Margo Smit has been the Director of the Dutch-Flemish Association of Investigative Journalists until September 2015. Now she is working as ombudsman at the Dutch Broadcasting Foundation (NOS) and as an independent investigative journalist. Smit is author of several publications about freedom of information, investigative journalism and cross border investigations. She is also a frequent speaker and moderator on international conferences on topics such as investigating techniques, reporting on nuclear industry etc. For her documentary on the Dutch politician Ayaan Hirsi Ali she was nominated for the Prix Europa.
The Dutch-Flemish Association of Investigative Journalists VVOJ endorses the establishment of a European Centre for Press and Media Freedom. A free press is paramount to securing an environment in which investigative reporting can thrive. Drawing up a Charter on Freedom of the Press alone is not enough, and journalists need to feel and be protected and supported if they take on the many challenges investigative reporting pose. Identifying and reporting on threats to journalism and a free press in general are the first steps in raising awareness of the importance free media play in a democratic society. The European Centre for Press and Media Freedom takes this a step further, through study, mobilization of the public and tangible support for journalists under threat and pressure. Such a Centre is long overdue.