Council of Europe: blocking online content is serious interference with freedom of expression

Blocking of online content and social media, throttling of internet traffic and shutdowns of entire websites constitute the most serious interference with online expression, preventing information from reaching its intended audience, states the fifth annual report by the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Thorbjørn Jagland. The report analyses the state of democracy, human rights and the rule of law in Europe, based on the findings of the Council of Europe monitoring mechanisms and bodies. Among the main findings, the focus was drawn to the freedom of expression, especially concerning the troubling tendencies of intimidation and threats against journalists around Europe –…

Finnish public broadcaster fights online hate speech with dialogue and respect

One of six Finnish journalists have received some form of threats connected to their professional work, revealed a survey, conducted by the Union of Journalists of Finland (UJF) in 2016. Among them, topics focusing on issues related to immigration, asylum seeking and Russian interference prompt the most negative response and the highest number of attacks against journalists online. The Finnish newsrooms developed a number of measures and protocols to address the rising issue of online harassment, which proved to be successful. One of the advanced steps has been implemented by the public broadcaster Yle by introducing community management, which is…

Migrants and ethnic minorities are underrepresented in media

A collaboration of a team of media scholars, Jakob-Moritz Eberla, Christine E. Meltzerb, Tobias Heidenreicha, Beatrice Herreroc, Nora Theorind, Fabienne Linda, Rosa Berganzac, Hajo G. Boomgaardena, Christian Schemerb, and Jesper Strömbäckd, resulted in a publication “European media discourse on migration and its effects: a literature review“, which sets to explore the landscape of media research covering the media discourse on immigration and its effects across Europe. The literature review addresses a general problem of under-representation and depicting migrants as delinquents or criminals. Although, media framing differs for specific migrant groups and used discourses, immigration coverage is often negative and conflict-centered, the publication shows. Repetitive exposure to negative messages on migrants leads to…

Examining and assessing PSM editorial guidelines of the Western Balkans

A new publication on editorial guidelines or codes of conduct in the public service media of the Western Balkans was drafted by Renate Schroeder, director of the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), and presented during a launching event of the EU-funded project “Technical Assistance to Public Service Media in the Western Balkans” in Tirana, Albania, in June 2018. The project is managed by the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) in close cooperation with the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), in collaboration with the EFJ, Austrian public broadcaster ORF, the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network and the Office of the Eurovision News Exchange…

Major questions about journalists in Portugal: Precarity, low wages, gender gap and early retirement

A survey in Portugal, performed by University Institute of Lisbon (ISCTE-IUL), aimed at analyzing the working conditions of Portuguese journalists, exploring the diversity of journalists, and identifying the main constraints and challenges. Almost 1 500 journalists were surveyed between 1st of May and 13th of June, 2016, with 78 questions on the current situation and their future, for the data to be comparable to international data. There are 6 161 journalists holding a professional licence or its equivalent in Portugal, according to The Comissão da Carteira Profissional de Jornalista (CCPJ), 16th March 2018, with 51.8% male and 48.2% female journalists. The survey…

Report about fact-finding mission to Estonia and Lithuania

A new report about the fact-finding mission conducted by the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) and the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF) which investigated the media situation in Estonia and Lithuania from 22 to 24 January can be found here. Members of the mission interviewed almost 30 experts: representatives of the government, academia, press councils, public service media, journalists‘ organisations, investigative journalists, editors-in-chief and CEOs of major media companies. The two Baltic states were chosen in the wake of a wave of disinformation spread by Russian specialists during the US election campaign. The question, whether the comparatively small societies of Estonia and…

#MPM2016: No country free of risk on media pluralism, shows report

In 2016, the Media Pluralism Monitor (MPM) examined media freedom and pluralism indicators in 28 European countries as well as in Montenegro and Turkey, two applicant countries. The Centre for Media Pluralism and Media Freedom (CMPF) released on Friday (19/05/2017) the report which shows alarming trends, in particular when it comes to journalistic profession including working conditions, safety, protection of sources, access and the role of unions and associations in protecting journalists. The report especially emphasized that no country is free from risks when it comes to media pluralism. The risks were examined under different aspects and potential threats, related to…

UNESCO launches a handbook for journalists covering terrorism

The UNESCO launched on Thursday (02.02.2017) at the Press Club Brussels Europe its new publication “Terrorism in the Media: A Handbook for Journalists” written by Jean-Paul Marthoz, Belgian journalist and longtime press freedom and human rights activist. Guy Berger, Director for Freedom of Expression and Media Development at UNESCO, presented the handbook together with the author. What to do in a hostage situation? Should journalists help the victims first? Should they refrain from disseminating some information at authorities’ request? The handbook provides key advices and reflection to media and journalists in the situation of covering a terrorist attack. It also…

Rights and Jobs in Journalism: Building Stronger Unions in Europe – New handbook launched

In the past years, the media industry has undergone drastic changes due to the emergence of new technologies in the way news are produced and consumed as well as the structural changes driven by the economic crisis. Journalists’ organisations themselves also undergo changes to renew their commitment and strategies to counter new challenges. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) launched a handbook within the framework of a project, ‘‘Rights and Jobs in Journalism: Building Strong Unions in Europe’’, showcasing best practices of journalists’ organisations undertaken to tackle new challenges. The handbook was launched in a final conference held in Zagreb…

Safety and solidarity for journalists in Ukraine

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) have today launched a report on the safety of journalists in Ukraine in 2014 during a conflict reporting conference organized by the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) in Vienna. The report was prepared by IFJ/EFJ affiliates, the National Union of Journalists of Ukraine (NUJU), the Independent Media Trade Union of Ukraine (IMTUU) and the Russian Union of Journalists (RUJ) in a joint IFJ/EFJ initiative to document the lessons and experience of the Ukraine conflict for journalists. The handbook details the range and scope of restrictions…

TTIP: EFJ complains to the EU Ombudsman

On Monday, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), ClientEarth, the European Environmental Bureau, Friends of the Earth Europe, and the Corporate Europe Observatory jointly submitted a complaint to the EU Ombudsman regarding maladministration by the European Commission in relation to access to documents relating to the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). The complainants note, and welcome, the own-initiative investigations launched by the European Ombudsman in relation to the transparency of the TTIP negotiations and the public consultation, and the decision published on 6 January 2015. We furthermore note the publication by the Commission of additional documents on its website on…

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