Media freedom is top priority, says government of Republic of Macedonia

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) was invited to meet important stakeholders on media including the leadership of the host, the Association of Journalists of Macedonia (AJM)  on 8-9 May 2018 in Skopje. The meetings were part of a project on building capacity of  the AJM. The EFJ also met Tamara Chausidis, the President of the Trade Union Of Macedonian Journalists And Media Workers (SSNM) and some photo journalists  to coordinate common work and discuss some major challenges photo journalists face in Macedonia. On 9 May, Renate Schroeder, EFJ Director together with Dragan Sekulovski, Director of the AJM met with Robert Popovski,…

EFJ’s expert group’s report on journalists’ working conditions

A new report about journalists’ labour rights in Europe was published by the Labour Rights Experts Group Plus (LAREG+) of the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) on May 2018. It contains national reports about journalists’ labour rights from the following countries: Albania: Without support for increased labour rights and protections for freedom of expression, trust in media cannot be increased. Bosnia & Herzegovina: It is believed that bad working conditions also affect the quality of journalism. If the pay were higher and working conditions were better, this would have a positive effect on journalism. Kosovo: Media owners should provide working…

EFJ calls for investigation into death of Russian journalist Maksim Borodin

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) calls again for an investigation into the suspicious death of Russian journalist Maksim Borodin. From Ekaterinburg (Ural, Russia), where he is attending the EU International Conference on Professional Standards and Ethics of Journalism in the Digital Age, the EFJ General Secretary Ricardo Gutiérrez calls on Russian authorities to conduct a thorough investigation into the death of Maksim Borodin. He died a month ago, after falling from the balcony of his fifth-floor apartment, on 12 April in Ekaterinburg. “It is not the first time we face such a “mysterious” death in Russia. Public authorities should…

RIA Novosti journalist held on treason allegations in Ukraine

The EFJ-IFJ has submitted the following alert to the Council of Europe’s platform to promote the protection of journalism and safety of journalists : Kyrylo Vyshynsky, a Ukrainian journalist working for Russia’s state-run news agency RIA Novotsi in the Ukrainian capital Kyiv, was detained on 15 May 2018 on allegations of treason. His arrest came hours before raids by Ukrainian security service (SBU) at the news agency’s offices. According to media reports, the authorities suspected Vyshynsky, who was granted Russian citizenship in 2015 by Presidential decree, of allegedly collaborating with Ukrainian armed separatists in Eastern Ukraine. The prosecuting officials in…

Investigative reporter Pavla Holcova’s phone seized after eight-hour interrogation related to Jan Kuciak’s murder

Investigative journalist Pavla Holcova, former colleague of Jan Kuciak and founder of the Czech Center for Investigative Reporting, was interrogated by the Slovak National Crime Agency during eight hours on Tuesday 15 May, after which her phone was seized. Ms Holcova had been working with Jan Kuciak on behalf of the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) when he was murdered and had therefore previously helped police telling what she knew. She first believed this new summons was another meeting to help investigating the murder of Jan Kuciak. But the interrogation lasted over eight hours and was not about Kuciak’s killing. In…

EFJ meets Estonian MEPs to discuss Baltic fact-finding mission

Following the EFJ-ECPMF fact-finding mission to Estonia and Lithuania, Renate Schroeder, director of the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) met with the office of Kaja Kallas (ALDE), Yana Toom (ALDE) and the office of Indrek Tarand on 15 May 2018, all Estonian Members of the European Parliament (MEP) to discuss the findings of the report. According to the mission’s findings, the biggest problem is neither fake news nor Russian propaganda, but the economic pressure on media creating a culture of “clicktivism”. Although journalistic codes of conduct in Estonia are in place and the government refrains from regulating the media market, editorial independence and…

1700 journalists on strike at Norwegian public broadcaster NRK

The 1700 journalist members of the Norwegian Union of Journalists (NJ) at the Norwegian Public Service Broadcasting NRK went on strike today, after negotiations and mediation did not lead to a new collective agreement. The European Federation of Journalists and the Broadcasting Expert group expressed their solidarity with the journalists on strike at NRK and NJ. According to the EFJ affiliate, NJ, the NRK wants to replace around 100 journalists every year. During the negotiations, the NJ demands that NRK takes responsibility for necessary mid-career training, updating and competence needed for the future. They also demand the NRK to close…

Montenegrin investigative journalist Olivera Lakić shot and injured

The European and the International Federation of journalists (EFJ/IFJ) joined its Montenegrin affiliate, the Trade Union of Journalists of Montenegro (SMCG) in condemning the attack on Vijesti journalist Olivera Lakić, who was shot in the leg outside her home on 8 May 2018, in Podgorica. She was taken to the hospital and remains in stable condition after a man shot her in the right leg, while two other men ran away, according to Vijesti’s editor-in-chief. Olivera Lakić is working as an investigative journalist for the daily newspaper Vijesti. She is known for investigating crime and corruption in Montenegro. According to media reports she…

Campaign to improve journalists working conditions in the Western Balkans and Turkey

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) is today (08/05/2018) launching a video campaign to raise awareness about the poor working conditions of journalists and media workers in the Western Balkans and Turkey as documented by the European Commission’s Enlargement package 2018 published in April 2018. Together with the support of its affiliates in the region, the EFJ is putting the focus on Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Turkey, where working as a journalist too often means job insecurity, low wages and attacks. This campaign aims to push for better working conditions in order to support the production…

Workshop: Robot Journalism – Should we be afraid?

Registration extended until May 28 for the MediaRoad event Robot “journalism” is already the reality in many newsrooms churning out content faster than we can consume. News organisations are increasingly experimenting with robot journalism using computer programmes to analyse data and produce news stories because robots are more productive. But how much do we know about these robots behind the news? Are they friends or foes of journalists? Should journalists be afraid or take advantage of the technology to improve their working conditions and quality of journalism? This workshop will focus on these questions and explore the pros and cons…

WPFD : Statement of solidarity with prosecuted Belarusian journalists

On the eve of the World Press Freedom Day 2018 (WPFD), the European Federation of Journalists expresses its solidarity with prosecuted journalists in Belarus. Unfortunately, the working conditions for journalists in Belarus cannot be regarded as free at all nowadays. Since 2015, the Belarusian official authorities have started a repression campaign against freelance journalists, who cooperate with foreign media. As a result of this campaign, the Belarusian journalists were fined 69 times for the alleged illegal production of mass media products in 2017. The Belarusian Association of Journalists (BAJ), which is a local member of EFJ, has always considered the…

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