The Centre for Freedom of the Media (CFOM) is an interdisciplinary research centre hosted in the Department of Journalism Studies at the University of Sheffield with global outreach that studies issues of media freedom and standards. CFOM aims to inform and advise governments, policymakers and stakeholders internationally on threats to media freedom, in order to bring about positive changes to laws, policy and practice and to uphold standards of journalism safety worldwide. It works to identify and promote best practice for journalists in Europe and worldwide.
By William Horsley, CFOM International Director Two journalists’ murders have shaken the EU’s claim to be a champion of democracy and the rule of law. The killing of investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia in a remote-controlled car bomb explosion near her home in Malta last October and the mafia execution-style killing of anti-corruption reporter Jan Read more about Two journalists’ deaths in Europe are a symptom that the rule of law is failing[…]
By William Horsley, CFOM International Director World Press Freedom Day in Africa meant loud drums and a gathering of almost a thousand people – including Ghana’s president, senior African judges, hundreds of West African journalists and a keen circus of press freedom advocates from all corners of the world. The big question before the freedom-hungry Read more about Out of Africa: The winning ways of the enemies of press freedom[…]
In January this year Bulgaria took up the EU presidency, 11 years after becoming a full member of the European Union. Despite government assurances and stern warnings from Brussels, media freedom in the country has steadily deteriorated. Last week Reporters Without Borders downgraded Bulgaria yet again in its annual Press Freedom Index (link: https://rsf.org/en/bulgaria ) to 111the place, the Read more about Dr. Lada Trifonova Price on the state of information in Bulgaria[…]
Professor Jackie Harrison, CFOM Chair and Joint Head of the Department of Journalism Studies at the University of Sheffield, has been awarded the first UNESCO Chair in Media Freedom, Journalism Safety and the Issue of Impunity. Professor Harrison, who is attending and participating in the UN World Press Freedom Day in Accra, Ghana, said: “The chair Read more about Professor Jackie Harrison awarded UNESCO Chair[…]
Professor Jackie Harrison, CFOM Chair, writes about the long history of media manipulation and fake news, and the staying power of quality journalism. This piece for The Conversation, published on the World Press Freedom Day 2018, marks also the UNESCO announcement for Jackie Harrison, who has been awarded a prestigious new UNESCO Chair in Media Freedom, Journalism Safety and the Issue of Impunity. Read more about Fake news has always existed, but quality journalism has a history of survival
CFOM members, Jackie Harrison, Sara Torsner and William Horsley will be attending and participating in World Press Freedom Day (WPFD) 2018 in Accra, Ghana. CFOM hosts the Journalism Safety Research Network of around 170 members and is an official partner with UNESCO and the University of Ghana in the academic conference which is being held for the Read more about Three CFOM members to participate in World Press Freedom Day 2018 in Accra[…]
By William Horsley, CFOM International Director
Proposals which were described as ‘important and timely’ were submitted for the attention of Commonwealth leaders by an expert Working Group for a new ‘code’ on media-government relations, but they were ignored in the final Communique. Even so, foreign ministers from the organisation’s 53 member states meeting in London heard powerful appeals for the Commonwealth to do more to protect media independence and the lives of journalists who face threats and acts of violence for their work. Read more about A media view of the Commonwealth summit: too much self-praise and not enough open democracy
By Nadezhda Azhgikhina, vice president of the European Federation of Journalists and board member of the Free Word Association.
In 2017 the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation handed down an exceptionally important decision. It struck down a series of previous convictions handed down against Elena Nadtoka, the editor of a local newspaper in the Rostov Region, and instructed the local courts concerned to reverse their verdicts. The move followed a final ruling from the European Court of Human Rights on what was seen as a crucial test case in the struggle for survival of free media in Russia.
Emma Heywood, a Lecturer and Researcher at the University of Sheffield’s Department of Journalism Studies, wrote this article which has been published on The Conversation based on her first-hand experience of life in the West Bank, where her research is focused on the role of local radio in NGO activities in war-affected zones. CFOM is re-publishing her article on our website because the issues raised by the subject-matter – the circumstances of the arrest and prosecution of a 17-year old Palestinian girl and her prospective trial in an Israeli military court – address issues of relevance to a wider debate about the protection of freedom of expression and other universal rights, as well as definitions of national security, and access to justice. Read more about Ahed Tamimi: father speaks of his pride as Palestinian activist prepares for trial
By William Horsley, CFOM International Director Gdansk is a bitter-sweet symbol of Poland’s fight against tyranny back in the time of Lech Walesa. The three tall metal crosses erected over the Gdansk shipyard recall the heady days in 1980 when Solidarity, the East bloc’s first free trade union, triumphed in a trial of strength against the then Read more about Poland, cradle of a democratic revolution, again a frontline in the fight for press freedom[…]