As the umbrella organisation of young media makers in Europe, the European Youth Press advocates for journalists’ rights to expression and freedom in their reporting. EYP issues statements to press freedom violations that take place in the countries it’s operating in; organises capacity building for its member organisations in press freedom campaigning; trains young journalists to know their rights and to use tools for their protection both online and offline; and upholds the topic of freedom of expression in international youth fora.
The Free Our Media! project
In 2015, European Youth Press organised a special project that stretched throughout the whole calendar year. Called “Free Our Media! Media Freedom in Europe – Limited Edition?”, the project focused on the need of a 100 % free media and young journalists as changemakers. It brought together Media Freedom Ambassadors to two international trainings, from April 29 to May 3 in Podgorica (Montenegro) and from July 15 to 19 in Berlin (Germany). In addition, participants organised local public consultations with young activists, members of civil society organisations and media makers in their countries.
During the project, the events lead the participants to develope a concrete strategy to enhance media freedom in different countries. Media professionals and activists aged between 18 and 30 from Germany, Denmark, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Macedonia, Armenia, Ukraine, Russia, Belarus, the United Kingdom, Czech Republic, Hungary and Romania acted as Media Freedom Ambassadors to carry out the project.
One of the main project outcomes was the Free Our Media! comic book. In the project, young cartoonists developed together with the Media Freedom Ambassadors stories that illustrate the current state of media freedom in Europe. The book was conceptualised by illustrators and visual educators Yorgos Konstantinou and Marcus Mazzoni. The book can be downloaded for free in the Apple iBook Store: http://apple.co/1MLpHj1
Another outcome of the project was the educational platform about press freedom that is hosted by project partner Index on Censorship, as part of their Mapping Media Freedom campaign. It is a useful tool for young media makers by gathering all sorts of tips, materials, reports, information about events and training sessions in one place. The online platform makes it possible for professionals to easily connect with their peers. In addition to that, it looks to encourage journalists to take action and run their own campaigns and mobilise.
The project was financed by the Council of Europe’s European Youth Foundation.