World Press Freedom Day: ECPMF launched international writing competition “One thousand words for freedom”

(Leipzig) On World Press Freedom Day the ECPMF launched its writing competition “One thousand words for freedom” at the Leipzig International School. The competition is now open until 30th June.

onthousandwords presentation Jean Whyatt diskuss with students from the Leipzig International School at the launch of the international writing competition “One thousand words for freedom” (Photo: Leipzig International School)

The European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF) is proud to announce its first competition for young writers.

Young people under 27 are invited to write one thousand words about what press and media freedom means to them. This can take the form of an essay, a newspaper or magazine article, poem, play or blog post in many different languages.

ECPMF´s Jane Whyatt and Katharina Mikulcak presented the competition first on World Press Freedom Day in front of 250 students from age 13 to 17 from Leipzig International School.

Questions raised from the students varied from “Is Online also journalism?” to “Is it ok if someone pays journalists to NOT publish a story”? ECPMF went into a lively discussion that showed: press and media freedom is an issue for every democracy and it is known amongst the young generation. But there is a clear need to go from an abstract idea of freedom of expression into “true stories”.

Students from the Political Debate club had some strong views. For example, Anna Duka said

‘What really bothers me is that some things that are opinions are presented as facts. The other day I read something about the AfD (right-wing political party in Germany), presented as a fact: ”They hate Muslims”. But then you look it up and you find that it was her commenting “ This is what you would want me to say” and not what she actually said. They choose what to present to you as opposed to giving you all the facts.”

And Vladimir Sivkov added:

You can never be sure that the media is giving you just pure facts. Because it will always have some kind of biased thinking. This can never be changed, no matter what we do – unless we just give pure statistics and facts.”

The competition is now open and we encourage young people Europe wide to participate.

The winning entries will be published at the ECPMF website and the winners will be invited to the 2nd European Media Freedom Conference in Leipzig in October 2016.

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