ECPMF Team
Dr. Lutz Kinkel

Lutz represents and manages the ECPMF. Lutz worked in German press for more than 20 years, giving special focus to the areas of politics and media. He was an editor at Spiegel-Online and tagesschau.de and more recently head of the stern-online office in Berlin. He did his Masters degree at Hamburg University in history, politics and economics. His dissertation examines the life of Nazi film director Leni Riefenstahl. Lutz teaches journalism at the Akademie für Publizistik, Hamburg.

Alina Toropova

Alina Toropova

Journalists-in-Residence Programme Manager

Alina coordinates the Journalists-in-Residence programme at the ECPMF, supports the fellow journalists in Leipzig and works closely with other international temporary relocation programmes. Before joining the ECPMF she used to organize socio-cultural events in Weimar and worked at the Department of International Relations at the Bauhaus-University. She also contributed to the work of the Museum Project of the House of European History at the European Parliament. Alina holds a degree in Science of Media from the Bauhaus-University Weimar.

Andreas Lamm

Andreas Lamm

Deputy Managing Director & Art Director

Andreas is part of the management team and responsible for project development and organisational tasks. He advocates for the mission and values of ECPMF amongst partners and external organisations. As art director he supports external communication with strong visuals to strengthen the voice of ECPMF and is responsible for all visual and graphic content and for corporate design. In addition he takes care of HR and supports the boards. He is an accomplished photographer, videographer and website designer who also lectures at the journalism department of the University of Leipzig. Andreas gained his Magister Artium in Communication and Media Science, American Studies and Psychology.

Antje Schlaf

Antje Schlaf

Mapping Media Freedom Consultant

Antje is the Mapping Media Freedom Consultant at ECPMF. She is responsible for the further development of mappingmediafreedom.org including the scientific framework and the methodology, as well as the operation and management of the platform. Antje gained her master's degree in Computer Science with a focus on Natural Language Processing (NLP). As research associate she worked for various national & international projects in collaboration with partners from different companies, organisations and universities where she successfully implemented methods of NLP and Textmining in diverse topic areas.

Deniz Bozkurt-Pekar

Deniz Bozkurt-Pekar

IJ4EU Programme Manager

Deniz joined the ECMPF in January 202 and manages the UNCOVERED Conference and #IJ4EU Impact Award. Previously, she worked as research associate at various interdisciplinary institutions in Leipzig. She is trained in the field of Translation and Interpreting Studies at Boğaziçi and gained MA and doctorate degrees in American Studies at Leipzig University. Her dissertation focuses on spatialization processes as imagined in examples from the literature of the pre-Civil War Southern United States. She is the mother of two cats and enjoys writing and translating fiction as well as non-fiction.

Flutura Kusari

Flutura Kusari

Senior Legal Advisor

Flutura leads the legal support programme and advocates with international organisations to improve legislation to defend freedom of expression. In addition, she advises journalists on pre- and post- publication legal matters such as defamation, access to information, contempt of court, and privacy. Previously, Kusari worked for various civil society organisations, including the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network and the Kosovar Stability Initiative on human rights, media, rule of law, and the judicial system. She holds a Ph.D. in Media Law from Ghent University, Belgium.

Gürkan Özturan

Gürkan Özturan

MFRR Project Coordinator

Gürkan Özturan was trained in the field of European Studies as a researcher on radicalization and polarization during his two masters degrees at Centre International de Formation Europeenne and Istanbul Bilgi University. Özturan previously worked as a journalist and executive manager at dokuz8NEWS and frequently appeared on international media as commentator on Turkey and digital rights. He has served as board member for various anti-racism and rights-focued NGOs and social movements in Turkey, currently he is a board member for Turkey-European Foundation, Media Research Association and Trauma & Life Association. Özturan is a registered member of Journalists Union of Turkey and International Federation of Journalists. Özturan currently works as the coordinator of Media Freedom Rapid Response, at the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom.

Hartwig Künckeler

Hartwig Künckeler

Head of Finance

Hartwig has worked as a financial auditor since 1976 and has served on the board of BDO AG, one of Germany’s largest audit firms operating worldwide, from 1997 to 2007. Following his retirement, he started his own auditing business and provides counsel to various non-profit organisations. He holds a number of honorary positions and serves on the board of several associations and charitable foundations.

Jordan Higgins

Jordan Higgins

Press and Policy Officer

Jordan is part of ECPMF’s communications team, where he focuses on increasing outreach to journalists and other traditional media outlets. Before joining ECPMF, Jordan worked as Advocacy and Policy Manager at the Global Forum for Media Development (GFMD). Jordan holds a Master’s Degree in Journalism and Media in Europe from Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) where he specialised in conflict reporting, media policy, and the impact of social media platforms on news gathering and dissemination.

Katrin Schatz

Katrin Schatz

Project Manager Practical Support

Katrin coordinates ECPMF's practical assistance for media professionals at risk across Europe, with a focus on supporting journalists in exile in Germany. Furthermore, she dedicates herself to her role at Start with a Friend as a volunteer, connecting immigrants and locals in Leipzig. Previously, Katrin worked for international organisations like Step Up International and the Friedrich-Ebert-Foundation in Botswana. She completed her Master’s degree in cultural geography at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg.

Laurens Hueting

Laurens Hueting

Senior Advocacy Officer

Laurens joined the ECPMF in September 2020 and leads the organisation's advocacy activities, to raise awareness and provide direct responses to threats to media freedom that build on monitoring and analysis. Previously, Laurens worked in legal and programme coordination roles for civil society organisations in the United Kingdom and Switzerland on freedom of expression, counterterrorism, sexual orientation and gender identity, and judicial independence. He also interned in the European Parliament's Human Rights Unit. Laurens holds degrees in history and in law from the Ghent University in Belgium and a postgraduate degree in EU law from Maastricht University in the Netherlands.

Neus Vidal

Neus Vidal

Monitoring Officer

Neus is in charge of monitoring media freedom violations in Europe. She holds a double degree in Journalism and Political Science (Pompeu Fabra University Barcelona) and an Investigative Journalism Master’s degree (City, University of London). She is currently pursuing a part-time PhD in Politics at Birkbeck College - University of London, focusing on transparency policies and access to information laws. Before joining the ECPMF she was a freelance political correspondent for El País and also worked for several outlets in Spain and the United Kingdom. She teaches journalism ethics at the Open University of Catalonia and has taught media law and journalism at several universities. She has been awarded with various grants such as the European Collaborative Journalism Programme 2021, Re:constitution fellowship 2019 or La Caixa Excellence fellowship 2014.

Olga Komarova

Olga Komarova

Social and Multimedia Specialist

Olga is part of ECPMF’s communications team, where she is responsible for coordinating social channels to raise awareness and engage audiences around ECPMF’s activities. Previously, she worked at the Global Forum for Media Development (GFMD) as Communications Manager. Olga holds a degree in International Relations from Moscow State University in Russia and a master’s degree in International Peace Studies with a focus on Human Rights from Trinity College Dublin, Ireland.

Sarah Schmidt

Sarah Schmidt

Financial Officer

Sarah Schmidt holds the diploma in European Business Management and has gained international experiences in studying and working in Great Britain and France. Back in Germany, she worked for a long time at Leipzig University and KOWA Leipzig, where she was responsible for finances, legal and HR matters. Dedicated to numbers, Sarah keeps track of day-to-day bookkeeping, budget and contract compliance. She communicates with the EU Commission and our other public funders on an operational level.

Tabea Caspary

Tabea Caspary

Legal Assistant

Tabea is the legal assistant within the legal support programme of ECPMF. Here she vets cases of journalists facing legal matters related to their journalistic activities and works with other international organisations to improve the legislation to protect the freedom of the press and the media, focussing mainly on Anti-SLAPP (Strategic Litigation against Public Participation) measures. Before joining ECPMF, Tabea studied at the Georg-August-University Göttingen and the University of Oslo, holding a degree in law from the Georg-August-University Göttingen with a Major in International and European Public Law. She volunteers for the Climate Clinic e.V. in her free time, an association working on adding a climate friendly agenda to the exsiting legislation.