Freedom of expression, though guaranteed in all European constitutions, is under pressure in a lot of countries. The concentration of media ownership, the increasing surveillance of communication and other factors impede the free flow of information among European citizens.
Journalists all over Europe have experienced forms of obstruction while doing their jobs, seeing their rights to obtain and publish information violated. These forms of obstruction range from threats of violence or imprisonment, over surveillance, to denial of access to information. Newsrooms have been raided, material confiscated, and journalists have been subject to smearing campaigns and other attacks on their professional credibility. The threats come not just from organised crime, but also from white-collar business and from authorities.
If you know about a breach of freedom of expression in your country and need time and money to document it, you can apply for the Freedom of Expression Grant. The application deadline is September 15, 2015, at 11.59 pm Brussels time. The applications will be assessed by a jury, appointed by the ECPMF and Journalismfund.eu. The applicants will receive a final answer by October 10, 2015.
Apply for a grant here. To apply, you have to submit a pre-researched working hypothesis on how to document the alleged breach of freedom of expression, including a work plan, a budget and a letter of intent of publication. Your information will be kept confidential. Planned publication should be no later than January 2016.
Both individual journalists and teams from a Council of Europe member country can apply for the grant. There is a total of €10,000 to distribute. The funds for the grant are part of the establishment of the ECPMF in Leipzig, Germany.