiative and the different actions they can take to protect and promote media freedom. The MFC Secretariat can provide a copy to member governments and embassy staff on request. Contact us for more information.