ECPMF adopts the Mapping Media Freedom project

From March 2019, the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF) has adopted the website Mapping Media Freedom (MMF). This portal has ceaselessly reported on press and media freedom violations in EU Member States and neighbouring candidate countries since 2014. Thereby it has become a monitoring tool of outstanding importance. At any given time, it described the many difficult conditions and threats faced by European journalists, media workers and outlets. The attention it raised by reporting violations to press and media freedom helped to protect this basic civil right.

Until the ECPMF’s adoption of MMF, the British-based press freedom organisation, Index on Censorship, developed and managed MMF – financially supported by the European Commission within the ECPMF framework. Due to Brexit, the ability of Index on censorship to manage MMF ends. Now the responsibility of managing MMF falls on the ECPMF’s shoulders.

How the platform will develop in the future?

Change of management usually symbolises a change of direction and content. However, the ECPMF will strive to continue the excellent work started by our partners at Index on Censorship. Our objective will be to maintain and preserve the general mission of MMF, to be the go-to page for media freedom violations. This objective is even more important in the current climate, where many populist and nationalist political movements and governments consider journalists and media outlets as “enemies of the people”.

On the other hand, the change offers the opportunity to think over and adjust various aspects of the platform. Currently the ECPMF is weighing various options on how to improve the methodology to gather threats and violations to media freedom and to improve the user experience of MMF. Researchers at the University of Leipzig are currently supporting the ECPMF in this methodological restructuring. Moreover, the ECPMF has to ensure funding for the platform in the coming years. This is why we cannot keep a high frequency of posts for the time being. We still invite users to submit alerts on violations of press and media freedom, as the former network of professional correspondents is no longer contributing to the platform. Therefore, the MFF maps do not give a current but a historical view on violations to media freedom in European.

Nevertheless, the MFF will serve as a useful tool in this transition phase. The ECPMF press team will keep the blog content of MMF up to date.


What type of content will users see on MMF?

The ECPMF will keep on delivering two types of posts on the MMF website: alerts and news articles.

Alerts will be short posts, usually of no more than two paragraphs, which will concisely provide the basic confirmed facts about a violation of press and media freedom. The sources for alerts will be original information gathered by the ECPMF or reports from our network in the European media freedom community – or messages the MFF users send to the editorial team.

News articles will go deeper into the facts and context of a confirmed or possible violation of press and media freedom. This type of content will also provide space to explain how certain events are threats to media freedom


How does this takeover affect the ECPMF website

Since the MMF website will serve as the reporting point for alerts and news articles on possible and actual press and media freedom violations around Europe, the ECPMF website will focus instead on selected advocacy campaigns.

However, the ECPMF’s social media channels will keep the same level of activity on threats and violations, since they will synergize with those of the MMF.

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Keep us posted if you recognize any violation of press and media freedom. We have to watch out to protect our basic civil rights and our democratic way of living – together.