In 2008, Media Defence was established to ensure that independent media, journalists and citizen journalists, who are under threat of abusive legal action for their reporting, have access to much-needed legal representation.
Our organisation was created in the context of a sharply deteriorating environment for freedom of expression. A number of countries that had transitioned to democracy at the end of the last century were re-asserting aspects of authoritarian rule. Others introduced disproportionately repressive new laws and regulations under the cloak of the ‘War on Terror’.
Today, freedom of expression is deeply contested around the world. Increasing control of the media sought by governments and other powerful actors has seen a surge in the persecution of independent media, with abusive legal actions, violence and an array of restrictive laws.
Over the next four years, the context in which we operate is forecast to worsen as insecurity and populism spread, while governments copy restrictive and abusive practices from others. More and more journalists often face these threats alone, without the protection of resourced media houses or effective legal representation. That’s why we need to magnify our impact.
Today, we’re launching our new organisational strategy for the next four years. We will increase and deepen the support we offer to our partners, enhancing the availability of quality legal defence for journalists around the world, as well as the coordination of strategic litigation on press freedom and freedom of expression.
Although there are many actors in the field of freedom of expression, Media Defence remains the only organisation to work worldwide on the legal defence of independent media, journalists and citizen journalists under threat.
Later this year we will be rebranding and launching a new website. Our strategy document has been produced in the style of our new visual identity.
To view or download the document, please click here.
Media Defence Strategy 2020 – 2024-09.pdf
On Thursday July 21st, 11am BST, we’re hosting a webinar to explore the impact of conflict on freedom of expression. We’ll hear from those directly involved about the violence journalists experience, and the longer-term implications of war on press freedoms. Register here. The Context War reporting by independent journalists is essential to ensuring the public […]
About the survey In 2021, we carried out our second Lawyer Impact Survey to assess the impact of our support to lawyers. We support lawyers with both our emergency defence and our strategic litigation programmes. Through these programmes, we offer pro bono legal support, as well as financial support for lawyers in order to cover […]
We are looking for a talented, fully-qualified finance professional who brings strong strategic and operational experience across all areas of budgeting, financial reporting, governance and risk. The role of the Finance and Operations Director is a key part of our organisation and of our leadership team. As a strategic advisor to the CEO, our Board […]