Free Press Unlimited and European Centre for Press and Media Freedom today became partners of the Platform to promote the protection of journalism and safety of journalists, through which organisations promoting media freedom inform the Council of Europe about serious concerns about the safety of journalists and alleged attacks to media freedom.
Ruth Kronenburg, Director of Operations at Free Press Unlimited, and Lutz Kinkel, Managing Director of the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom, signed the agreement to join the platform during a meeting with the Council of Europe Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland.
The two new partners join another 12 organisations and institutions already active in the platform: Article 19, the Association of European Journalists, Committee to Protect Journalists, the European Broadcasting Union, the European Federation of Journalists, Index on Censorship, the International Federation of Journalists, the International News Safety Institute, the International Press Institute, Pen International, Reporters Without Borders and the Rory Peck Trust.
Their last media freedom report provides a disturbing picture of the worsening general environment for the media across Europe: the number of attacks on journalists has grown continuously, reported threats doubled last year and there has been no progress in a number of long-standing cases of impunity for murder of journalists.
In 2019, the partners have so far published 94 alerts concerning 21 countries, two of them referring to the killing of journalists. Since April 2015, when the platform was launched, the partner organisations have published 604 alerts concerning 39 Council of Europe member states. They refer to physical attacks on journalists, including murder, the detention and imprisonment of journalists, impunity, harassment or intimidation of journalists, and other acts that have a chilling effect on media freedom.