The call "Defending media freedom and pluralism – Professional Standards and a Rapid Response Mechanism" provides funding under the Creative Europe Programme and is intended to support two main initiatives.
The first one provides €1 million to strengthen the position of media councils across Europe and to develop deontological journalistic standards. Actions to be funded include development and maintenance of a database on media self-regulatory bodies; exchange of best practices; support to new media councils; training for journalists; cooperation with media regulators; assistance in developing journalistic standards, including through the pan-EU Working Group.
The second sub-call intends to provide a further €3.1 million. This initiative wants to help extend, beyond 2023, the Rapid Response mechanism. This is a tool aimed at protecting journalists at risk operating since 2020, through assistance, legal advice and protection to threatened journalists across Europe. The initiative includes financial support for journalists under threat when needed. The project will also organise visits to affected countries. Anti-impunity action shall be supported through advocacy.
Eligible organisations for proposing projects under the Creative Europe call are legal private or public entitites. Non-profit and international organisations, universities, and research institutes and centres in the EU and in partner countries, including Ukraine, are able to submit their proposals until 20 September 2022.
The call is coherent in its final objectives with the European Democracy Action Plan.
The latter stresses that transparency and compliance with professional norms and standards are essential for public trust in the media and aims to support EU cooperation between national media councils, other media self-regulatory bodies, independent media regulators and networks of journalists, and initiatives fostering journalistic partnerships and standards. At the same time, the Action Plan highlighted that physical and online threats and attacks on journalists are on the rise in several Member States and proposes sustainable funding for projects with a focus on legal and practical assistance to journalists in the EU and elsewhere, including safety and cybersecurity training for journalists and diplomatic support.