In 2020, we carried out our fourth annual Journalist Impact Survey to look at the longer-term impact of our support on our primary beneficiaries, journalists. Our Journalist Impact Survey is designed to understand the quality of our legal and financial support to journalists in addition to gaining a greater appreciation of the role of legal defence in ensuring journalists can continue to report, which informs Media Defence’s future casework. The survey allows us to test our theory of change: access to legal defence enables journalists to continue reporting and holding governments and authorities to account for the public.
While the ongoing pandemic meant that fewer cases progressed to judgment in 2020 than in previous years, changes in the way we obtain responses from journalists we have supported increased the response rate from 32% in 2019 to 54% in 2020. This means that the findings set out below are based on a similar number of responses than last year (21 responses compared to 22 last year).
Key findings include:
- 95% of respondents were satisfied with the outcome of their case
- 95% of respondents would recommend our support to other journalists facing legal action; and
- 90% of respondents were satisfied or extremely satisfied with the lawyer who handled their case.
The survey found that the support by Media Defence and its partners enabled over 90% of those who were the target of litigation to continue reporting on public interest issues. Another journalist expressed that without Media Defence’s support, “it would be more difficult for me to defend my rights.”
Read the full report here.
If you are a journalist in need of support, please click here.