European Centre for Press and Media Freedom founded in Leipzig

Leipzig, 24 June 2015. Representatives of 20 journalists associations, publishing houses, academic institutions, trade unions and media rights experts from many European countries have founded the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF) in Leipzig today. Based in Leipzig a team of six starts working after the Centre has now been established as an independent non-profit European Co-operative Society (SCE).

The co-operative’s mission is to unite Europe’s highly fragmented media freedom community and to address media freedom violations in EU member states and beyond. Violations of press freedom will be observed, researched, registered and continuously reported to both the public and the political spheres. The ECPMF will work as a registration office, and as contact point for organizations and individuals.

Henrik Kaufholz is head of the Danish investigation initiative SCOOP and appointed the first Chairman of the Executive Board. He states the ambitious aim of the Centre: “The Centre is meant to be the lighthouse of press freedom in Europe. It will bring together different initiatives and promote closer co-operation among European activists. We will strive for common standards of media freedom across Europe.” Read more …

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Foundation

Whoever wants to support and sponsor the development of a free media has to consider more than the mere economic and employment-oriented aspects. A media centre becomes especially important and attractive when it represents a climate where the media’s great responsibility towards society is recognized as a duty as well as a challenge.

The Media Foundation of Sparkasse Leipzig public savings bank wants to contribute to this climate. One of its key commitments is the fostering of training and further education possibilities for young people in the media field. This involves scholarships (e.g. through the Leipzig Media Award), targeted project support, and the organization of civic education events, such as for the commemoration of the Peaceful Revolution of 1989 in Leipzig.

The Foundation projects are financed by the Foundation itself as well as third party contributions and donations.

Every year, the Foundation awards its “Prize for the Freedom and Future of the Media”. In addition, the Foundation awards the “Axel Eggebrecht Prize”, the “Günter Eich Prize” and the “Talent Dove”.

Nikolaisäule (Andreas Lamm)

Sculpture “Nikolaisäule” (“St. Nicholas Column”) as symbol of the “Prize for the Freedom and Future of the Media” (Photo: Andreas Lamm)