“I would have been jailed for a year as I was unable to pay.” Journalist supported by Media Defence in 2021.
In 2021, we carried out our fifth annual Journalist Impact Survey to look at the longer-term impact of our support on our primary beneficiaries: journalists. We designed our Journalist Impact Survey to understand the quality of our legal and financial support to journalists. In addition, it allows us to gain a greater appreciation of the role of legal defence in ensuring journalists can continue to report. Finally, 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. As a result, these findings inform our future casework.
In 2021, we received 31 responses from journalists whose cases we have supported, and which ended in 2021. This is up from 21 responses in 2020, and is much more geographically-spread than in previous years, where 90% respondents came from the EU.
Key findings include:
- 68% of respondents reported feeling satisfied with the outcome of their case
- 100% of respondents would recommend our support to other journalists facing legal action; and
- 84% of respondents reported feeling satisfied or extremely satisfied with the lawyer who handled their case.
The survey found that our support and that of our partners was incredibly effective. For over 80% of respondents, this support enabled them to continue reporting on public interest issues. For some journalists, this need for support was acute. As one respondent expressed, “[without Media Defence’s support] I would have been in prison by now.”
Read the full report here.
To see last year’s Journalist Impact Survey, click here.
If you are a journalist in need of support, please click here.