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Breaking the Silence: Countering the Effect of SLAPPs on Independent Media

Status: Closed

Organisation: Center for International Media Assistance (CIMA)

Deadline: 23/03/2022

Location: Online

In a growing challenge for independent media, the rise of Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation (SLAPPs) and other legal intimidation strategies have acted as tools to stifle, suppress, and attack freedom of the press.

These lawsuits—which succeed in crippling news outlets with legal fees even when based on frivolous accusations—are on the rise. Legal action such as SLAPPs can have the greatest chilling effect on investigative journalism.

On March 23rd from 10:00 am-11:00 am EDT, CIMA will host an online panel discussion to examine the current legal landscape for media and journalists and bring attention to potential approaches and solutions to the SLAPP problem. What is contributing to the increase in vexatious lawsuits, and what has been the impact? Are there more innovative, proactive, and nimble ways to address this trend? How can the media development community better coordinate assistance to investigative journalists, human rights defenders, and the media law community to ensure a more integrated approach?


  • Drew Sullivan, co-founder and editor of the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP)
  • Susan Coughtrie, Project Director at the Foreign Policy Centre
  • Alexander Papachristou, executive director at the Cyrus R. Vance Center for International Justice
  • Sara Sáenz, project manager and journalist at OjoPúblico (Peru)

Moderator: Nicholas Benequista, Senior Director at CIMA

To RSVP and receive call-in details, please register here by Tuesday, March 22

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