The Power of the Crowd: media freedom goes Leipzig


Journalists’ oppression is a big problem in Europe, although it may not be something one automatically associates with the region. I’m a journalist myself and have been in Europe several years, but hadn’t given this much thought before I started writing for the European Centre for Press & Media Freedom (ECPMF).

The non-profit is located in Leipzig but covers all of the European Union plus enlargement countries, and has multiple partners. The Leipzig Glocal is one of the media partners for its upcoming annual conference.

Participants at the ECPMF's European Media Freedom Conference 2015, Leipzig. (Photo: ECPMF)
Participants at the ECPMF’s European Media Freedom Conference 2015, Leipzig. (Photo: ECPMF)

The ECPMF focuses on highlighting and fighting violations to media workers’ rights. It supplies them with useful information, legal resources, a forum to speak out, and even a residency program for those particularly under threat.

It’s also very much open to meeting members of the general public who are interested in media freedom matters. And this is where you come in.

On 6-7 October, the ECPMF will hold its 2nd European Media Freedom Conference, on the campus of the Leipzig School of Media. The theme is “The Power of the Crowd.”

Ticket prices range from €150 full to €75 reduced (students, pensioners and already approved ECPMF members). The fee covers food and drinks, plus access to any panel you’d like. Also, you get to network with potential employers, find out about funding sources for your media project, or simply hang out with fascinating people passionate about the media freedom cause.

They come from all over Europe and have all kinds of stories to tell. For instance, Turkish journalists Can Dündar and Erdem Gül are the recipients of the €30,000 award to be presented at the conference. (The Media Foundation of Sparkasse Leipzig gives the award anually to journalists who have shown special mettle in defending press freedom.) Also, several members of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, which revealed the Panama Papers, are expected to attend.

Other participants include representatives from the European Commission, the Robert Bosch Foundation, the Open Society Foundations, Reporters Without Borders, the EFJ / IFJ, and big media outlets (e.g. Channel 4 News, MDR).

As far as topics of interest go, you may want to check out the presentation on 7  Oct. by Tassos Morfis from AthensLive, a crowdfunded news portal by young journalists. He can tell you about the ups and downs of launching a crowdfunding campaign for a startup.

Besides that, Bündnis Privatsphäre Leipzig will hold a walk-in workshop the first afternoon on security of your data and mobile devices. Also on 6 Oct., the panel “Experts from elsewhere” will look into how immigrants including refugees are contributing to the societies they chose as their new homes and how both sides can benefit.

Does that sound good? Here’s more. You can get a pair of tickets for free by answering the following question: What’s your favorite topic, column or section to read, hear or view in the news?

Send your answer to with the subject line: Media Freedom 2016. We’ll have an e-mail raffle and contact the winner on 29 September. Please note that the tickets do not include coverage of travel costs.

ECPMF’s Michelle Trimborn contributed to this report.

For more information about the European Media Freedom Conference 2016, and to sign up to attend, visit the official website.

A Global Studies doctoral degree holder and former newspaper reporter, avid eater, pseudo-philosopher and poet, occasion-propelled singer, semi-professional socializer, movie addict, Brazilian-American nomad. In this space, she will share some of her experiences and (mis)adventures regarding various topics, with special attention to social issues.

Default thumbnail
Previous Story

"Captain Fantastic:" a dystopian utopian reality?

Default thumbnail
Next Story

Round and round we go

Latest from Action