Workshop: Investigative journalism and defamation law in Greece, 18-20 October

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), the European Center for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF) and the International Press Institute (IPI) invite journalists and unionists to a three-day workshop on Investigative journalism and defamation law, to be held in Thessaloniki (Greece) from 18 October to 20 October. On Days 1 and 2, trainers and contributors from Greece and other European countries will work together with participants to describe the working environment for investigative journalists in Greece, and identify challenges and possible opportunities for them to develop their work. They will also present financial tools and funding models for investigative journalism, as well…

Azerbaijan: EFJ/IFJ denounce “politically motivated” dismissal

The European and International Federations of Journalists (EFJ/IFJ) today condemned the “politically motivated” dismissal of an Azeri journalist working for APA Holding Media Organisation on 12 September. Journalist Gasimov Farahim Ilqar posted a photo on Facebook showing the success of a rally organized recently by the National Council of Democratic Forces, an umbrella organisation uniting part of the country’s opposition forces, and which had been sanctioned by the government. The demonstrators were protesting in the frame of an upcoming referendum that would give Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev greater powers and a longer term in office, media reported. The journalist told that…

Germany: The BND draft law must protect journalists

The European Federations of Journalists (EFJ), along with its German affiliates – the Deutscher Journalisten-Verband (DJV) and the DeutscheJournalistinnen- und Journalisten-Union in ver.di (dju in ver.di) – urges the German Bundestag to back off on the revision of the Bundesnachrichtendienst –BND law, following the strong opposition of many media organisations and the OSCE. The draft law foresees to increase BND’s capabilities to spy on non-EU citizens outside of Germany. No exemption is made for foreign journalists or editorial offices outside the European Union: they would be subjected to surveillance without an explicit court order. This law would legitimise a practice…

Death threats against Serbian journalists must be investigated

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joins its affiliates – the Croatian Journalists’ Association, Association of Macedonian Journalists, Association of BiH Journalists, Association of Kosovo Journalists, Union of Montenegro Media and Independent Association of Serbian Journalists – to strongly condemn the brutal death threats against Nedim Sejdinović, President of Independent Association of Vojvodina Journalists (NDNV) and Dinko Gruhonjić, NDNV Program director. Threats were sent by anonymous letter to NDNV in Novi Sad (Serbia). The letter called on Sejdinović to resign as President of the Independent Association of Vojvodina Journalists if he and his colleague, Dinko Gruhonjić, do no want to “be found swimming in the Danube”. Hate…

Greece: auction for TV licenses threatens media pluralism

Update (27/10/2016): On 26 October 2016, the Council of State ruled the TV licence law unconstitutional. ———————- The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) backs its Greek affiliate, the Journalists’ Union of Athens Daily Newspapers (JUADN), to denounce the closure of four out of the eight private TV channels, leading to thousands of job losses, after the decision of the Greek government to launch a multi-million euro auction for four private TV licences despite protests by broadcasters and journalists. The EFJ strongly supports the mobilisation of media workers in the protest to safeguard media pluralism and independent journalism in Greece. Early this year, the Greek government has passed…

EFJ-IFJ welcome proposed EU directive strengthening authors’ contractual position

The European Commission today published a proposal for a directive on authors’ rights that would help give more power to journalists. The proposal provides mechanisms to address authors’ and performers’ weaker contractual position when negotiating terms for use of their work. The federation welcomed the proposal as a “great step forward” in protecting journalists’ authors rights and called on EU institutions to do their utmost to improve authors’ remuneration in the upcoming legislative process. While acknowledging the “weaker contractual position” of authors and performers, the draft directive on copyright in the digital single market would establish three mechanisms to help secure…

The authors’ group welcomes the EU directive proposal on copyright

The European Commission presented on 14 September its proposal for a directive on copyright in the digital single market. The Authors’ Group* – representing more than 500 000 authors, including writers, literary translators, composers, songwriters, journalists, photographers, film/TV directors and screenwriters in Europe – welcomes the directive, in particular the proposal to address the key issue of creators’ weak bargaining position in their contractual relationships and fair remuneration in contracts. The Authors’ Group supports the European Commission’s commitment to address problems related to the forced transfer of rights of authors to publishers, producers and broadcasters. Achieving a well-functioning market-place for…

European and Russian journalists to discuss coverage of EU affairs and portrayal of Russia in media

A group of Russian journalists and editors are meeting their European Union counterparts in Brussels on the 15th and 16th September for a seminar entitled “Journalistic standards in reporting the EU and the portrayal of Russia: against stereotypes in the media”. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), in association with its affiliate the Russian Union of Journalists (RUJ), will host this two-day event in the Residence Palace. The meeting is part of an initiative spearheaded and funded by the EU Delegation to the Russian Federation. The seminar will draw on the expertise available in Brussels in the area of professional reporting of the…

Sanar Yurdatapan: “Civil society can help oppressed journalists”

The European and International Federations of Journalists (EFJ/IFJ) organised a press conference on 12 September on the theme: Turkey’s failed coup: implications for journalists, unionists and human rights activists at the Press Club in Brussels. Sanar Yurdatapan, a Turkish composer, human rights activist and initiator of Freedom of Expression Initiative-Turkey, was invited to speak about the prior and post-coup situation for freedom fighters. After showing a video footage showing the escalation of hate speech at the highest level in the country, he gave a brief picture of today’s Turkey where oppression, insults and threats towards media, activists and opposition parties have become a common place.…

Turkey’s failed coup: implications for journalists, unionists and human rights activists

The European and International Federations of Journalists (EFJ-IFJ) invite you for a press briefing on “Turkey’s failed coup: implications for journalists, unionists and human rights activists”, with Sanar Yurdatapan, Initiative for Freedom of Expression-Turkey and moderated by Mehmet Koksal (EFJ-IFJ). It will take place on Monday 12 September from 10:00 to 12:00 at the Press Club Brussels, 95 rue Froissard, in Brussels. Şanar Yurdatapan is a composer and human rights activist. Born in Susurluk (Turkey) in 1941, he became well-known as a composer and song-writer during the 1970s.  In 1979, he established DEMAR (Democratic Artists Community).  Following the military coup of 1980, he left…

Croatia: EFJ alarmed by extended term for acting general manager of public service media HRT

The Croatian technical Government decided to extend the term to Siniša Kovačić as acting HRT general manager from 6 months to 1 year besides internal and external opposition. With early elections scheduled for September 11, the technical government in July opened a ten-day-consulting process on a decree to amend the law on the Croatian Radio-Television, HRT in order to allow the acting head of HRT to stay on for a year, instead of six months, which is the timeframe stipulated under the existing law. While the regulation says that the present acting HRT general manager term shall be expanded until…