Dear <<First Name>>,

Attacks on journalists continue across Europe. Our monitoring on the Mapping Media Freedom (MMF) platform shows a spike in Italy and Germany in recent days. The 2020 Annual Report by the partner organisations to the Council of Europe Platform to Promote the Protection of Journalism and Safety of Journalists also shows an increase in the attacks on journalists across Europe. It warns against the attacks on media becoming the ‘new normal’.
Sajid Hussain, a Pakistani journalist exiled in Sweden was found dead. His body was recovered from the river Fyris, near the Swedish city of Uppsala.

And our Corona Watch indicates an increase in cases by the day, with statistics showing that state actors are using COVID-19 as an excuse to repress critical reporting and therefore media freedom.

Yet there is hope, and there is help. “Media freedom made in Scandinavia,” is the title of the report of a joint fact-finding mission to Denmark and Sweden. The report, just published, gives examples of best practice that help the two countries earn high rankings in the World Press Freedom indices. And which other countries can adopt to help them uphold press and media freedom.

A new edition of the highly-successful IJ4EU grant for cross border investigative journalism is also hot off the press. There’s one million euros for teams across EU Member States and EU Candidate countries.

At ECPMF we offer media workers under threat a respite, a safe house and a fresh start in our new call for Journalists in Residence.
For those who are attacked with unjust defamation cases, we can provide funds for legal defence. And through the new Media Freedom Rapid Response we can turn the grim statistics into success stories: challenging unjust laws, providing practical assistance, sharing stories to build solidarity and advocating ceaselessly for a better Europe where media freedom is the norm.  

During the Media Freedom Rapid Response’s virtual talk, “No Lockdown for Press Freedom”, on the occasion of World Press Freedom Day 2020, we discussed the abusive strategies used by governments to limit press freedom in the current COVID-19 pandemic. The event, with contributions from two MEPs, a scholar and several journalists from across Europe, achieved a harmonious consensus: something must be done. In case you missed the virtual talk, you can watch the video and read a summary here.
If you or a colleague are threatened, sued, harassed or attacked you can report it confidentially to the MMF platform. It’s not just a map. It’s the key to a rapid response and a raft of measures that can help.

Remember, we’ve got this!

Stay safe and healthy,
Media freedom made in Scandinavia – best practice examples
Our fact-finders from ECPMF, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) and Osservatorio balcani e caucasi Transeuropa (OBCT) travelled to places that are consistently ranked in the top five nations in the world for press freedom. What they found is not just one recipe for success, but a whole smorgasbord of best practices.
ECPMF has opened the 2020 call for its Journalists-in-Residence (JiR) programme for a period of up to six months, between June 2020 and February 2021.
No Lockdown for Press Freedom: virtual talk demanded freedom to cover the pandemic
Meeting online from across Europe, policy-makers and media freedom campaigners exchanged testimonials on the corona clampdown on media freedom and built solidarity for those at risk. Watch the video and read the summary here.
One million euros for investigative journalism – apply now!
For 2020 the ECPMF and International Press Institute (IPI) offer grants for cross-border teams of investigative journalists and data specialists to probe and expose corruption. Apply here.
Germany: On 1 May, a camera team of five from the German public service broadcaster ZDF was attacked by private individuals during a demonstration in Berlin. Reports allege that around 15 people attacked the crew. Read more...

Malta: nine international press freedom organisations have appealed to Attorney General Peter Grech to request Europol to immediately set up a joint investigation team to support the judicial proceedings linked to the assassination of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia. Read more...

ECPMF joins GFMD emergency appeal for support to journalism and media
To mark World Press Freedom Day 2020, ECPMF joined the Global Forum for Media Development (GFMD) and more than 90 organisations to launch an emergency appeal for journalism and media support in response to the COVID-19 crisis.
UK: Reuters Institute warns media freedom must not fall victim to the virus
Oxford’s Thomson Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism is tracking threats to human rights in the context of COVID-19. Read more...

Local news site links to Media Freedom Rapid Response – will yours, too?
In ECPMF’s home city of Leipzig, Germany, the local news portal Leipzig Glocal has a special page for reporting attacks and threats aimed at journalists or media houses. Read more…

We hope many more news outlets will link to the Mapping Media Freedom website. Meanwhile, you can report new violations of press freedom confidentially here.
Welcome to the team
We’re pleased to welcome Alban Sharkey to ECPMF’s Communications Team. A student of Global Studies at the University of Leipzig. A native French speaker, he is also fluent in German and English. Join us in saying, “Willkommen”, “Bienvenue” and “Welcome.”
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