Incentivising media rights and plurality by supporting good practices in Western Balkans and Turkey

“How to improve the precarious state of journalism in South East Europe and Turkey” was the topic of a press conference held by the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) on 14th November 2017 at the Press Club Brussels. The press conference took place in the framework of the EFJ project, Building Trust in Media in South East Europe and Turkey – a project supported financially by UNESCO and the European Union. Andris Kesteris, principal advisor at DG for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations (NEAR) at the European Commission and Tarja Turtia, UNESCO Programme Specialist, attended the event to hear representatives of…

Media Days urges political leaders to ensure press freedom in Western Balkans

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) welcomed the focus, that European Union has provided, when over 250 representatives of media, stakeholders and policymakers from the Western Balkans and the European Union met at the EU Western Balkans Media Days in Tirana, Albania, on 9 and 10 November 2017, dedicated to the important role of media in the accession process. Two panels and six workshops gave the opportunity for participants to exchange their views and work on forward-looking initiatives for independent, sustainable and professional media, in a region where the media freedom situation is not only slow to improve, but also in some…

Contracts and collective bargaining for all: “Social Europe”

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), along with the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) and other European trade union organisations, submitted on 6 November its position on the 2nd phase consultation on the revision of the Written Statement Directive (931/55/EC) trying to extend the right for a written contract and social protection to self-employed workers. The EFJ, along with the ETUC, request in their response that Member States should ensure that all workers (including self-employed workers) have the right to fair remuneration in accordance with national law, collective agreements or practice at the appropriate level in conformity with national industrial…

Studies find precarious employment tied to digitalisation and the gig economy

The grey area between employment and self-employment, symptomatic in the media sector, has been highlighted by two recent studies focusing on online work and the “gig economy”. The separate 2017 studies, one by Eurofound (the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions) and the other by Heyes and Hastings from the University of Sheffield, suggest a precarious status of employment for ever more workers. This precarity is tied to digitalisation and the “gig economy”. The study by Eurofound focuses on digital platform work. The most reliable estimate of this type of work among European Union member states is from the United Kingdom, where…

Berlin forum: With quality against lies and hate in the net

How to deal with audiences, how to create trust, how to create facts instead of fakes and what must be done for good journalism to survive. This and many other central questions around fake and facts were discussed on 16 October at the ninth Forum of the “Initiative Qualität im Journalismus (IQ)” in Berlin with about 80 media experts. Professor Tanjev Schultz said that given the speed of false news and propaganda in today’s social media, good journalism is ever more important and can only survive when it is  better than its “loud critic” offer. He explained that lack of…

EFJ-IFJ statement on article 11 of the draft copyright directive on copyright in the digital single market

The EFJ-IFJ 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. Journalists’ contributions to press publications and informing citizens must be recognised and duly protected and remunerated. Their authors’ rights, namely their economic and moral rights, including the right to integrity and paternity, must be duly acknowledged. Freedom of contracts too often results in contractual arrangements where journalists are forced to sign away their rights. These so-called buy-out contracts should be outlawed and there shall be no presumption of transfer of…

EFJ’s reaction to President Juncker’s State of the Union Speech

Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission, has made his State of the Union speech outlining his vision for the future of Europe. Commenting on the State of the Union speech, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) welcomes his commitment to address the social dimension of the digital single market in particular in the area of social and workers’ rights. In his speech, President Juncker said: “In a Union of equals, there can be no second class workers. Workers should earn the same pay for the same work in the same place.” Ricardo Gutiérrez, EFJ General Secretary said: “We welcome…

How to ensure editorial independence in the newsroom?

Journalists are facing increasing economic and political pressure hampering editorial independence in the newsrooms, concluded 20 journalists who attended the two-day workshop on Promoting editorial independence in the newsrooms. It was co-organised by the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) together with the European Trade Union Institute (ETUI) on 29 & 30 August with the financial support of the European Union. The workshop was also supported by the Association des journalistes Professionnels (AJP, Belgium) alongside their yearly Summer School for young journalists in Belgium. Journalists coming from 13 European countries (including Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Estonia, France, Finland, Macedonia, Montenegro, Lithuania, Russia,…

Turkey: 35 warrants to detain journalists and media workers

Turkish authorities have arrested 9 journalists and media workers and issued warrants to 26 others accusing them of ties to the Gulenist movement blamed by the government for orchestrating last year’s attempted coup. According to Turkish state media Anadolu Agency, Turkish police carried out raids today issuing warrants and arresting media workers suspected of using an encrypted messaging app called ByLock, which is supposedly favoured by Gulenists. Journalist Burak Ekici, who works for opposition newspaper Birgun, is among those arrested, accused of “membership of an armed terrorist organization”.  The IFJ and EFJ denounced the repeated accusations of “terrorism” by the…

Belgian Ministers asked to help release French journalist Loup Bureau

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) has joined an initiative launched by the journalism school attended by the French journalist Loup Bureau calling on the Vice Prime Minister and the Minster of Foreign Affairs to help free the arrested journalist in Turkey. Bureau’s fellow students at the Brussels School of Journalism and Communication (IHECS) together with the EFJ, the Professional Journalists’ Association of Belgian and other educational institutions  has written to the Belgian government today for their help to release Bureau. Bureau was arrested on Wednesday 2 August by the Turkish police following five days of detention in southeastern Sirnak…

Public service media in Bosnia and Herzegovina closer to sustainable funding

Public service media in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) has signed an agreement with the electric company Elektroprivreda – JP EP on the collection of TV license fee through the electricity bills starting this month. With this agreement, the Radio and Television of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BHRT) will be provided with a steady income of independent funding and will be able to start investing in new technology and programming. The other domestic electric companies will be offered the same contract and the BHRT expects a positive outcome. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) along with the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) welcomes…

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