Perugia Declaration for Ukraine – 9 April 2022

Members and partners of the Global Forum for Media Development are launching a declaration at the International Journalism Festival in Perugia in solidarity with media and journalists in Ukraine. The declaration has already been signed by over 60 organisations.

The International Journalism Festival and members and partners of the Global Forum for Media Development call for increased support of independent media and journalists in Ukraine.

Add your organisation as a signature of the declaration or add your name to the declaration using this short form.


9 April 2022

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has underlined once again the essential role of independent, ethical journalism in assisting citizens to make life-or-death decisions, informing the world, and holding the powerful to account.

As a powerful antidote to the disinformation and propaganda that characterise hybrid warfare, and as a pillar of democracy upon which other freedoms and rights depend, journalism in Ukraine is undergoing a terrible assault.

The targeting, torturing, and killing of journalists is abhorrent and must be stopped. Those responsible must be held accountable and brought to justice under national and international law. Vicious online attacks against news organisations and individual journalists must also cease. We condemn Russia’s attacks on press freedom and freedom of expression in Ukraine in the strongest possible terms.

The safety and security of all journalists to report freely are essential to ensure that the world understands the reality and facts of the ongoing war, including the humanitarian consequences.

We stand in solidarity with all journalists and independent media covering Russia’s aggression against Ukraine.

The greater the threat to the Ukrainian journalists’ lives, livelihoods, and ability to do their jobs, the greater will be our efforts to support them. Funding, protective gear, equipment, housing, training, office space in foreign cities, and psychosocial support, we will do everything we can to support our Ukrainian colleagues’ ability to continue reporting and serving the urgent needs of their audiences.

A window of opportunity for journalism and journalists everywhere

In countries with access to independent sources of news, an often sceptical public are recognising the bravery, commitment and professionalism of journalists and media outlets, both Ukrainian and international. Even governments with hostile dispositions to free, independent media are being forced to acknowledge the vital role journalism plays in ensuring that the world sees the invasion of Ukraine for what it is. Tech companies too are waking up to the fact that not all information is equal, and that there is a moral imperative to give due prominence to professional, independent, public interest journalism.

This nascent, new-found and rekindled recognition of journalism’s value among the public and policy makers is fragile. Ukrainian reporters and international journalists reporting from Ukraine have earned a window of opportunity. The greatest leaps of progress are often made in times of crisis. We, collectively, cannot afford to squander it.

For the sake of the immediate future and safety of our Ukrainian colleagues and the long term viability of independent, public interest journalism everywhere, this is a moment that we all need to rise to.

For the benefit of media and journalists everywhere, we:

  • Insist that states and armed groups must release all imprisoned and kidnapped journalists, including those detained or sentenced under the guise of prohibiting defamation or countering terrorism;
  • Acknowledge that many conflicts and crises have at times not received the united, rapid and sustained response that our collective conscience demands;
  • Affirm that field producers are journalists not “fixers” – their language skills, cultural and regional understanding and a strong network of contacts are crucial to international reporting and deserve the same rights, respect, support, social security and credit as all journalists covering conflicts.
  • Commit to intensifying our efforts to support journalists in conflict zones, in exile, and facing hardship everywhere, including independent media/journalists from Belarus and Russia who have been forced to flee their countries;
  • Russia’s crackdown on dissent; its attacks against press freedom; its intimidation of independent journalism – these actions are forcing journalists who remain committed to truth-telling and free speech into silence or exile. Russian people are being denied access to the truth.

To international media and journalists, we ask that you:

  • Urgently provide surplus personal protective equipment to organisations able to transport this to Ukraine;
  • Draw attention to the social insecurity of ‘Ukrainian field producers and translators’ who help foreign media by providing them with proper pay, insurance and additional safety guarantees;
  • Wherever possible make safety training available to Ukrainian journalists and to all journalists including freelancers reporting from Ukraine and “show the same concern for the welfare and safety of freelancers, local journalists and media workers as they do for their staff” including providing same protective equipment to Ukrainian colleagues as you do international reporters;
  • Open your doors to displaced journalists and newsrooms. Give them somewhere to work from. Hire them if you can afford to;
  • Listen to the calls of Ukrainian colleagues to use appropriate and accurate language when reporting on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, consistent with the ethical standards of independent journalism;

To private and public donors and funders of professional journalism, we ask that you

  • Urgently increase and provide flexible financial support to media that produce independent, ethical journalism, enabling them to hire or keep paying reporters, editors, and producers who are reporting on the Russian invasion of Ukraine;
  • When you fund journalism, remember, journalism is a public good. It is an end in itself, a pillar of democracy upon which many other freedoms and rights depend. Do not undermine its independence by seeking to instrumentalise it as a tool of strategic communication or as means to achieve other development objectives. Treat it with the respect it deserves and follow the well-established best practices and guidance on effective support to journalism.
  • Simplify the process of applying for funding in emergencies: Application forms must be in local languages and should not require large amounts of internet data by requiring numerous files to be uploaded;
  • Ensure that media and journalism are included in all aid coordination mechanisms.
  • Provide support not just for newsrooms, but individual journalists, freelancers from Ukraine. As well as  via mechanism of fellowships or content production projects.
  • Consider providing not only financial support, but also methodological and technical support. This can be the transfer of equipment for affected editors, training or publication of methodological materials.

To the EU, EU member states, members of the Media Freedom Coalition and all states that care about the right to freedom of expression and access to information to

  • Provide emergency visas and safe havens for Ukrainian journalists, as well as an independent journalist from Belarus and Russia, to re-establish their bases of operations and continue reporting;
  • Condemn and push back against the trend of criminalising journalism, a  hallmark of creeping authoritarianism in many parts of the world. Journalism is not a crime;
  • Use all multilateral fora to defend the rights of journalists and advance their protection as civilians under international humanitarian law, particularly in the context of Russia’s war on Ukraine.
  • Contribute to all efforts to investigate and bring to justice cases of journalists targeted in this war.

To technology, telecoms, internet intermediaries and advertisers, we ask you to

  • Work with the media and journalism community to identify, protect and uplift independent, ethical journalism, fact-checking, and media literacy efforts;
  • Prevent automated takedowns of journalistic content documenting evidence of international crimes of aggression, war crimes, crimes against humanity, and other serious human rights violations. These need to be available for journalists, fact-checkers, investigators and other stakeholders to effectively bring perpetrators to account and end impunity. Strengthen transparency and notice procedures, expedite appeal and remedy;
  • Reverse commercial incentives – both through algorithms and content moderation policies – that discriminate against public-interest journalism’s ability to reach audiences and monetise high-quality content;
  • Work with advertisers to stop the use of blacklist technology to block ads from appearing next to journalism and news media stories that mention conflicts like Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, the COVID-19 pandemic and other critical health and social issues;
  • Deliver Internet accessibility to all: prioritise maintaining Internet accessibility and connectivity, and promote the right to access information.

We continue to stand in solidarity with all journalists around the world who work in areas of conflict or where freedom of expression is limited, to deliver trusted information in the public interest.

Signatories (organisations):

  1. ACOS Alliance
  2. Afghanistan Journalists Center (AFJC)
  3. ARTICLE 19
  4. Associação Brasileira de Jornalismo Investigativo (Abraji)
  5. BaleBengong (Indonesia)
  6. Border Center for Journalists and Bloggers
  7. Centre for Law and Democracy (CLD)
  8. Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ)
  9. Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma
  10. DW Akademie
  11. Ethical Journalism Network (EJN)
  12. European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF)
  13. European Federation of Journalists (EFJ)
  14. European Journalism Centre (EJC)
  15. Border Center for Journalists and Bloggers
  16. CFI Medias
  17. Community Media Solutions (CMS)
  18. Detector.Media, Ukraine
  19. Ethical Journalism Network (EJN)
  20. Fathm
  21. Finnish Foundation for Media and Development (Vikes)
  22. Free Press Unlimited (FPU)
  23. Fojo Media Institute
  24. Fundación Gabo
  25. Fondation Hirondelle
  26. Foundation “Souspilnist”, Ukraine
  27. Global Forum for Media Development (GFMD)
  28. Global Investigative Journalism Network (GIJN)
  29. IFEX
  30. Institute of Mass Information, Ukraine
  31. Institute for Regional Media and Information (IRMI, Ukraine)
  32. International Media Support (IMS)
  33. International Press Institute (IPI)
  34. Internews
  35. Internews Ukraine
  36. International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN)
  37. Jnomics Media
  38. Lviv Media Forum
  39. Maharat Foundation
  40. Media Association for Peace (MAP)
  41. Media Diversity Institute (MDI)
  42. Media Impact Funders
  43. Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA)
  44. Namibia Media Trust (NMT)
  45. National Union of Journalists of Ukraine (NUJU)
  46. New Narratives
  47. One World Media
  48. Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP)
  49. Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)
  50. Panos Institute Southern Africa (PSAf)
  51. Public Interest Journalism Lab
  52. Public Media Alliance (PMA)
  53. Pulitzer Center
  54. Reporters Without Borders (RSF)
  55. RIA Media Corporation (Ukraine)
  56. Samir Kassir Foundation – SKeyes Center for Media and Cultural Freedom
  57. The Fix Media
  58. Transitions
  59. World Association of News Publishers (WAN-IFRA)
  60. World Editors Forum
  61. The University of Georgia
  62. Union of Journalists in Finland
  63. Independent Media Council

Add your organisation as a signature to the declaration using this very short sign up form.

Signatories (individuals: speakers, attendees and friends of the International Journalism Festival):

  1. Ahmad Quraishi, Executive Director, Afghanistan Journalists Center (AFJC)
  2. Angelina Fusco, Chair Dart Centre Europe
  3. Antonina Cherevko, Head of the Independent Media Council, Ukraine
  4. Anya Schiffrin, Senior Lecturer, Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs
  5. Artem Liss, Flying Fox Media Ltd.
  6. Baybars Orsek, Director, International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN)
  7. Bruce Shapiro, Executive Director, Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma and Adjunct Professor of Journalism, Columbia Journalism School
  8. Cherilyn Ireton, Executive Director, World Editors Forum, WAN-IFRA
  9. Dmytro Tuzov, host “Radio NV”
  10. Fergus Bell, CEO, Fathm
  11. Gypsy Guillén Kaiser, Advocacy and Communications Director, Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ)
  12. Jakub Parusinski, Editor, The Fix Media
  13. Jeremy Druker, Executive Director and Editor in Chief, Transitions
  14. Jorge Luis Sierra, President, Border Center for Journalists and Bloggers
  15. Lars Tallert, Head of Policy, Fojo Media Institute
  16. Leli Bibilashvili, Associate Dean, The University of Georgia
  17. Kristian Porter, CEO, Public Media Alliance (PMA)
  18. Marina Walker Guevara, Pulitzer Center
  19. Mary Myers, independent researcher and media consultant
  20. Mae Azango, New Narratives and Front Page Africa
  21. Marcelo Rech,Journalist, President, Brazilian Newspaper Association (ANJI)
  22. Melanie Walker, Executive Director, Media Development, WAN-IFRA
  23. Milica Pesic (MDI)
  24. Mira Milosevic, Executive Director, Global Forum for Media Development (GFMD)
  25. Nataliya Gumenyuk, CEO, Public Interest Journalism Lab
  26. Natia Kaladze, Dean, The University of Georgia
  27. Olga Myrovych, Head, Lviv Media Forum
  28. Owais Aslam Ali (Pakistan Press Foundation)
  29. Prue Clarke, Director, New Narratives
  30. Sergio Caringi, Director, Meeting with the International Press in Brazil
  31. Steve Buckley, Community Media Solutions (CMS)
  32. Tom Law, Head of Policy and Learning, GFMD
  33. Tom Trewinnard, COO, Fathm
  34. Victoria Bridges, Director, One World Media
  35. Vincent Peyrègne, Chief Executive Officer, WAN-IFRA
  36. Vusumuzi Sifile, Executive Director, Panos Institute Southern Africa
  37. Zakhar Protsiuk, The Fix Media
  38. Zoé Protsiuk, Director, The Fix Media
  39. Zoe Titus, Director, Namibia Media Trust

Add your name to the declaration using this very short sign up form.

The declaration is available:

Contact details: Tom Law, Head of Policy and Learning GFMD,
Press contacts: +38163214478

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