The Council of Europe has initiated a crucial campaign titled “Journalists Matter,” dedicated to promoting press freedom and ensuring the safety of journalists. This initiative aims to protect journalists from violence, threats, and harassment while performing their essential duties.

The “Journalists Matter” campaign calls on individuals and organisations to support these efforts, take concrete actions for enhanced protection, and raise awareness about the importance of safeguarding journalists. This five-year project encompasses all Council of Europe member states, and it is open for voluntary contributions.

The primary goal of the “Journalists Matter” campaign is to create a safe environment for journalists across Europe, enabling them to fulfil their role as public watchdogs freely and assertively. The campaign encourages member states to adopt and implement national action plans for the safety of journalists, establishing enhanced legal and institutional frameworks to protect journalists effectively.

By setting up robust mechanisms for investigating crimes against journalists and ensuring proper sanctioning of perpetrators, the campaign aims to provide effective remedies against such attacks. Additionally, it seeks to raise awareness among the public and among decision-makers about the positive role of journalists, emphasising the need for their protection.

The campaign targets various groups to realize its objectives:

Journalists: Encouraging them to advocate for their safety and media freedom.

Press Councils and Media Associations: Enhancing their involvement in protecting journalists.

Media Outlets: Promoting active contributions to journalist safety.

Judicial and Law Enforcement Authorities: Raising awareness and enhancing their capacity to protect journalists.

Public Officials and Political Bodies: Improving policies and legislation affecting journalist safety and freedom of expression.

Civil Society and Human Rights Institutions: Sensitising public authorities and society about the importance of journalist safety.

Educational Institutions: Providing information, engaging in discussions, and raising awareness about journalist safety.

The “Journalists Matter” campaign envisions a future where journalists across Europe enjoy a safe working environment necessary to act as public watchdogs. With the adoption of relevant National Action Plans and the establishment of stronger legal and institutional safeguards, journalists will be better protected. Effective mechanisms for investigating and sanctioning crimes against journalists will be put in place, ensuring justice is served.

Moreover, the campaign aims to increase public awareness and acknowledgment of the positive role of journalists among decision-makers in all 46 Council of Europe member states. By fostering an environment where journalists can perform their duties without fear, the campaign ultimately strengthens the democratic fabric of society.

The Council of Europe invites everyone to participate in this crucial campaign. By supporting “Journalists Matter,” individuals and organisations can contribute to a safer environment for journalists, ensuring they can report the news freely and without fear.

In a world where press freedom is increasingly under threat, the “Journalists Matter” campaign is a timely and essential initiative. It seeks to foster an environment where journalists can perform their duties without fear, ultimately strengthening the democratic fabric of society. The Council of Europe’s campaign underscores the importance of collective action and commitment to protecting those who bring us the news, highlighting the crucial role journalists play in our lives.

For more information and to support the “Journalists Matter” campaign, visit the Council of Europe’s official website Let’s stand together to safeguard the rights and safety of journalists, ensuring they can continue to serve as the guardians of truth and transparency.