Free Press Unlimited
Free Press Unlimited is a Dutch non-governmental organisation, based in Amsterdam. It seeks to promote freedom of press and freedom of information, based on the notion that these are key for gathering and spreading reliable, unbiased information.
Free Press Unlimited has an extensive safety program that is premised upon the belief that safety is an absolute precondition for media to function properly and serve the public. Journalists are only able to function as watchdogs and to provide independent and trustworthy news to the public if they can carry out their work without risking harm. Free Press Unlimited’s safety program has four pillars:
1. Support to journalists in distress
2. Capacity development
3. Tools and resources
4. Advocacy and campaigning
Safety Resource Guide
The Safety Resource Guide provides both background information and tools and resources centered around the topic of the safety of journalists. Furthermore, it also contains information on Free Press Unlimited’s safety-related activities alongside the four pillars of its safety policy, and best practices and examples of successful projects and approaches.
Totem is an online learning platform, created by Free Press Unlimited and Greenhost. On this platform, journalists and activists can learn how to apply tools and tactics for digital safety and privacy in their work. The courses, which are available free of cost, focus on topics such as phishing attacks, bypassing censorship, and online harassment, and are available in multiple languages.
Reporters Respond is an international emergency fund for journalists. The fund can support journalists who have been confronted with (online) harassment, intimidation or violence, among other things, to continue their vital work as quickly as possible. The fund is not meant to provide structural assistance, but it provides media professionals with one-time financial support to cover costs, for example for replacing their damaged equipment. In addition to its emergency fund, Reporters Respond is also able to provide advice, coaching and support, sometimes in the form of referrals, on the subjects of digital, physical and psycho-social safety.
Legal Defense Fund
Journalists who run into legal issues outside of the Netherlands can apply for help from the Legal Defense Fund. The fund provides financial assistance, for example for a lawyer or court costs. This way, journalists will not be forced to withdraw their defense and accept the consequences of, often false, accusations. Support that falls under the Legal Defense Fund comprises financial assistance (for example for a lawyer or court costs), referrals to (pro bono) lawyers, legal advice, preventative measures (such as a pre-publication analysis), prison support, and trial monitoring. Families of imprisoned journalists who are breadwinners can also apply for financial assistance.