Results from our monitoring of media freedom violations across EU Member States and Candidate Countries are displayed on mappingmediafreedom.org and disseminated throughout ECPMF’s network. Alerts are also posted on the Council of Europe Platform for the Protection of Journalism and Safety of Journalists (CoE Platform). The ECPMF has been an official partner of the platform since 2019. On “fact-finding missions” to countries where media freedom violations occur, ECPMF conducts on-the-spot research, talking directly to people who are affected by press freedom violations and experts in these countries.
By running the “Journalists-in-Residence” Programme, a Helpdesk for practical support and offering legal assistance, ECPMF directly helps media workers under threat. The IJ4EU grant, offered in collaboration with the International Press Institute and the European Journalism Centre, provides direct grants for cross-border investigative journalism projects. The newly-implemented IMPACT award will showcase outstanding cross-border investigative journalism in Europe.
By campaigning and advocating to influential stakeholders at all levels, the results of the monitoring and investigative journalism and support activities are brought to public attention. Trial monitoring is conducted on the ground if needed. Through its websites, social media, newsletter and solidarity actions ECPMF aims to raise awareness for media freedom violations on a pan-European scale. In addition, ECPMF initiates training, workshops and events to foster exchange and knowledge.
ECPMF promotes media literacy through its partnership with Lie Detectors and a special programme (Re:Start Democratic Discourse) in Ukraine. It brings together stakeholders from academia, the media freedom community, the political sphere and the general public. The Media Freedom Resource Centre, produced and maintained in collaboration with Osservatorio Balcani Caucaso Transeuropa (OBCT) is an online repository which collects and categorises media freedom materials and information and serves as a crowd-sourcing tool for a unique and ever-growing database.
The situation of press and media freedom in the EU is deteriorating. This development does not only jeopardise the basic rights of every EU citizen, it puts the physical and psychological safety of journalists at risk.
The Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) is a Europe-wide mechanism, which tracks, monitors and reacts to violations of press and media freedom in EU Member States and Candidate Countries. Activities of the mechanism are being implemented as an EU project by ECPMF and its partners. The project provides legal and practical support, public advocacy and information to protect journalists and media workers.
The MFRR is organised by an consortium led by the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF) including ARTICLE 19, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), Free Press Unlimited (FPU), the Institute for Applied Informatics at the University of Leipzig (InfAI), International Press Institute (IPI) and CCI/Osservatorio Balcani e Caucaso Transeuropa (OBCT). The project is co-funded by the European Commission and selected third-party funders.
In Europe and the world over, journalists, media workers and critical voices have been targets of Strategic Litigations Against Public Participation (SLAPPs) – vexatious and expensive lawsuits that are used to restrict their work and muzzle press and media freedom. In October 2020, the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF) started implementing the Justice for Journalists (JFJ) funded project against SLAPPs. The project aims to document, analyse and advocate for anti-SLAPP legislation in Europe.
Justice for Journalists Foundation (JFJ) is a London-based non-governmental organisation that funds journalistic investigations into violent crimes against media workers and helps professional and citizen journalists to mitigate their risks. The foundation was established in August 2018 by Mikhail Khodorkovsky, founder of the Open Russia pro-democracy movement, an Amnesty International-recognised prisoner of conscience and Putin’s most prominent critic, together with Leonid Nevzlin, his former business partner, a philanthropist and member of the Free Russia Forum’s standing committee
Their mission statement: “Our mission is to facilitate journalists’ access to existing resources and make them relevant to the specifics of each region. We believe security is the essential basis for work in the media. We help journalists acquire the skills and knowledge to address their professional challenges.”
JFJ’s activity consists of three main components:
ECPMF supports exiled media professionals in Germany, who experienced repression and persecution in their home countries, with professional qualification, legal support and psychological guidance. Journalists under threat, who are based in Germany, have as well access to a security fund to protect themselves and minimise risks of attacks. Furthermore, the project includes the opportunity of temporary relocation for media professionals under threat from other European countries.