New Year Newsletter

 Dear friends and partners of the Justice for Journalists Foundation! 

Please accept our warm congratulations with the New Year! We would like to thank you for your interest and cooperation and wish you the freedom of creativity and movement in the coming 2021.


According to the monitoring data collated in the JFJ Media Risk Map, in 2020 12 post-Soviet countries (except the Baltic States) saw twice as many attacks against media workers as in 2019: 3,862 versus 1,907. 

The increased intensity of attacks on the media workers in the former Soviet countries was mainly due to adoption and implementation of the new repressive laws in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Justice for Journalists Foundation and Index on Censorship’s joint report presents the analysis of attacks and violations against media rights related to the COVID-19 pandemic.  

In 2020, professional and citizen journalists reported attacks more often as publicity and support by colleagues, lawyers, and human rights defenders remain the only weapon against authoritarian power’s impunity. 


In 2020, the Justice for Journalists Foundation has issued the second tranche of annual grants for journalistic investigations into crimes against media workers. This year, we have supported 12 investigations into violent crimes against journalists in Brazil, Kyrgyzstan, Mexico, Russia, Somalia, Syria, Ukraine and Uzbekistan.   

This year, the Foundation continued to support international human rights organizations’ efforts and the independent Maltese portal The Shift News in their work to identify and bring to justice the murderers of Daphne Caruana Galizia.  

We have also funded five international NGOs to investigate how SLAPP (strategic litigation against public participation) is used to halt media workers’ investigative efforts in the UK, the EU, Colombia, Mexico, and Armenia. The reports published by the Foreign Policy Centre are available here

Lana Estemirova’s podcast Trouble with the Truth, where she interviews brave and resilient journalists from around the world who face persecution for doing their job, is available on the Justice for Journalists Foundation website, SpotifyApple Podcasts and Soundcloud.


In July, on the second anniversary of the brutal assassination of Russian journalists Orkhan Dzhemal, Kirill Radchenko and Alexandr Rastorguev in the Central African Republic, we launched Orkhan Dzhemal Media Safety Academy. 

Since then, over 120 professional and citizen journalists, freelancers, bloggers and online activists have enrolled into the Academy with many having graduated already. 

The Academy’s 14 instructors from nine countries offer free video courses in Russian on the following topics:

  • Risk Analysis and Structured Analytical Techniques
  • Physical Security and First Aid
  • Information and Cyber Security
  • Psychological and Emotional Safety, Overcoming the Trauma
  • Media Risks and Legal Security

For those media workers and civil activists who have not got a chance to enrol into our media security course, we have created short check-lists with key points from the Academy experts’ presentations.

In addition to the online courses, several dozens of professional and citizen journalists from Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Ukraine and Uzbekistan participated in the Academy’s webinars and panel discussions.

In 2021, the Justice for Journalists Foundation will continue to contribute towards increasing the safety of media work. In January, we will announce the terms of our next Investigative Grant Programme. We hope that in the new year we will finally meet you offline at our trainings, seminars and conferences.