Finland: disproportionate defamation case against journalist

 Johanna Vehkoo, a Finnish journalist, has been found guilty of defaming local city counselor Junes Lokka by referring to him as a racist and ‘nazi clown’ in a 2016 Facebook post. The politician is known as an anti-immigration activist with a history of making far-right extreme pronouncements, for which he was fined. Vehkoo  has written extensively about ‘fake’ news, hate speech and the problems they pose for journalism. The court found that Vehkoo’s comments on her Facebook page constituted a personal attack on Lokka and that she did not focus her criticism on his politics.  She was ordered to pay…

Serbia: EFJ/IFJ urge restrain from violence against journalists after call for protests at media houses

Following calls for anti-government protests at the Serbian private TV Pink offices, the  European and International Federation of Journalists (EFJ and IFJ) today joined their Serbian affiliates NUNS, UNS and SINOS in urging protesters to refrain from all forms of violence against journalists and appealing to all stakeholders to ensure journalists’ safety and the protection of the media’s property. In statement signed by eight media organisation, including three IFJ and EFJ affiliates NUNS, UNS and SINOS said that citizens have the right to express their dissatisfaction with the social or political situation in the country through peaceful actions, including protests…

Trade Secrets: Changes in favour of journalists’ sources and whistleblowers in Germany

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) together with its affiliates in Germany, German Union of Journalists (dju) in ver.di and  Deutscher Journalisten-Verband (DJV) welcome the fact that the Legal Committee of the German Parliament has approved substantial amendments to the draft law, which is intended to transpose the EU Directive on the Protection of Trade Secrets into national law. “Reason has prevailed in the parliamentary process and given freedom of the press the status that the EU actually intended. This is a success that above all protects the work of investigative colleagues,” said Tina Groll, Federal Chairwoman of the dju…

EFJ study on new business models to promote journalism

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) report “Digital Journalism & New Business Models” underpins the trends in new business models for the digital newsroom: from the British Guardian to the pioneering French Mediapart, from Sweden to Spain, we witness the increase in new funding models, in so-called entrepreneurial journalists who take care of both fundraising and the newsroom and still achieve trusted journalism with the highest editorial standards, values that ground the fourth estate in a democratic society in order to hold the powerful to account. The EFJ Digital Expert Group presents its report on “Digital Journalism & New Business…

New copyright directive makes a mockery of journalists’ authors’ rights

After months of speculation, EU institutions last night agreed the wording of a proposed Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market, which risks journalists being deprived of their authors’ rights and denied ‘’proportionate remuneration’’ for the work they do. The new proposal does introduce the principle of an appropriate and proportionate remuneration for all authors, including journalists, place transparency obligations on publishers and open up the possibility of alternative dispute mechanisms which could avoid lengthy and expensive court cases. It also allows authors to be represented by their unions in that process. The International and the European Federations of…

Sweden: Freelance journalists successfully obtain fee rise

The freelance section of the Swedish Union of Journalists (SJ) obtained a fee rise agreement with several big Swedish newspaper publishers. Agreements were reached thanks to a joint effort of individual freelance journalists, the Swedish Freelance Section of the Swedish Union of Journalists, Frilans Riks, and the local trade union branches at the publishing companies. The SJ issued its recommended new fees for freelance journalists last November to come into effect in 2019. Two Morning papers: Sydsvenska Dagbladet and Helsingborgs Dagblad will be implementing a two percent yearly increase, the first raise since a substential raise in 2015. Sweden’s biggest…

Dutch photojournalists on strike for a payrise to counter inflation, falling tariffs and ignored authors’ rights

The Dutch union of journalists Nederlandse Vereniging van Journalisten (NVJ, an EFJ affiliate) and its photojournalist section the NVF announced on 09/01/2019 that they will be going on strike in protest at the erosion of rates of pay. The NVJ/NVF has written to six prominent Dutch media companies calling for talks before January 11th – with strike action set to go ahead on January 25th if talks are unsuccessful. Already over 200 photojournalists have pledged their support for the action. A national monitor of freelance rates shows they fell from €80 a photo in 2014 to an average rate today of €42…

Survey: remuneration for freelances in magazine sector

This December, the German Association of Journalists (DJV) developed an online survey to record the time freelance journalists need for writing their articles in the magazine sector. The collected data will be used to realistically calculate the personal hourly rate for the freelance journalists working in the magazine sector. The survey was closed on  15th December and the results should be available at the beginning of the new year. The data will be then presented anonymously to the publishers with the goal of guaranteeing fair fees for all journalists and finally agree on Joint Remuneration Rules. The European Federation of…

Netherlands: NVJ adopts plan for equal treatment of freelance & staff journalists

On  28th November, the Dutch Association of Journalists (NVJ) agreed on a “working conditions policy plan” aiming to adapt the rates of freelance journalists in line with the employed journalists. NVJ is negotiating with the publishers to guarantee  4 to 4,5 % salary increase to the publishers association. The NVJ has chosen a comprehensive approach in the negotiations with the publishers to guarantee better rights for both employees and freelancers. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) welcomes this decision in times when more and more freelance journalists suffer precarious working conditions throughout Europe. The plan is part of a broader…

Italy: increasing attacks against status of journalists

On 27 November, Italian MEP Isabella De Monte (S&D) organised the event “The challenges of European Journalism”, taking as an example the recent problems of Italian journalism, such as politicians’ attempts to undermine public media credibility and the difficult economic situation of Italian journalists and media, to discuss about the more widespread attacks to free press throughout Europe. An issue that has to be addressed right now before the European elections with disinformation on the rise said De Monte. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) was represented by its director Renate Schroeder, participating together with Raffaele Lorusso, general secretary of the affiliate Federazione Nazionale della Stampa…

EFJ’s Labour Rights Expert Group to launch a charter on journalists’ working conditions

Members of the Labour Rights Experts Group (LAREG) of the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) convened in Brussels on 31 October 2018 to discuss the latest improvement and deterioration of labour conditions for journalists and media workers in Europe. Journalists’ unions and professional associations of Germany, Italy, Greece, Switzerland, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro and Serbia were represented. For the third year, the enlargement of the existing LAREG to participants from the Balkans and Turkey transformed the EFJ’s expert group into LAREG+, bringing together twice a year representatives from both sides of Europe. The pairing is possible thanks to the EU-UNESCO-funded project…

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