European Federation of Journalists

Transparency of media ownership: Twitter started to label some “state-affiliated” media

Twitter introduced on Thursday new labels to identify accounts belonging to government officials and senior staff of state-backed media. Key government officials such as foreign ministers, ambassadors and official spokespeople will receive the label, as will accounts belonging to “state-affiliated” media entities, their editors-in-chief and their senior staff, Twitter said. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) is in favor of transparency of ownership of all media, but is wary of labelling initiatives that do not appear transparent or that do not seem to be based on objective criteria. The Twitter label appears as part of an account’s bio and is…

Turkey: “Journalism still resists and survives here”

This article was originally published on 5 August by Nieman Reports, and is reprinted here with the kind permission of the author, Emre Kizilkaya, a 2019 Knight Visiting Nieman Fellow who is currently the editor of journo.com.tr. Original title: “As Erdoğan Cracks Down, Turkey’s Independent Journalists Need Digital Skills and Business Acumen” – “Turkey’s mainstream media has imploded, and it will not come back even after Erdoğan” Shooting a glance at the uncanny paraphernalia on my desk feels like watching a “Breaking Bad” teaser: A fist-sized rock near my monitor, a half-burnt tear gas canister on the rock, holding a…

EFJ calls on Belarusian authorities to release Vitali Shkliarov

A columnist for “Novaya Gazeta” and high-profile political analyst has been detained in Belarus ahead of a tense election. Belarusian journalist and writer Vitali Shkliarov has been arrested on 29th July. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) calls on Belarusian authorities to release immediately Vitali Shkliarov. Vitali Shkliarov was detained after the State security service KGB announced it had arrested 33 so-called “Russian mercenaries” allegedly plotting to destabilize the country ahead of the presidential election. According to media reports, he was arrested because of his close cooperation with one of the presidential campaign candidates, Sergey Tikhanovsky, a popular 41-year-old YouTube blogger,…

Serbia: Journalists’ associations targeted by a financial probe

The Serbian Finance Ministry’s Money Laundering Prevention Department sent a request on 13 July to banks asking them to provide information related to bank records of 37 civil organisations, media and 20 individuals. The affiliates of the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), the Journalists’ Association of Serbia (UNS) and the Independent Journalists’ Association of Serbia (NUNS) appear on this list. The request is about all Serbian dinar and foreign currency accounts and transactions from January 2019 and is aimed “to establish whether the NGOs and individuals are connected to money laundering or terrorism”. The list, which also includes Balkan Investigative…

120 alerts in 4 months: first MFRR-report documents severe threats to media freedom across Europe

DOWNLOAD THE FULL REPORT HERE The year 2020 seems to add another sad chapter on the decline of media freedom in Europe. Main reasons were the impact of the Covid-19 crisis, police violence and online harassment. Find all details in first MFRR-report. The monitoring report compiled by European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) and International Press Institute (IPI), with support from ECPMF, gives unprecedented insight into the threats to media freedom in EU member states and Candidate Countries. Within the monitored period from March to June a total of 120 alerts were registered on the mappingmediafreedom.org platform from two-thirds of the countries covered…

New EU report calls for permanent European fund for journalists

The European Parliament issued at the request of its LIBE Committee a new report on the safety of journalists and the fighting of corruption in the European Union. Led by Professor Tarlach McGonagle, the study concludes that journalists’ working conditions are deteriorating and calls for the creation of a permanent European fund for journalists in the framework of the next EU Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF 2921-2027). The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) strongly supports this proposal. The dramatic dismantling of media pluralism in Hungary, in some cases with the help of EU funds, shows that it is high time for…

In Hungary EU funds are used to finance pro-government media

The political interference at Index, one of the last independent news outlets in Hungary, requires a strong reaction from the leaders of the European Union. The move contravenes the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, which is a legally binding charter. The EU should feel responsible: issued on Thursday, the EU Media Pluralism Monitor (MPM2020) states that “EU-funds are constantly used to finance pro-government media and spread anti-EU messages” in Hungary. Inaction on behalf of the EU leaders allows Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán to tighten his authoritarian grip. Yesterday, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) together with its Media Freedom Rapid…

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