Our Work

The ECPMF is facilitating activities according to actual needs and acts as a Rapid Response Mechanism, together with its partners across Europe.

MONITOR

 

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.

SUPPORT

 

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, provides direct grants for cross-border investigative journalism projects. The newly-implemented IMPACT award will showcase outstanding cross-border investigative journalism in Europe.

ENGAGE

 

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. ECPMF’s 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.

Rapid Response Mechanism

The situation of press and media freedom in the EU is deteriorating. Major reasons are the digital transformation and the rise of populism that vilifies professional journalists as an enemy. “Antidemocratic leaders in Central Europe and the Balkans (…) continued undermining institutions that protect freedom of expression and association and the rule of law,” summarises Freedom House in its 2019 report. This development does not only jeopardise the basic rights of every EU citizen, it puts the physical and psychological safety of journalists at risk.

 

To promote an independent, pluralistic media landscape, to safeguard media workers, especially harassed female media workers, to protect the rights as enshrined in the aforementioned documents, a Europe-wide Rapid Response Mechanism (RRM) is being implemented as an EU project by ECPMF and its partners. It is designed to detect, answer and prevent violations of press and media freedom. It helps to mitigate the consequences of the recently observed deterioration of media freedom in several European Union (EU) Member States and Candidate Countries (CC). It consists of three layers: monitoring, categorisation, responses, whereas responses can be differentiated into interventions and activities with a preventative character that target underlying structural problems.

 

Responses will be monitored and evaluated in terms of efficiency and impact. The responses are carried out by the applying consortium and partners on the ground.

The Rapid Response Mechanism includes several activities and is run by a consortium of respected organisations in the field of media freedom: the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF), the International Press Institute (IPI), the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), Free Press Unlimited (FPU), Article 19, Osservatorio Balcani e Caucaso Transeuropa (OBCT) and the Institut für Angewandte Informatik der Universität Leipzig (InfAI). The project is financed by the European Commission in 2020 and selected third-party funders.

Past Projects