Resources to support journalist safety in Europe


Logo: Voices of Ukraine


Since 24 February 2022, Ukrainian journalists and journalism itself have been at constant risk. The full-scale war initiated by Russia against Ukraine presents ongoing challenges to the existence and development of independent Ukrainian media. These challenges include security threats, financial instability, staff shortages due to mobilisation to the Armed Forces of Ukraine, psychological stress, energy supply issues, free speech-related challenges, and more.

According to the IMI of Ukraine, in the two years and two months since the full-scale invasion began, Russia has committed 589 crimes against journalists and media in Ukraine.

As of June 2024, there have been more than 350 media freedom alerts involving more than 600 attacked persons or entities related to media documented on Mapping Media Freedom during the full-scale war in Ukraine.

233 Ukrainian media outlets have been forced to shut down.

In response to the challenges faced by Ukraine’s journalistic community, ECPMF has launched the Voices of Ukraine programme.

About the project:

Voices of Ukraine is ECPMF’s programme to support Ukrainian media, initiated with the backing of the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs. This programme is part of the Hannah-Arendt-Initiative by the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Federal Commissioner for Culture and Media, aimed at protecting journalists at risk. The Hannah-Arendt-Initiative supports journalists threatened by the war in Ukraine and contributes to strengthening independent journalism.

Our Mission:

To strengthen local journalism in Ukraine amidst the full-scale war, ensuring independent media can continue to disseminate critical information. By providing grants and support, we help journalists maintain their essential role in informing the public.

What is included in the programme? 

Voices of Ukraine by ECPMF offers support in eight areas and is implemented by ECPMF in collaboration with six other organisations:

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Direct support through emergency grants by Public Interest Journalism Lab:

70 regional editorial offices are to be supported with grants. 84 emergency grants will be available for media professionals and editorial offices.

Initiative’s aim

To support local editorial offices in Ukraine, especially in areas with a significant lack of media. The grants ensure that well-established local editorial offices can continue their work to provide communities with quality information. Financial support focuses on small regional media in frontline areas and displaced media from the occupied territories in 2024-2025.

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Short-Term-Residence in Ukraine by Lviv Media Forum:

50 journalists and their family members are taking part in the short-term residency in Ukraine.

Initiative’s aim

To strengthen the mental resilience of Ukrainian journalists and prevent professional burnout. By offering a targeted short-term residency programme, participants will be equipped to handle the psychological challenges of their profession, regenerate their mental state, and gain emotional resources for sustainable performance.

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Training and publication support by European Centre for Press and Media Freedom:

30 Ukrainian articles are to be published on the news website Voxeurope in several languages. 30 Regional editorial offices are to be supported in the realisation of training and further education measures.

Initiative’s aim

To make the work of Ukrainian journalists accessible to a wider European audience and raise awareness of Ukrainian issues. Collaboration with authors supports content creation, strengthening Ukrainian voices on European platforms.
The training fund provides financial resources for tailored courses on digital security, personal protection, first aid, and war reporting. These trainings will be conducted according to the specific needs of local editorial offices, enhancing their operational effectiveness and safety.

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Technology Support by The Fix Media Foundation:

310 cases of technical support.

Initiative’s aim

To support media professionals in Ukraine, especially journalists and small local or hyperlocal media, in replacing damaged or lost equipment. The provision of financial resources is intended not only to cover immediate needs but also to improve the future viability of Ukrainian reporting by replacing outdated technology. The aim is to help journalists be more mobile and productive in difficult times and to stay online and able to work during possible power outages and other emergencies.

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Journalist-in-Residence Kosovo by Association of Journalists of Kosovo:

Up to 20 Ukrainian journalists (including relatives) are to find protection in the JiR Programme Kosovo. 5 Afghan journalists are to find protection in the JiR Programme Kosovo.

Initiative’s aim

To provide comprehensive support and a safe space for journalists affected by war and conflict. The initiative aims to achieve several key outcomes:
– Protection and security for journalists and their families.
– Safeguarding the freedom of the press.
– Support for professional development.

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Special support for female journalists by Women in Media:

180 female journalists receiving emergency assistance.

Initiative’s aim

To improve the mental and physical health of female journalists, supporting them and enabling them to continue working as journalists in Ukraine. The programme includes psychological support through self-help groups and health checks tailored to women’s needs, ensuring comprehensive care and support.

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Insurance for journalists on the front line by Association of Regional Press Publishers of Ukraine:

1,140 days of insurance coverage to be provided for media professionals. 100 media professionals are to take part in the safety training.

Initiative’s aim

The aim is to offer comprehensive support for frontline journalists, ensuring they can effectively and safely fulfil their reporting roles.
To provide flexible, needs-based insurance for journalists, cameramen, photo correspondents, and fixers working on the front line in 2024 and 2025. This insurance covers injury and death, ensuring 24/7 availability.
The programme includes online digital security training and offline HEFAT (Hostile Environment and First Aid Training) to prepare media representatives for dangerous situations and promote their safety.

The overarching objective for the years 2024 and 2025 is to support regional media and journalists to improve their sustainability and strengthen their living and working conditions. By focusing on local editorial offices and journalists, the project ensures a broad impact on the media landscape in Ukraine.

Support for Ukrainian Journalists

The Programme Voices of Ukraine, implemented by ECPMF, is part of the Hannah-Arendt-Initiative and is funded by the German Federal Foreign Office.

Support for Ukrainian Journalists

More about ECPMF

The European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF) is a non-profit organisation that was founded in Leipzig, Germany in 2015. It operates on the basis of  the European Charter on Freedom of the Press and the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union.

The vision of the Centre is a society where media freedom enables open discourse and everyone can seek, receive, and impart information. ECPMF’s mission is to promote, preserve, and defend media freedom. We do this by monitoring violations, providing practical support, and engaging diverse stakeholders across Europe.