German journalists concern over media concentration due to newspapers takeover

Journalists and their unions in Germany expressed concerns over the sale of newspaper Donaukurier to the larger publishing house Passauer Neue Presse (PNP). The Bavarian Journalists’ Association, a member of the German Federation of Journalists (DJV) warned that the deal will result in further media concentration and uncertainty for the journalists  working at both Donaukurier and PNP. In response to this development, the journalists’ unions in Germany including DJV, (dju) in ver.di and BJV will organise a protest on Saturday 24 November in the Passauer Fußgängerzone, Bahnhofstr. 2-4 (in the City Gallery). The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) supports the action…

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…

Enforcing labour rights for journalists in South East Europe and Turkey

Enforcing labour rights and improving working conditions for journalists remain challenging in South East Europe and Turkey, as concluded in the Labour Rights Expert Group meeting of the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) on 26 October in Zagreb. The meeting is partly funded by the UNESCO as part of the project “Building trust in the media in South East Europe and Turkey” that enables labour rights experts from the region to exchange views with their colleagues. Erisa Zykaj, journalist and representative from the Association of Professional Journalists of Albania (APJA) said that the enforcement of labour rights is yet to…

Swiss journalists campaign for collective agreements

Swiss Employment Law is designed liberally and the protection of employees is quite weak compared to other countries. In Switzerland, due to the different circumstances in each language area, the working conditions in the media industry vary from one area to another. While a Collective Agreement for journalists does exist in the French-speaking part of Switzerland, journalists in the German- and Italian-speaking parts have been working without one since 2004 and are therefore constantly facing the consequences of the lack of protection. However, there is reason to hope that this long lasting state of affairs may come to an end…

UK government to roll out anti-trade union laws

The UK government is planning to introduce anti-trade union laws that will restrict strikes and hamper the basic human rights of workers, says the National Union of Journalists (NUJ), an EFJ affliate in the UK. According to the NUJ, the proposed bill aimed at curtailing trade union activity would impose a minimum 50% turnout in strike ballots, with public sector unions requiring at least 40% of those eligible to vote. Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary said: “Forget the language of fairness and rights being peddled by the Tories – this is the most cynical of attacks designed to finish what…

UK: Newsquest journalists on 12-day strike over redundancy

Employees of Newsquest, one of the UK’s largest regional newspaper publishers with more than 200 papers and owned by the US company Garnett, are on strike over major reorganization, compulsory redundancies and salaries, as some of them are not paid the London living wage. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) today joined their affiliate in the United Kingdom and Ireland, the National Union of Journalists (NUJ), and supported a 12-day strike starting today in south London by the Newsquest Media Group’s workers. After failure of negotiations with the management that took place until…

Radio France journalists on strike against budget cuts

Journalists and media workers at Radio France have been on strike since Thursday 19 March called by the unions (CGT, CFDT, FO, Solidaires and Unsa) to oppose the budget cuts. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) and its Broadcasting Expert Group in its meeting on 26 March has expressed their support to the journalists in Radio France to defend public service broadcasting and their fight to maintain quality journalism and decent working conditions. “The management of Radio France announced a budget deficit of 20 million Euros. The employees are protesting against the potential cut of 300 jobs and the plan for…

Why do they leave journalism?

“Why do they leave journalism?” – This is the question asked to 38 former journalists by journalism student Hélène Brédart in a project initiated at the Université de Liège and reproduced by Jean-François Dumont of the Belgian Association of Professional Journalists (AJP, member of EFJ). The results of the project published in the latest edition of the monthly Journalistes by the AJP show that the deteriorating working conditions and practices in journalism make are major reason why journalists left the profession. The most frequently mentioned reasons for journalists to leave their job are: • Increasing workload: The digital development and restructuring measures are putting…

Deteriorating working conditions undermine press freedom, says study

Deteriorating working conditions of journalists put press freedom in danger, according to a study published by the University of Fribourg and the Federal Office of Communications in Switzerland. The study participated by 1000 journalists who are members of the affiliate of the European Federation of Journalists, impressum, proves that the deteriorating working conditions have a negative impact on press freedom and quality of journalism. The results suggest that economic pressure from advertisers and the media owners are jeopardising the editorial freedom of media. Ricardo Gutiérrez, EFJ General Secretary said: “The conclusions are clear: we fought hard to ensure that press…

Finnish Union Reaches Agreement after Tough Negotiations

The Journalists’ Union of Finland has concluded a new collective agreement for around 4500 journalists and media workers in the print media and news agencies in the country. ‘‘I congratulate our affiliate on the successful negotiation of the new collective agreement under the challenging environment,’’ said Ricardo Gutierrez, EFJ General Secretary. The new agreement reached on 1 October will cover journalists working for online news website and media which was challenged by the employers. Although the union has made a small victory for the salary of journalists by achieving a moderate increase of 1.34% after 26 months, the union has…