Dear ECPMF Supporter,
Sometimes all it takes to defend media freedom is a pause for thought. 
Take Germany’s Interior Minister Horst Seehofer, for example. He was all set to prosecute satirical columnist Hengameh Yaghoobifarah. Why? She wrote in the taz newspaper that the police are no good at their jobs and should be dumped on the scrap heap. After an outcry from the media freedom community 
and a quiet word from Chancellor Angela Merkel, the case was dropped. Now that Germany holds the Presidency of the Council of the EU, we hope for more quiet reflection and consideration for press freedom. This is especially vital when it comes to restoring the budget cuts to cultural and media initiatives. In the post-corona virus period, more financial support - not less - is required to support quality journalism and defeat disinformation

In Montenegro, we call on the authorities to think again about the prosecution of reporter Jovo Martinovic and  prove that they understand the role of journalists in a democracy by dropping the charges. And we welcome the acquittal of Bulgarian media owner Iwo Propokiev.
Partly, the EU budget cuts can be blamed on Brexit: the United Kingdom is no longer paying in to the European Union and seems to have already rejected European values on press freedom. Death threats have forced a local newspaper reporter and her daughter into hiding in the North of England. So we have reminded the British government of its responsibility to protect journalists' safety, with examples of how best to do this. It should be required reading for all politicians – especially in Slovakia, where a colleague of the murdered reporter Jan Kuciak recently received a bullet in the post.
Politicians should pause for thought, too, before meddling in public service media (PSM). At a time when everyone’s health and safety relies on trust in public TV and radio news, their independence should be sacrosanct. But it is not. Poland’s presidential election coverage shows the extent of bias in support of the governing PiS Law and Justice Party. In Prague last week, ECPMF, at the invitation of the Czech Senate held talks on how to prevent and protect PSM from government interference, one clear strategy it uses is domination of PSM Council. Meanwhile Britain’s BBC faces budget cuts that will damage investigative and regional reporting.
Pressing the PAUSE button on new initiatives gives critical voices a chance to be heard and politicians a moment to think: do they want to defend human rights or destroy them? If they need guidance, we can respond rapidly with concise briefings and for indepth research, there’s a whole free online library at the European Media Freedom Resource Centre. Germany’s Chancellor Merkel has a reputation for taking time to analyse all aspects before making decisions. Maybe the rest of Europe will now follow her example, and take a moment...
Best wishes from Jane
Mapping media freedom
You can report incidents directly and confidentially to our interactive map They will be checked by our network of grassroots experts and trigger actions by the Media Freedom Rapid Response. 
Recent alerts include a death threat to Slovakian journalist Peter Sabo, who is working on the investigations started by murdered reporter Jan Kuciak, pictured here. Photo credit: Branislav Waclav, Alerts have also been registered on the gagging lawsuits ( known as SLAPPs) against EUObserver, the Polish opposition newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza and the Kosovo news network of BIRN.
ECPMF's news highlights

Investigative reporter Jovo Martinovic is due in court again. We call on the authorities to drop the charges. Journalism is not a crime! Read the full statement by the partners of the Media Freedom Rapid Response.
With our partners we condemn the legal attack against EU Observer and regard it as a SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation), a vexatious and unjust use of the law in order to stop investigative journalism. Read the full statement here.
ECPMF's Managing Director, Lutz Kinkel and Lucie Sykorova, Chair of the Centre's Supervisory Committee, a Czech freelance journalist briefed the Czech Senate's Media Committee in Prague on how to protect Public Service Media from political interference.
We're hiring!
ECPMF is hiring an Advocacy Officer to start as soon as possible, ideally from mid-July 2020. You will be responsible for all advocacy activities at ECPMF and represent ECPMF’s mission in the public and political debate. In this position, you need to be a self-starter and a reliable team player. You will work in close collaboration with international partners. The Advocacy Officer reacts to threats to media freedom that are identified through monitoring activities with direct communication, awareness-raising and missions on the ground. More details of how to apply here:
And the winners are...
Khadija Ismaileva, an investigative journalist from Azerbaijan and German film-maker Benjamin Best have been awarded the 2020 Leipzig Prize for Freedom and Future of the Media. Please join us in congratulating them! The award ceremony is scheduled for October, on the anniversary of Germany's Peaceful Revolution which started in Leipzig. Details at the Media Foundation of the Sparkasse Leipzig.
News from our networks
The murder trial of those accused of killing Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggi gets underway in Istanbul, Turkey on 3 July. It will be monitored by trial observers including Reporters Without Borders.

Reporter beaten up while covering election in Serbia. Read more from the International Press Institute...

New charges against the WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange have prompted an outcry as he remains in isolation in Belmarsh high-security prison near London, UK, awaiting extradition to the United States. Supporters plan a prison gate party on 3. July to mark Assange's forty-ninth birthday. Details here.

Freedom of Information is high on the agenda for Rapporteur David Kaye as the United Nations Human Rights Congress gets underway in Geneva, Switzerland. Read more from Article 19...
News media from Portugal, Greece, Germany and Poland team up to form a new European editorial offering. Here’s a sneak preview of the Beta version.
Who will help the helpers? We will!
Supporting journalists under threat is a difficult, demanding job. Those who do it day-in day-out also need support. That’s why ECPMF financially supports counselling sessions for programme co-ordinators in Germany who work with media professionals in exile and under threat. The sessions are designed to help co-ordinators develop strategies for how best to interact with media professionals, bearing in mind the sensitivities of their situations. The aim is to strengthen the personal resilience of the co-ordinators. For more details please click here.
ECPMF celebrates five years for freedom 2015-2020
Since June 2015 to date, ECPMF has provided journalists and other media professionals with direct practical and legal support to help them continue their work in the face of significant hardships. ur impact has been tangible. Just recently, together with our partners, we started the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR), a Europe-wide mechanism, which tracks, monitors and reacts to violations of press and media freedom.
Donate now to help ECPMF keep up the good work
Dates for your diary
*A Lockdown for Independent Media?*
Effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the media landscape and press freedom in Central and Southeast Europe

Join Berlin-based Media NGO n-ost for the *launch of a new publication bringing together a series of COVID-19 Country Reports from Central and Southeastern Europe*. The reports provide a closer look at the effects of the pandemic on the media landscape and press freedom in nine countries throughout the region.

Launch Event #1: July 2 18h CET (focusing on media)
Launch Event #2: July 6 15h CET (focusing on policy making)
Where: Online (Zoom-Event)
*Please register* HERE (with one registration you can join both events) or via link

The next IJ4EU call for our Investigation Support Scheme opens in August. In the meantime teams of cross-border investigative journalists can apply to the IJ4EU Publication Support Scheme
Free Press Unlimited's Award scheme is now open, closing in August. Full details of how to apply here
If you spot a press freedom violation, please sound the alarm!
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The European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF) is a non-profit European Co-operative Society, based in Leipzig, Germany. The ECPMF was founded in 2015 to promote the European Charter on Freedom of the Press throughout Europe. The ECPMF helps to shape a common European media space. It preserves, defends, protects and expands press and media freedom by monitoring violations of free media in Europe, advocating on media freedom issues, initiating a diverse range of activities and providing practical support to journalists at risk.

The ECPMF is supported by: European Commission, Media Foundation of Sparkasse Leipzig, Free State of Saxony, the City of Leipzig and diverse project funding.

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European Centre for Press and Media Freedom SCE ltd

Menckestraße 27
04155 Leipzig, Germany

Phone: +49 341 200 403 13

Cooperative register of the District Court Leipzig: GnR 534

Executive Board:  
Henrik Kaufholz (Chair),
Stephan Seeger, 
Ljiljana Smajlović,
Mogens Blicher Bjerregårds, 
Galina Arapova

Chair of Supervisory Board:
Lucie Sýkorová

Managing Director: 
Dr Lutz Kinkel