Index on Censorship is a London-based nonprofit organisation that campaigns for and defends freedom of expression worldwide. Alongside academic, digital, and artistic freedoms, media freedom is one of Index on Censorship’s primary areas of focus. This research project seeks to identify the scale and nature of the phenomenon of vexatious legal threats/actions (often known as Slapps or strategic lawsuits against public participation) against journalists in Europe.
Vexatious actions, which may include letters threatening libel and defamation, come from private parties (often corporations or wealthy individuals) with the intent to silence journalists and media outlets and prevent them from investigating or publishing their work.
In order to conduct this research, we are asking journalists and media outlets who might be able to provide insight into how common this phenomenon is, to fill out the following questionnaire. Some interviews will also be conducted as part of the research. Use the survey form to securely return this questionnaire by 31 March 2020. If you feel uncomfortable responding to a particular question please feel free to leave that one out.
*Please only complete this if you or your organisation has been a target/victim of vexatious legal threats or actions.