About The Centre for Freedom of the Media

The Centre for Freedom of the Media (CFOM) is an interdisciplinary research centre based at the Department of Journalism Studies at the University of Sheffield that studies issues of media freedom and standards.

The founding principle of CFOM is to illuminate where news media freedom is undermined or abused and to examine news media standards of independence and truthfulness.

CFOM works with a range of external stakeholders to evaluate the role of free and independent news media in building and maintaining political and civil freedoms worldwide.  Current research aims to provide an independent platform to assess the effectiveness of existing legal, political and institutional safeguards against violence directed at journalists, to present the case for more effective international mechanisms to counter such crimes of violence and to end impunity; to evaluate the state of media freedom in Europe, to analyse news media freedom, regulation and civil power and to assess news media standards and self-censorship.

Aims and Objectives

To endorse journalism of the highest standards around the world. To be an interdisciplinary centre of knowledge and research into media freedom and standards across all media through the study of:

  • The contested nature of the terms ‘media freedom’ and ‘freedom of expression’ worldwide
  • The effectiveness of legal, political and institutional mechanisms to protect journalists and media freedom
  • The behaviour of governments and the problems of impunity
  • The effects of laws and regulation/deregulation on media freedom
  • The impact of the new media landscape opened up by fast-changing and new technologies
  • The effects of increasing commercialisation of the media sector on news media
  • The effectiveness of the media as civil institution
  • The links between media freedom and other parts of civil society and democracy