The International Press Institute (IPI) today joins the partner organisations of the Council of Europe’s Platform to Promote the Protection of Journalism and Safety of Journalists in publishing the 2022 annual report, which identifies growing challenges for media freedom across the region.

While European countries still pack the first ranks in press freedom indexes, the report finds, red lights are flashing. In 2021, 282 alerts from 35 countries have been submitted to the Platform, up from 200 in 2020, an increase of 41%.


Six journalists have died in 2021 in the exercise of their profession. Three of them – in Greece, the Netherlands and Turkey – were directly targeted. Another journalist died in Georgia following the violence while covering street protests.

Journalists are also increasingly vulnerable to direct attacks on their physical safety and integrity, the report found. In 2021, there were 82 alerts in that category, a 51% jump compared to 2020. Many of those took place during public protests.

At the end of December 2021, 56 journalists and media actors were in prison in CoE member states: in Azerbaijan, the Russian Federation, Crimea (territory of Ukraine illegally annexed by the Russian Federation), Turkey and the United Kingdom.

The report was finalised in the shadow of the Russian Federation’s invasion of Ukraine on 24 February 2022, which has led to serious attacks and killing of journalists in Ukraine, as well as blanket state censorship of all truthful reporting about the war in Russia.

The report – “Defending Press Freedom in Times of Tension and Conflict” – was written by the Platform’s partner organisations, a coalition of fifteen press freedom NGOs and journalists associations including IPI. It highlights key areas of law, policy and practices affecting media freedom and safety of journalists in Europe and identifies actions required to improve effective protection of journalists.

On April 27, the partners held a launch event at the Brussels Press Club. Click here to watch the full recording.