Methodology

What is Mapping Media Freedom?

The map is a collection of narrative reports about incidents targeting journalists/media workers in 43 countries. While visualised as a map, it is a news service verifying, collating and recording threats to media freedom that have been reported to it by a network of correspondents, partners and journalists. The strength of the MMF is that it contains a wealth of details about the type of incidents affecting journalists.

What kind of incidents are reported?

Mapping Media Freedom monitors limitations, threats and violations that affect a journalist as they do their job. We strive to have a complete narrative of the objective facts of incidents without bias against news outlets or journalists.

Each incident is categorised by the following:

Limitation to Media Freedom
What happened in the incident?

  • Death: Media worker killed as a result of their work
  • Physical assaults: Media worker subjected to violence as a result of their work
  • Injury: Media worker injured as a result of their work
  • Arrest/ Detention: Media worker arrested or detained as a result of their work
  • Interrogation: Media worker questioned by authorities as a result of their work
  • Intimidation: Media worker menaced as a result of their work
  • Collateral targets: Threats made those associated with a journalist, ie family or friends
  • Attack to Property: Computers, cameras or other tools damaged
  • Civil Charges: Media worker sued as a result of their work
  • Criminal Charges: Media worker charged in connection with their work
  • Legal Measures: Laws or court orders curtailing media outlets or workers
  • Loss of Employment: Termination, job cuts
  • Blocked Access: Media worker prevented from covering a story or speaking to a source
  • Defamation/Discredit: Media worker publicly ridiculed
  • Psychological Abuse: Verbal harassment, offline bullying
  • Sexual Harassment: Media worker targeted for gender or sexual identity
  • Trolling/ Cyberbullying: Media worker harassed online
  • DDoS/Hacking: News site or journalist targeted
  • Violation of Anonymity: Publicly naming a source
  • Bribery/Payments: Money proffered to influence coverage
  • Impunity: Incidents where crimes against journalists go unpunished
  • Targeting Whistleblowers: Targeting anonymous sources
  • Attacking Freedom of Association: Union-busting by media outlet management

Case of Censorship
Does this incident include content produced by a journalist/media worker? What happened to that content?

  • Article/Work didn’t appear at all
  • Article/Work was heavily cut omitting important in
  • Article/Work was slightly but significantly changed
  • Article/Work was framed in a misleading way
  • Self-censorship
  • Soft censorship
  • Article/Work was heavily cut omitting important information
  • Commercial interference

Source of the Threat/Violation/Abuse
Who targeted the journalist/media worker?

  • Employer/Publisher/Colleague(s)
  • Police/State security
  • Government/State Agency/Public official(s)
  • Court/Judicial
  • Political party
  • Corporation/Company
  • Private security
  • Known private individual(s)
  • Criminal organisation
  • Another media
  • Other/Unknown

Type of Journalist
What type of journalist/media worker was involved? In the case of bloggers/citizen journalists: Do they present themselves as a journalist?

  • Journalist
  • Broadcaster
  • Photographer
  • Documentarist
  • Cameraperson
  • Editor
  • Blogger/Citizen journalist
  • Other

Gender
Describe the gender of the journalist/media worker involved in the incident?

  • Female
  • Male
  • Non-binary
  • Not Applicable

Support Needed
If known, what union or media outlets could help the journalist with?

  • Legal Aid
  • Physical protection
  • Training
  • Informational resources
  • Publicity
  • Union intervention
  • Solidarity

EU membership
Is the country in which the incident took place one of the following?

  • EU member states
  • Candidate countries
  • Potential candidates

How do we verify the incidents submitted?

  • The platform’s methodology complies with journalistic standards employed by Reuters and AP
  • Each report is verified by 2-3 trusted and independent sources which include but are not limited to: local and national media outlets, journalist unions, police reports, social media accounts of the individuals directly involved.
  • When violations are self-reported or when clarification is needed Index staff also verifies incidents with the media worker(s) affected by getting first-hand testimony and or speaks to journalists’ unions.
  • Our verification process is a multi-layered one in which staff work with a team of independent journalists to verify and report incidents submitted to the website. The goal is the most complete narrative of the incident that reflects the objective events.  

Who is considered a journalist/media worker?

A media worker is anyone partaking in the gathering, assessing, creating, and presenting news and information.

What countries are monitored?

Mapping Media Freedom monitors a total of 43 countries which include the EU member states, candidate and potential candidates for EU membership, non-EU EEA states and four former-Soviet bloc nations.

Albania | Austria | Azerbaijan | Belarus | Belgium | Bosnia and Herzegovina | Bulgaria | Croatia | Cyprus | Czech Republic | Denmark | Estonia | Finland | France | Germany | Greece | Hungary | IcelandIreland | Italy | Kosovo | Latvia | Lithuania | Luxembourg | Macedonia | Malta | Montenegro | Netherlands | Norway | Poland | Portugal | Romania | Russia | Serbia | Slovakia | Slovenia | Spain | Sweden | SwitzerlandTurkey | Ukraine | United Kingdom | Vatican

European Union member states

All European Union member states | Austria | Belgium | Bulgaria | Croatia | Cyprus | Czech Republic | Denmark | Estonia | Finland | France | Germany | Greece | Hungary | Ireland | Italy | Latvia | Lithuania | Luxembourg | Malta | Netherlands | Poland | Portugal | Romania | Slovakia | Slovenia | Spain | Sweden | United Kingdom

European Union candidate states

All EU candidate states | Albania | The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (fYRoM) | Montenegro | Serbia | Turkey

European Union potential candidate states

All EU potential candidate states | Bosnia and Herzegovina | Kosovo

Non-EU states

Azerbaijan | Belarus | Iceland | Norway | Russia | Switzerland | Ukraine | Vatican