The European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF) has opened the 2020 call for its Journalists-in-Residence (JiR) programme for a period of up to six months, between June 2020 and February 2021. The programme is part of the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR), which works to provide swift and efficient support to journalists under threat.
The JiR programme is unique as it provides a safe haven for media professionals from the European Union Member States and Candidate Countries who are at risk and need to take a break away from a hostile working environment. Journalists and other media professionals are given temporary shelter, an opportunity to rest and recover, and – if they so wish – to continue with journalistic work in a safe place without pressure or censorship.
There are three fellowship opportunities, each for a maximum period of six months. Applications can be sent directly by media workers who are under threat, or they can come from referrals of suitable cases that have already been verified by the organiser’s network of international temporary relocation institutions. Applicants can pick a suitable time frame during the period from June 2020 to February 2021. The organiser hopes by then that the coronavirus pandemic will be under control and travel restrictions will be lifted. However – given the situation of the past months – a lot can change, and the timing will be changed accordingly to protect the health and safety of all concerned.
What the programme offers
Participants in the programme are provided with a rent-free, furnished apartment in Leipzig; a monthly stipend of 1,000 euros; and health insurance. Their travel cost to and from Leipzig is covered, and so are all the visa fees. The selected journalists are offered access to the Centre’s wide-ranging network of contacts, as well as optional training sessions in useful professional skills such as secure digital communications and data hygiene. To support the mental health of the journalists in residence, ECPMF provides optional psychotherapy treatment, too.
How to apply
Eligibility: To be eligible to apply, journalists must hold a valid passport, live in the relevant countries covered by the programme, and should have been working as professional journalists for at least three years. They must provide proof of any risk to their person that has arisen as a direct result of their journalistic work. In addition, a sufficient knowledge of either the English or German language is required (minimum level A2), because the programme activities are mainly delivered in English and it is located in Germany.
Option 1): Applications from media workers at risk
If you apply for a specific time frame for your stay, please bear in mind that the programme ends in February 2021.
Please use the APPLICATION FORM and QUESTIONNAIRE pdf-documents provided for your application, which can be found on the ECPMF website. Please fill in these two documents completely, add your CV and a scan of your identity documents. You should save them as pdf-documents, too. Send these 4 pdf-documents, each labelled with your name and the name of the document (XXX_CV.pdf; XX_passport etc.), to the following address: [email protected].
Option 2) Referrals of cases by other organisations
ECPMF will take over appropriate cases that have already been fact-checked by its network partners and provide relocation fellowships in Leipzig to enable a swift reaction to urgent cases.
The same eligibility requirements mentioned above also apply for potential fellows on the Media Freedom Rapid Response track.
How to refer a case to ECPMF: Please get in contact with ECPMF’s JiR Programme Manager by sending an email to: [email protected]. Please include a meaningful description of a verified single case that underlines the importance of temporary relocation for the media worker under threat. A scan of valid identity papers and proof of their journalistic work must also be sent with the referral.
All applications and referrals will be treated as strictly confidential.
In-depth information on the programme, application requirements, the application form, and the questionnaire are available here.
For more information, please contact the JiR Programme Manager at:
[email protected] or +49 341 200 403 16