July 2018 Factsheet on media coverage of elections
About the Platform for the Protection of Journalism and Safety of Journalists
Why the platform?
This platform is a public space to facilitate the compilation, processing and dissemination of information on serious concerns about media freedom and safety of journalists in Council of Europe member States, as guaranteed by Art. 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
It aims to improve the protection of journalists, better address threats and violence against media professionals and foster early warning mechanisms and response capacity within the Council of Europe.
The Platform shall enable the Council of Europe bodies and institutions to be alerted on time, in a more systematic way and to take timely and coordinated action when necessary. It shall help the Organisation identify trends and propose adequate policy responses in the field of media freedom.
How does the platform work?
On 4 December 2014, the Council of Europe and the Platform's Partner Organisations (Reporters Without Borders, the International Federation of journalists, the European Federation of journalists, the Association of European journalists and Article 19) signed a Memorandum of Understanding. On 13 October 2015, the Committee to Protect Journalists and Index on Censorship joined the Platform as well. In conformity with the Memorandum, the platform allows the contributing partners to post alerts, subject to their own verification processes and standards. Each contributing partner is responsible for information which it posts.
When submitting an alert to the Platform, the Partner Organisation decides whether, from its point of view, the information provided fulfills the following criteria:
- is it a serious concern with regard to media freedom?
- Is the alleged threat or violation in one of the 47 Council of Europe member States?
- is the information reliable and based on facts?
- is the information already in the public domain? If not, is there a consent of persons who are identified or identifiable to publish this alert ?
When the circumstances allow it, the Council of Europe and a member State which is directly referred to in information posted on the Platform may post reports on action taken by their respective organs and institutions in response to that information.
The platform will also highlight the longstanding work carried out by the Council of Europe in the field of media freedom, such as relevant texts prepared by the Parliamentary Assembly, standards adopted by the Committee of Ministers and relevant case-law of the European Court of Human Rights.
The platform is not a monitoring mechanism. It is a tool for enhancing response capacity by Council of Europe bodies and for improving co-operation and co-ordination with other international Organisations.