Danish public broadcaster DR to cut 400 jobs

Danish public broadcaster DR will cut between 375 and 400 jobs and close down three TV channels and three radio channels, as a consequence of the package of media reforms agreed by Denmark’s governing right-wing coalition. DR will lose 20% of its funding over the next five years. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joins its affiliate, the Danish Union of Journalists (DJ), in strongly condemning these unprecedented layoffs in what some are calling an act of “revenge” by the Danish government. A significant driver of the cuts is the right-wing populist Danish People’s Party (DF), which is a supporting partner of the…

EFJ condemns Italian government threat to cut indirect state funding to newspapers

Italian government threatens to cut indirect state funding to the press, accusing newspapers of “polluting the debate”. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) join their affiliate the Federazione Nazionale Stampa Italiana (FNSI) in strongly condemning these threats and expressing serious concerns over the press situation in Italy. The government’s announcement was made on 12 September and throughout last week by Luigi Di Maio, head of the populist Five Star Movement (M5S) and key figure in Italy’s government. On his Facebook account, the deputy prime minister threatened the press in a post saying that…

Turkey: Austrian journalist Max Zirngast arrested in Ankara

Austrian journalist Max Zirngast has been detained together with two other Turkish citizens, in the early hours of 11 September by anti-terror authorities in his apartment in Ankara, Turkey. The reason for detention has not been published yet, but according to media reports, he could have been detained on charges of “support for a terrorist organization” and because of his “political publications”. Allegations might be related to his civil and political activism against the Turkish government. Max Zirngast, a political science student at the Middle East Technical University (ODTÜ), was a contributor to a number of left-wing publications, such as Austrian magazine re:volt, US…

Hungary should be sanctioned for violating the Rule of Law, said the European Parliament

For the first time, members of the European Parliament called on the European Union to sanction one of its Member States, Hungary, on Wednesday 12 September. The government led by Prime Minister Victor Orban was accused of silencing independent media, targeting NGOs and removing independent judges, among other violations of democracy and common European values. The text adopted outlines in particular the bad state of freedom of expression in Hungary and the situation of Hungarian media since 2011, which has been constantly raising concerns on the issues of concentration and politicisation of media ownership; media law; self-censorship; denial of accreditation;  targeting of journalists; and…

European Parliament approves new Copyright Directive

The European Parliament today overwhelmingly approved the Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market (DSM) – a major step forward in protecting authors’ rights. The European and International Federations of Journalists (EFJ-IFJ) warmly welcomed the vote which is crucial to ensuring that journalists can make a living from their work and remain independent in their reporting. Independent journalists are essential to the good functioning of democratic societies. Members of the European Parliament today voted in favour of the European Parliament’s legal affairs Committee (JURI) report on the Commission’s proposal for a directive on copyright in the digital single market with 438 for,…

Ukraine: EFJ and IFJ condemn Russian jailing of journalist Roman Sushchenko for espionage

UPDATE 12.09.2018: On 12 September, the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation upheld the verdict delivered by the Moscow City Court to Ukrinform journalist Roman Sushchenko, who was sentenced to 12 years in a high-security prison. The European and International Federations of Journalists (EFJ-IFJ) have urged the Russian authorities to release a Ukrainian journalist given a 12-year sentence for alleged espionage. Roman Sushchenko was sentenced to 12 years in a high-security prison on 4 June 2018, after he was found guilty of spying by a Moscow court. The EFJ-IFJ joined its affiliates the National Union of Journalists of Ukraine (NUJU) and the…

EU Copyright Directive: we call on MEPs to stand up for journalism

The European and International Federations of Journalists (EFJ and IFJ) are calling on Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) to secure journalists’ remuneration and the protection of their authors’ rights when they vote this Wednesday, 12th September at Plenary in Strasbourg on amendments that have been tabled to the draft EU copyright reform. The IFJ and EFJ are concerned about the rampant reproduction and making available of extracts or the entirety of journalists’ and other creators’ works online by third parties without authorisation or remuneration. The organisations support a neighboring right for publishers (article 11) that will include a fair…

Press Conference: Freelance Journalism in Belarus | 18 September

The latest developments in Belarus raise strong concerns on media freedom and journalists’ working conditions. New updates to the National Media Law now prohibits journalists from contributing to any foreign media, as one of many restrictions introduced in June 2018. Cases such as “BelTA” case, increasing arrests, surveillance, libels and fines against editors and journalists are becoming a part of everyday working conditions in Belarus. The European and International Federations of Journalists (EFJ-IFJ) and the Belarus Association of Journalists (BAJ) invite you to a press conference to discuss the increasing threats against freelance journalists and state of media freedom in Belarus with journalists, experiencing the situation first hand. Speakers: Larysa Shchyrakova, a…

Ukraine: court grants access to information from two investigative journalists’ phones

Courts in Kyiv, Ukraine, have granted the Prosecutor General’s Office access to information of mobile data provider of two investigative journalists. This decision is linked to an ongoing investigation against Artme Sytnyk, head of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU), in which a group of journalists are involved as witnesses. On 27 August, the Pechersk District Court of Kyiv granted access to text messages, calls and location logs from the phone of journalist and editor-in-chief of an investigative TV show  “Schemes. Corruption in detail”, Natalie Sedletska. On 5 September, a court in Kyiv has ruled an analogous decision concerning information from the…

The EFJ-IFJ and European Authors urge MEPs to support the Copyright Directive

The European and International Federations of Journalists, together with affiliates from Belgium (AGJPB/AJP-VVJ), Bulgaria (UBJ), Cyprus (UCJ), Czech Republic (Syndikat novinaru Ceske republiky), Denmark (Dansk Journalistforbundet), Estonia (EUJ), Finland (Suomen Journalistiliitto), France (SNJ, CFDT-Journalistes), Germany (DJV, dju in ver.di), Greece (JUADN, ESIEMTH, PEPU-ESPIT), Hungary (HPU), Italy (FNSI), Portugal (SinJor), Romania (FAIR/MediaSind), Slovenia (DNS), Spain (FSC CCOO, FAPE), Sweden (Svenska Journalistförbundet), Switzerland (Impressum), United Kingdom and Ireland (NUJ) and organisations of authors across Europe today issued a joint statement urging Members of the European Parliament to support the proposed Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market. It represents a once in a decade opportunity…

Serbian journalist Dino Jahić faced insults and death threats

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) expresses deepest concerns regarding the insults and death threats targeting Dino Jahić, the editor-in-chief of the Center for Investigative Journalism of Serbia (CINS). The EFJ joined the Western Balkan’s Regional Platform for Advocating Media Freedom and Journalists’ safety in calling on the Serbian and Bosnian authorities to stop discrediting journalists and respect media pluralism as well as freedom of speech. The smear campaign against Dino Jahić started on 21 August 2018, when Milorad Dodik, president of  the Serb-dominated entity in Bosnia (Republika Srpska), accused during a press conference Dino Jahić of drawing on huge…

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