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2022 In Review


20 December 2022

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2022 In Review

Journalism Under Extreme Conditions

There was a time before and after the 24 February, the day when Russian troops started the full scale invasion of Ukraine. On that very day, ECPMF took part in a high level policy dialogue between the UN and EU on the safety of journalists and media freedom. There was a sense of incredulity in the room, actors were not yet ready to face the new reality – and the gruesome consequences it would have on journalists. Russian troops had black lists which, among others, included the names of journalists to be targeted. During the UN-EU dialogue, ECPMF recommended building up capacities to shelter journalists outside the country as an emergency activity.

Only a few weeks later, donors enabled ECPMF to drastically expand the fellowships in the Journalists-in-Residence programme. While the regular number of hosted journalists is ten, it has doubled in 2022. ECPMF also created a programme to support journalists on the ground in Ukraine with living stipends, technical support, and capacity building. In December, we gathered 200 Ukrainian media professionals in Bratislava to discuss the situation. The conference sharpened our senses of what must be done to continue the fight for media freedom, quality journalism, and democracy under the most extreme condition thinkable: war.


While the war against Ukraine in some ways touched nearly every aspect of ECPMF’s activities, there was also the regular work to be done. Now, we would like to highlight a few small excerpts from 2022:



01.01.2022, New Alert Explorer

Credit: ECPMF/ Screenshot

A Star is Born: 2022 started with the launch of the new Alert Explorer on mappingmediafreedom.org – pushing the usability of the platform into a new dimension. The platform delivers a continuously updated overview of media freedom violations in Europe. So far this year, 765 new alerts were added.



07.02.2022: MFRR Mission to the Netherlands

The Dutch Question: The Netherlands is famous for its level of media freedom. Despite this, the murder of Peter de Vries and the attacks on the Public Service Media raised massive concerns. ECPMF and its partners in the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) participated in a fact-finding mission to the Netherlands to investigate the situation on the ground. 


Read the Netherlands mission report  and reports from the missions to Italy and Turkey – on mfrr.eu.


23.03.2022, Launch of PRESSProtect

Credit: ECPMF/ Screenshot

Support in your Pocket: On 23 March ECPMF launched PRESSProtect. The database shows more than 150 support offers provided by civil society organisations throughout Europe for journalists and media workers in need.



30.03.2022, UNCOVERED Conference

Credit: ECPMF/Andreas Lamm

At the end of March, the IJ4EU grantees gathered in Berlin to showcase their astonishing investigations at the UNCOVERED Conference, organised by ECPMF. The IJ4EU programme, led by the International Press Institute in collaboration with the European Journalism Centre and ECPMF, supports cross border investigative journalism in Europe with more than one million euro per year. The programme included the bestowal of the Impact Award for outstanding investigations.



11.04.2022, Journalists-in-Residence Kosovo

Credit: XX

Wave of Solidarity: After the full scale invasion of Ukraine, ECPMF massively extended its Journalists-in-Residence programme to shelter reporters under threat. Several donors provided emergency budgets: the Free State of Saxony, the National Endowment for Democracy, the Federal Commissioner for Culture and Media, the German Federal Foreign Office,and the Government of the Republic of Kosovo. The latter provided financial means to relocate 20 individual Ukrainian journalists and media workers to Pristina, Kosovo.



03.05.2022, MFRR III is Signed

Signed and Sealed: On 3 May, the European Commission sent the contract for the new Media Freedom Response  (MFRR) Project. The alliance conducting the project is led by ECPMF, and is made up of ARTICLE19, EFJ, IPI, OBCT, FPU and, as a subcontractor, InfAI of the University of Leipzig.



16.05.2022, Exile Media Forum

Credit: Eman Helal

Voices in Exile: Since 2019, ECPMF has supported journalists in exile in Germany. The programme, funded by the Federal Commissioner for Culture and Media and the Free State of Saxony, provides language courses, psychosocial assistance, and support for internships, for instance. In 2022, ECPMF extensively contributed to the study of the Körber Stiftung on Exile and to the Exile Media Forum in Hamburg on 16 and 17 May.



01.06.2022, Věra Jourová at the ECPMF Offices

High-Level Visit in Leipzig: On 1 June, Věra Jourová, Vice President for Values and Transparency in the European Commission visited ECPMF in Leipzig, calling for strong, independent media to preserve democracy. ECPMF is located in the same street as the house, where Friedrich Schiller wrote “Ode to Joy” in 1758 – which later inspired the hymn of the European Union.



09.10.2022, Leipzig’s Festival of Light Supports ECPMF

A Generous Gesture: In 2022, the so-called “candle donation”, provided by Leipzig’s citizens, was given to ECPMF to support our Journalists-in-Residence Programme. The donation is collected during the annual Festival of Light celebrating the peaceful revolution 1989.



10.10.2022, Start of the “Hannah Arendt Initiative”

National Action Plan: On 14 October, the German Foreign Minister, Annalena Baerbock, and the Federal Commissioner for Culture and Media, Claudia Roth, announced the implementation of the “Hannah Arendt Initiative” to protect the security of journalists at home and abroad. ECPMF was invited to become part of the initiative.



14.10.2022, Launch of “Voices of Ukraine” & the RE:Cover Conference Bratislava

Journalism in Wartime: On 14 October, ECPMF launched the “Voices of Ukraine” programme under the roof of the Hannah Arendt Initiative. The programme provides 120 Ukrainian journalists on the ground with stipends and technical support, helps financing the Journalists-in-Residence programme in Kosovo, and made the Re:Cover Conference in Bratislava possible. More than 200 journalists and experts discussed how to conduct journalism under extreme conditions.



11.11.2022, Minister President of Saxony meets ECPMF

Political Exchange at high Level: ECPMF’s Journalists-in-Residence from Eastern Europe shared their experiences with the aggressive politics of Russian autocrat Vladimir Putin and its impact on media freedom with Saxony’s prime Minister, Michael Kretschmer, during a meeting at Motel One Leipzig.



02/09.12.2022, Selling Mulled Wine at Leipzig’s Christmas Market

Have a Drink (for the good cause): Annually, the Lion’s Club Leipzig invites ECPMF to help sell mulled wine at the Christmas Market. The revenue is donated to ECPMF. The photo shows happy sales professionals from the Lions Club and ECPMF staff at work ont 2 December 2022.

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