European Parliament calls for respect for media freedom in Poland

In the European Parliament plenary sitting in Strasbourg, 15 November 2017, the European Parliament called on Poland to respect the rule of law concerning media freedom, independence of the judiciary, freedom of assembly, sexual and reproductive rights, and asylum-seekers’ access. The Socialists & Democrats (S&D) group president, Gianni Pitella, called on Poland to improve its situation of media freedoms and criticised the government’s interference on media organisation. State limitations of media freedom in Poland have been recognised by the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ). Last December, mass demonstrations took place in Warsaw against government plans to restrict journalists’ access to parliament. In July…

Italian journalists protest against mafia attack on journalists

Today, 15 November 2017, the Italian Secretary of State for the Interior, Marco Minniti, has met with leaders of the National Federation of Italian Press (FNSI), a member of the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) to discuss journalists’ concerns for press freedom. Daniele Piervincenzi, a journalist for Italian TV RAI, was assaulted by Roberto Spada, the brother of a mafia boss, when he approached him for an interview about the local elections in Ostia, on 7 November 2017. Following the report from FNSI, the EFJ condemn the assault and filed a complaint to the Council of Europe Platform to protect the safety of…

More than 81,000 citizens call on the European Commission to protect whistleblowers

On 14 November 2017, representatives from the European Federation of Journalists, Eurocadres, the European Public Service Union (EPSU), Transparency International and WeMove.eu met with Tiina Astola, the Director General of DG Justice. They handed over the 81,000 signatures and the list of 80 organisations participating in the WhistleblowerProtection.eu platform. The platform and the petition were initiated by Eurocadres in October 2016 with the aim to push the European institutions to protect whistleblowers at the European level with a directive. During the meeting, the group highlighted the recent good news in the work for EU-wide whistleblower protection: The Parliament adopted, with a large majority, a…

Incentivising media rights and plurality by supporting good practices in Western Balkans and Turkey

“How to improve the precarious state of journalism in South East Europe and Turkey” was the topic of a press conference held by the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) on 14th November 2017 at the Press Club Brussels. The press conference took place in the framework of the EFJ project, Building Trust in Media in South East Europe and Turkey – a project supported financially by UNESCO and the European Union. Andris Kesteris, principal advisor at DG for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations (NEAR) at the European Commission and Tarja Turtia, UNESCO Programme Specialist, attended the event to hear representatives of…

Media Days urges political leaders to ensure press freedom in Western Balkans

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) welcomed the focus, that European Union has provided, when over 250 representatives of media, stakeholders and policymakers from the Western Balkans and the European Union met at the EU Western Balkans Media Days in Tirana, Albania, on 9 and 10 November 2017, dedicated to the important role of media in the accession process. Two panels and six workshops gave the opportunity for participants to exchange their views and work on forward-looking initiatives for independent, sustainable and professional media, in a region where the media freedom situation is not only slow to improve, but also in some…

Denmark: draft bill on trade secrets fails to protect journalists and their sources

The Danish Union of Journalists (DJ) criticised in a letter sent to the Danish Patent and Trademark Office on 3 November 2017, the draft bill on trade secrets which is being discussed in Denmark in order to comply with the directive 2016/943/EU ‘on the protection of undisclosed know-how and business information (trade secrets) against their unlawful acquisition, use and disclosure’, adopted by the European Parliament and Council on 8 June 2016. The Danish Union considers that the bill in its present form does not contain the necessary protection for journalists and whistleblowers in cases of trade secrets’ disclosure serving the public interest.…

European Parliament: fighting racism and xenophobia in the media

‘Race, racism and xenophobia in a global context III’ was the topic of  conversation on 9th November, in a conference organised by Italian Member of the European Parliament (MEP), S&D Cecile Kyenge in collaboration with New York University (NYU). EFJ director Renate Schroeder attended the conference, to speak about the ever more challenging role of journalists in an age of increased racism and hate speech. Opening the conference, the organisers addressed the representations of people of colour in public space and the media. Speaker Debora Spini from NYU Florence argued that right-wing media portrays a racialized narrative of Islam, in which people of colour and ethnic minorities pose a dangerous threat to Western women. Representations…

Event: How to improve the precarious state of journalism in South East Europe and Turkey? 14 November, Brussels

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) invites you to its event “How to improve the precarious state of journalism in South East Europe and Turkey”, which will take place on the 14th of November 2017 at the Press Club Brussels, in the framework of the project “Building Trust in Media in South East Europe and Turkey”. With financial support from the EU and UNESCO, the project seeks to strengthen freedom of expression, access to information, free, independent and pluralistic media, ensuring that journalists and media are key drivers for democratic, sustainable and peaceful development in the region. On this occasion, seven…

New report analyses journalism education in South East Europe

A new report “Back to the Drawing Board: Crafting the Ideal Journalism Education Curricula for South East Europe”, published in November 2017, analysed the current state of journalistic education in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia. The main goal of the research is to create a set of indicators to evaluate study curricula in journalism across the SEE region. These indicators are to assist journalism faculties in ascertaining whether their curricula in journalism correspond to the overall state of the media in their countries and whether they enable students to acquire adequate journalism skills to help them maintain high professional…

Contracts and collective bargaining for all: “Social Europe”

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), along with the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) and other European trade union organisations, submitted on 6 November its position on the 2nd phase consultation on the revision of the Written Statement Directive (931/55/EC) trying to extend the right for a written contract and social protection to self-employed workers. The EFJ, along with the ETUC, request in their response that Member States should ensure that all workers (including self-employed workers) have the right to fair remuneration in accordance with national law, collective agreements or practice at the appropriate level in conformity with national industrial…

Studies find precarious employment tied to digitalisation and the gig economy

The grey area between employment and self-employment, symptomatic in the media sector, has been highlighted by two recent studies focusing on online work and the “gig economy”. The separate 2017 studies, one by Eurofound (the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions) and the other by Heyes and Hastings from the University of Sheffield, suggest a precarious status of employment for ever more workers. This precarity is tied to digitalisation and the “gig economy”. The study by Eurofound focuses on digital platform work. The most reliable estimate of this type of work among European Union member states is from the United Kingdom, where…

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