On 21 February 2019, The European Commission published three separate calls for pilot projects to promote quality journalism, and cross-border cooperation between media professionals and self-regulatory bodies. They form part of the EU’s drive to promote and stimulate media freedom and pluralism in Europe. The total budget available for the three Calls is 2.2 Million EUR.
The first pilot project, “Exchange of media rising stars to speed up innovation and increase cross-border coverage”, will facilitate the mobility of young media professionals and cross-border cooperation between these professionals and media outlets as a means to promote innovation in the European media sector and foster an environment conducive to quality journalism and media pluralism.
The second pilot project, “Internship opportunities for minority language media”, will give media professionals working with minority language media outlets across Europe the opportunity to undertake internships with leading European media houses. This will contribute to the professionalization of local media and enable the participants to gain a broader and more comprehensive understanding of different media and newsroom cultures.
The third pilot project, “Media councils in the digital age”, will study and map the activities of media self-regulatory bodies (also known as ‘media or press councils’) in the EU. It will also help establishing a platform to facilitate cooperation between these bodies and facilitate their adaptation to the online world.
The closing date for application was 17 April 2019.
The European Centre for Press and Media freedom (ECPMF)
The European Commission co-funded projects run by the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF) and its partners. In 2018, the budget earmarked for the co-financing of the projects was EUR 1 000 000.
As a group of five partners, the ECPMF aims to address media freedom violations and help journalists under threat.
The main task in 2018 was to support investigative reporters: ECPMF, in partnership with IPI provided grants for investigative cross-border assignments. ECPMF offered training in digital self-defence at bespoke workshops to enable journalists to work freely and safely.
The ECPMF operates as an Alarm Centre, serving European media workers at risk. It follows legal and political developments, publishes in-depth journalistic stories, monitors and raises awareness about violations of media freedom and pluralism in Europe.
- Alerts are raised by Index on Censorships "Mapping Media Freedom".
- Ossigeno monitors threats posed to media freedom through organised crime.
- SEEMO focuses on the Balkans, as well as Turkey.
- IPI’s monitoring highlights the chilling effect that abuse of defamation laws can create. This year, the emphasis will be on the Visegrád countries (Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic and Slovakia) and on Spain, working with ECPMF member organisation PDLI
- The online database European Media Freedom Resource Centre and the Wiki4MediaFreedom initiative – compiled and curated by OBCT — work to increase the quantity and improve the quality of online content relating to media freedom and pluralism.
When media freedom is threatened, fact-finding missions in country provide a rapid response.
The ECPMF continues to offer updates on new legislation in the legal stories published on the website and in social media, as well as legal support to journalists who are suffering persecution. In addition, it offers a temporary safe place to live and work with its Journalists-in-Residence programme and aims to help journalists in exile through its networks of contacts.
ECPMF participates in joint advocacy actions with a wide range of international partners.
The European Centre for Press & Media Freedom (ECPMF) promotes the implementation of the European Charter on Freedom of the Press in all of Europe.
In 2017, the budget earmarked for the co-financing of the projects run by the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF) and its partners was EUR 500 000.
- The ECPMF operates as an Alarm Centre, helping European media workers under threat. It follows legal and political developments, publishes in-depth journalistic stories, monitors and raises awareness on violations of media freedom and pluralism in Europe.
- Index on Censorship is monitoring violations with the ‘Mapping Media Freedom Project’
- Ossigeno focuses on threats posed to media freedom by organised crime.
- SEEMO keeps an eye on the Balkans, as well as Turkey.
- IPI’s monitoring highlights the chilling effect of bad defamation laws on the free flow of information.
- The online database European Media Freedom Resource Centre and the Wiki4MediaFreedom initiative – compiled and curated by OBCT — work to improve the quality of content on media freedom and pluralism and to reinforce communication.
In 2016, the European Commission selected three projects following a call for proposals in the field of violations of media freedom and pluralism. The total budget earmarked for the co-financing of the projects was EUR 1 000 000 (the Commission financed up to 70% of the projects costs).
The European Centre for Press and Media Freedom
The European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF) is a membership-organisation and serves as contact point for individual journalists in danger. It researches and registers violations of media freedom and informs the public, via its website and the Media Freedom Resource Centre, an online-platform that collects and systematizes content related to press freedom. Endangered journalists can be supported with legal or financial help and the Journalists-in-Residence-programme, which provides them with a safe shelter.
Mapping Media Freedom #MapMF
Mapping Media Freedom identifies threats, violations and limitations faced by media workers throughout European Union member states, candidates for entry and neighbouring countries. The platform is operated by Index on Censorship and is coordinated within the ECMPF.
The Abuse of Defamation Laws in Europe: Exposing and Addressing the Threat to Media Freedom and Pluralism
The International Press Institute (IPI)'s work under this project aims to address the threat that the abuse of defamation laws, and of criminal defamation laws in particular, poses to the public’s right to information in the EU and in Candidate Countries.
See the Call for Proposals for a Preparatory Action in the field of media freedom published in November 2015 for more information.
In 2015, the European Commission selected two projects following a call for proposals in the field of violations of media freedom and pluralism. The total budget earmarked for the co-financing of the projects was EUR 1 000 000. The projects ran between May 2015 and April 2016.
Creation of a European Centre for Press and Media Freedom
A central element of the project was the establishment of the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF) as an independent non-profit European Cooperative Society in Leipzig. It was formalised in June 2015.
Mapping and Defending Media Freedom in Europe
In partnership with the European Federation of Journalists and Reporters Without Borders, Index on Censorship monitored and reported on violations to media freedom via its mapping media freedom platform.
In 2014, the European Commission selected four projects following a call for proposals published in 2013. Their activities started in early 2014 for a duration of one year.
- Strengthening Journalism in Europe: Tools, Networking, Training
Centre for Media Pluralism and Media Freedom (European University Institute), in cooperation with Center for Media and Communication Studies (Central European University). Read more information on the projects results.
- Strengthening Journalists' Rights, Protections and Skills: Understanding Defamation Laws versus Press Freedom. Find information on the projects results and additional reading on The International Press Institute.
- Taking action and mapping violations of media freedom and plurality across the European Union. Read details of the project results and learn about Index on Censorship's (The Writers and Scholars Educational Trust) work on promoting and defending the right to freedom of expression.
- Safety Net for European Journalists: Read more details on the project results and check for additional information on partners - Osservatorio Balcani e Caucaso, SEEMO, Ossigeno Informazione and Professor Eugenia Siapera (Dublin City University).