16 May 2023Analysis

Captive solution helps creation of anti-SLAPP insurance fund

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has announced the launch of Reporters Shield, an insurance fund meant to protect journalists from strategic lawsuits, also known as strategic lawsuits against public participation (SLAPPs).

US law firm, Primmer Piper Eggleston & Cramer provided pro bono legal support for the formation of the non-profit insurance fund. Through its captive insurance management department, Primmer was able to design and form a captive solution that helped make Reporters Shield a reality.

According to Samantha Power, the administrator of USAID, Reporters Shield will allow journalists who may not have the means to compete with a repressive governments to actually have the insurance and the legal protection they need in order to fight back and hold accountable those actors who are trying to steal from, and repress their people. She further explained that suing reporters or media agencies until the stories or abandoned, or the outlet goes out of business, is one of the evolving threats to democracy we see today.

“Right now, around the world, there are more than 500 journalists who are in detention of some kind,” said Power. “Just in the last year, 67 journalists have been killed while doing their work.”

Jesse Crary, shareholder / vice president with Primmer, who donated his time to the formation of Reporters Shield, said: “Reporters Shield will hopefully have a large impact on the way that stories get reported, and how we can create safe spaces for journalists to report on what they are actually seeing. The existence of this captive can have global impact. I am proud to have provided my skills and expertise to assist in its formation.”