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11.09.2019

ECPMF joins the Platform to Protect Journalists

The European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF) and Free Press Unlimited join the Council of Europe Platform to Protect Journalists.


Strasbourg, 11.09.2019

European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF) and Free Press Unlimited today became partners of the Platform to promote the protection of journalism and safety of journalists, through which organisations promoting media freedom inform the Council of Europe about serious concerns about the safety of journalists and alleged attacks to media freedom.

Lutz Kinkel, Managing Director of the ECPMF and Ruth Kronenburg, Director of Operations at Free Press Unlimited signed the agreement to join the platform, during a meeting with the Council of Europe Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland.

ECPMF joins Council of Europe Platform to Protect Journalists Ruth Kronenburg (Free Press Unlimited); Thorbjørn Jagland (Secretary General of the Council of Europe); Dr. Lutz Kinkel (ECPMF); Flutura Kusari (ECPMF). Photo: CoE

The ECPMF has been monitoring media freedom violations across Europe on its platform mappingmediafreedom.com, which it inherited from Index on Censorship in 2018. Mapping Media Freedom aims to identify threats, violations and limitations faced by members of the press across European Union member, candidate and potential candidate states. To date, the platform has verified nearly 5000 alerts.

By joining the platform to protect journalists, the ECPMF seeks to raise even more awareness on threats to press freedom and call authorities and institutions of the countries concerned to action. In addition to this, a close collaboration with other partner organisations within the platform will show that we stand united against threats to press freedom.

The ECPMF and Free Press Unlimited join 12 organisations and institutions already partnered with this platform: Article 19, the Association of European Journalists, Committee to Protect Journalists, the European Broadcasting Union, the European Federation of Journalists, Index on Censorship, the International Federation of Journalists, the International News Safety Institute, the International Press Institute, PEN International, Reporters Without Borders and the Rory Peck Trust.

ECPMF joins Council of Europe Platform to Protect Journalists Dr. Lutz Kinkel, Managing Director of the ECPMF, signing the Memorandum of Understanding. Photo: CoE

The Council’s last media freedom report provides a disturbing picture of a deteriorating universal environment for the media across Europe: the number of attacks on journalists has grown continuously, reported threats doubled last year and there has been no progress in a number of long-standing cases of impunity for murder of journalists.

In 2019, the partners have so far published 94 alerts concerning 21 countries, two of them about the murder of journalists. Since April 2015- when the platform was launched- the partner organisations have published 604 alerts concerning 39 Council of Europe member states. They refer to physical attacks on journalists, including murder, the detention and imprisonment of journalists, impunity, harassment or intimidation of journalists, and other acts that have a chilling effect on media freedom.