Don’t let media freedom die - we need it more than ever
05 Mar 2018

Index on Censorship has launched a campaign to raise £15,000 to help us document growing threats to media freedom.

Times columnist and Index chair David Aaronovitch kicked off the campaign by writing to supporters following the murder in Slovakia of Jan Kuciak, a journalist investigating links between organised crime and politics: “This happened not in a war zone, not in a dictatorship, but in an EU member state.”

Aaronovitch said that when he became chair of Index on Censorship five years ago, he was naïve: “Back then I thought that, in the West at least, the idea of freedom of speech and expression was largely a fought and won battle.”

In the time that Aaronovitch has been chair of Index, media freedom around the world has come under increasing pressure, including in Europe and neighbouring states. In the past six months alone, journalists in Turkey have received life sentences just for doing their job. In Malta, journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia was murdered for exposing corruption.

“I’ve realised how easily we can suggest that we’re for freedom of expression from one corner of our mouths, yet espouse limiting such expression from the other,” Aaronovitch wrote.

Despite this, there have been inspiring people fighting back even the face of difficult and dangerous circumstances, he added.

To continue to support media freedom in the challenging times ahead, Index needs your help.

A donation of £20 ensures a verified attack against media freedom is mapped publicly online; a gift of £100 enables an official report to pressure governments; a gift of £1000 supports extensive fieldwork to identify and confirm reported violations.

The goal is to raise at least £15,000 by the end of March to map attacks over the next six months and demand governments to do more to stop them.

You can read the full letter from David Aaronovitch here.

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