Norwegian Union of Journalists signs freelance framework agreement

The Norwegian Media Businesses’ Association (MBL) signed an unprecedented  framework agreement for freelance journalists with the Norwegian affiliate of the European Federation of Journalists, the Norwegian Union of Journalists (NJ), concerning purchase, sale and copyrights of freelance materials on Wednesday, 21 March 2018.  The NJ had been in negotiations with the MBL to establish this framework agreement since April 2016. The purpose of the agreement is to ensure predictable frameworks for freelance jobs. The framework agreement will take effect on 1 April 2018. It requires an individual agreement to be concluded between the freelancer and the employer. The NJ and the MBL will prepare templates for  agreements which…

EFJ Workshop: Digital journalism and new business models

36 journalists, union leaders and media experts from 20 European countries discussed issues around new business models and trends in (digital) journalism from 15-16 March 2018 in Nuremberg, Germany. With great enthusiasm participants explored recent trends in journalism,  successful new models in financing journalism and the role of unions and associations to best service their members in this process of change. The first panel “What is trending in journalism” included academics, publishers and an editor in chief from a local newspaper, all giving interesting insights in changes in the media eco-system,  its impact on the work of journalists, use of…

EFJ urges EU Parliament to protect right of access to information after Kuciak’s murder

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joined 61 civil society organisations on 13 March 2018 in a letter to the European Parliament calling for stronger safeguards for journalists and citizens who exercise their right of access to information in the wake of murdered Slovakian journalist Ján Kuciak. The statement was sent to all 751 Members of the European Parliament in preparation of a plenary debate on “Protection of investigative journalists in Europe: the case of Slovak journalist Ján Kuciak and Martina Kušnírová” in Strasbourg on 14 March 2018. The letter underlines the importance of the right to access to information in fighting…

Media Against Hate Conference calls for higher ethical standards and effective self-regulation in journalism

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) held the final conference of the 18-month campaign ”Media Against Hate” to counter hate speech in the media in Brussels, on 5-6 March 2018. The conference was attended by around 60 participants from all over Europe including journalists, community media, media regulators, journalists’ unions, IT companies and policymakers. Harlem Désir, the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media opened the conference with a keynote speech. He emphasised high ethical standards in journalism and effective self-regulation are key to combat hate speech and disinformation in the media. Mr. Désir said, ” This is a challenging…

Switzerland: Clear votum for public service media

For the two EFJ member organisations in Switzerland,  impressum and syndicom the very clear no to “No Billag” confirms that the Swiss population wants to preserve quality media. 71% voted against #Nobillag in yesterday’s referendum. The “No Billag” initiative – a reference to the Billag firm that collects the media licensing fee – divided Switzerland along political and generational lines. The majority of the population does not want to set aside public service media and is aware that media pluralism is in danger, if one can only rely on private and commercial media, says syndicom. The public referendum against «No Billag» has confirmed the…

CoE Commissioner for Human Rights concerned about safety of journalists in Serbia

“Serbia has to establish an adequate environment for media work” said today Nils Muižnieks, Council of Europe (CoE) Commissioner for Human Rights, following a four-day follow-up visit to the country carried out from 19 to 22 February 2018. As concerns freedom of the media, the Commissioner noted the agreement of all media actors that he met that Serbia has a solid legislative framework governing this field. ”Serbia also has great investigative journalists, some of whom have been presented with prestigious international awards. The Commissioner for Information of Public Importance, whose importance for investigative journalists’ work cannot be overstated, is a…

EU directive on transparent and predictable working conditions

Responding today to the European Commission’s proposal for a Directive on Transparent and Predictable Working Conditions, Esther Lynch, ETUC Confederal Secretary, welcomed some important improvements, although this reform is not the game-changer unions needed or expected. “Many of the provisions in this new measure, replacing the Written Statement Directive, represent a significant improvement. For example, all workers will be entitled to a written statement from the first day of employment. This means seasonal agriculture, domestic, on-demand, intermittent, voucher-based and platform workers will be effectively covered. And the Directive goes further in proposing very helpful provisions to ensure that online platforms…

openMedia: exposing commercial influence on news media

The recently launched openMedia project aims to investigate and expose commercial interference in editorial decisions. The project is run by openDemocracy with the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) as a partner alongside the Index on Censorship and King’s College London. The project believes that there has not been enough of a concerted, ongoing spotlight on the extent and effects of commercial influence over the media, despite the dangerous consequences it poses for press freedom. For now, the project focuses on 47 countries across Europe but also has ambitions to expand. Despite the recent launch, the project is adamant that it…

European Court: holiday pay for freelancers and bogus self-employed

On 29 November 2017, the European Court of Justice ruled in favour of paid annual leave for self-employed and bogus self-employed workers. Now, anyone who has been bogus self-employed can demand additional payment for annual leave. Article 7 of Directive 2003/88/EC of the European Parliament and Council of 4 November, 2003, provides 4 weeks of paid annual leave for every worker, and the European Court has said that this must not be thwarted by employers. The case came to the European Court after a British case in which Mr King, retiring after 13 years of employment, sought to recover payment…

Belarus: harrassment against freelance journalists on the rise

On 16 November 2017, the Belarus Association of Journalists (BAJ) in cooperation with the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), organised a one-day meeting in Minsk focusing on “The Perspectives and challenges for freelance journalism in Belarus and Europe”.  Around 40 journalists, including media lawyers, EFJ/IFJ affiliates and the EU Delegation to Belarus, discussed how to best put the desperate issue of freelance journalism at the heart of local and national authorities in Belarus and the European Union. Renate Schroeder from the EFJ, Michael Hirschler from the German Journalists’ Association (DJV), and other colleagues from the EFJ’s Freelance Expert Group (FREG)…

Manifesto of Venice against gender-based violence

The “Manifesto of Venice”, a manifesto for gender equality and correct information, will be launched on the World Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and Girls, on 25 November 2017. Signed by 800 journalists, including directors of national newspapers in Italy, the manifesto will be launched by the EFJ affiliate in Italy, the Federazione Nazionale Stampa Italiana (FNSI) Equal Opportunities Committee (CPO). It is a result of their collaboration with the CPO of Unione Sindacale Giornalisti Rai and Giornaliste Unite Libere Autonome (GiULiA), following a proposal by the Veneto Journalists’ Union. “We, journalist signatories of the Manifesto of Venice, are…