The Media Legal Defense Initiative has rebranded to Media Defence. Along with the new name, the organization has also come up with a new logo and website that will enable them to increase visibility and help many journalists in need.

Since its inception in 2008, the Media Defence has seen the deterioration of journalism and the context in which it operates. With the spread of populism, governments have implemented repressive and abusive practices against press freedom. The Covid-19 has accelerated this, with many journalists around the globe facing arrests, physical attacks, and detention for reporting on the virus.

Their clean and modern branding emphasizes the importance of freedom of expression and the dangers of censorship. It signals their optimism to support journalists and that those who need them can reach them quickly. They are also building an extensive library of legal resources readily available to assist lawyers in their defence of the media.

“With media around the world under ever-increasing pressure, our crisp new trading name, visual identity and website will help us accelerate our development in the years to come so that we can fulfil our mission of ensuring legal protection of journalists and media workers around the world,” says Alinda Vermeer, Acting CEO, Media Defence.

In 2018 we partnered with Media Defenceto train lawyers in Mombasa and Nairobi in a litigation workshop on the right to online freedom of expression, digital rights and the Internet.

As a result of the training, we were able to build a pool of Advocates who are now offering legal support to bloggers, journalists, independent media and Kenyans online on Freedom of Expression related matters including arrests and representation in court.

These have included challenging social media blocking and Internet shutdowns, contesting cybercrimes legislation and intermediary liability, as well as calling for greater protections for online privacy and source protection. One of our trainees in the workshop, Lawyer Mercy Mutemi is representing us in our case against some sections of the Computer Misuse and Cybercrimes Law.