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

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

Wednesday, March 23, 2022
10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. EDT


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


Nicholas Benequista, Senior Director at CIMA

In a growing challenge for independent media, the rise of Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation (SLAPPs) and other legal intimidation strategies have acted as tool 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 Wednesday, March 23rd CIMA will host an online panel discussion to examine the current legal landscape for independent media and journalists and bring attention to potential approaches and solutions to the SLAPPs 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?

You may view a recording of the event here.