Ukrainian radio faces uncertainty after license issues

The future of the Ukrainian broadcasting company “Radio Vesti” is uncertain after the National Council for Television and Radio Broadcasting of Ukraine delays the prolongation of their licenses in Kiev and Kharkov. The company sent the required documents on time in order to renew the licenses, which will expire on February 13 and 19, 2017 respectively. Nonetheless, the National Council isn’t certain on prolongation of the licenses due to the beneficiary issues. Officially the beneficiaries of the broadcasting company are Denis Mozgovoy from Avdeevka and Tatiana Alexandrova from Donetsk, however, the National Council believes that the information is not clear…

Greece: oldest newspapers cease publication following collapse of the most powerful media group

The two oldest newspapers in Greece, To Vima and Ta Nea, were among the publications which were supposed to cease publication last weekend. On Saturday , the media group which owns them, Lambrakis Press Group (DOL), announced the end of their publications “within days due to financial reasons.” The International and European Federation of Journalists (IFJ and EFJ), together with their Greek affiliates, are asking for time to negotiate a long term solution. As a result, over 500 media workers, including 250 journalists, most of whom are members of the IFJ/EFJ Greek affiliate JUADN (Journalists’ Union of Athens Daily Newspapers),…

Greece: stop threats against media pluralism!

The International and European Federations of Journalists (IFJ and EFJ) have strongly backed calls by Greek journalists to prevent banks forcing the closure of the country’s oldest newspapers and threatening up to 500 jobs. The IFJ and EFJ have backed demands from their Greek affiliate, the Journalists’ Union of Athens Daily Newspapers (JUADN), to stop the banks foreclosing on the Lambriakis Press Group (DOL) loans.  The group, which owns the oldest national newspapers To Vima and Ta Nea, is facing serious trouble after the banks threatened to call in their loans. Over 500 media workers, including 250 journalists, most of…

EFJ welcomes European Parliament’s resolution on #Socialpillar

By adopting the draft report on “A European Pillar of Social rights” by Rapporteur Maria João Rodrigues (S&D, PT), the European Parliament adopted the principle of equal treatment saying that  “All workers should have their basic rights guaranteed, whatever their form of employment and contract”. This is one of the main demands the EFJ puts in the response to the Social pillar consultation, which had been initiated by the European Commission, see We thank the rapporteur and the European Parliament for extending the notion of social rights including the right for collective bargaining and joining a union to all workers…

Nadezda Azhgikhina: It’s not too late for an honest Russian-American dialogue

This article signed by the Vice President of the EFJ Nadezda Azhgikhina was initially published in The Nation weekly magazine in the United States. It is reprinted here with the author’s permission. It’s Not Too Late for an Honest Russian-American Dialogue https://t.co/v9jk5xk7gM — The Nation (@thenation) January 17, 2017 During Russia’s extended Christmas holidays, in a town near Moscow, an unemployed man stabbed his potential employer for political reasons during a friendly meal. The employer, who owns a gas station, said that Russians live poorly because of low productivity—that is, a US worker has to work 30 minutes to earn…

German journalists refused accreditation to political conference

The European Federation of Journalists supports its member in Germany, the Deutscher Journalisten-Verband  in requesting  fair accreditation to journalists who wish to attend the European Parliament’s Europe of Nations and Freedom group) conference in Koblenz on 21 January . The meeting,  is to be attended by leaders of Germany’s right-wing populist Alternative for Germany (AfD) as well as Marine Le Pen, who heads up France’s National Front. The leader of the Dutch Freedom Party Geert Wilders and the chief of Italy’s Northern League Matteo Salvini are due to speak at the conference. According to information of the Deutscher Journalisten-Verband, several  journalists who…

Azerbaijan: Survey about the social conditions of journalists

The Journalists’ Trade Union of Azerbaijan published a report on social conditions of journalists in the country in 2016. Overall 51 media outlets took part in the survey, among them national newspapers, information agencies, news portals and TV channels. One of the big issues stated in the report was the lack of individual labour contracts in Azerbaijan.  The media companies prefer to sign short-period contracts, in the best cases 60% of employees had labour contracts, whereas 40-45% had no legally binding documents and relied on verbal agreements. The application of health insurance is extremely low (less than 5% ). The…

A Greek newspaper publisher and its director charged with libel

On 10 January, Greek police arrested the publisher and the director of Parapolitika newspaper, Giannis Kourtakis and Panayiotis Tzenos, following a lawsuit filed against them for libel and attempted extortion by Greek defense minister Panos Kammenos. The EFJ and the IFJ condemned today the massive police raid at Parapolitika headquarters in Athens and the detention of both newspaper executives. Publisher Giannis Kourtakis said he went voluntarily to the police headquarters after being informed about the lawsuit, while director Panagiotis Tzenos was arrested by police in his office, in Athens. Panos Kammenos filed a lawsuit against Kourtakis and Tzenos for allegedly…

Russian editor threatened by government official in Chechnya

The Speaker of the Chechen Parliament, Magomed Daudov, tried to intimidate Gregory Shvedov, the editor-in-chief of Caucasian Knot (Kavkazsky Uzel), an independent online news site that covers the Caucasus, focusing on human rights violations. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) strongly condemned this shameful intimidation. Daudov, aka Lord, posted his threats on the social media website Instagram on 4th January, calling for violence against “Shved”, a clear reference to Grigory Shvedov. The post, titled “How to untie the Caucasian Knot”, is accompanied by a picture of a dog, and calls “for a vet to pull out [Shved’s] wisdom teeth and cut his tongue to size”.…

Serbia: Chilling effect on media freedom by verdict against journalist and editor

The EFJ affiliates in Serbia, Journalist Association  of Serbia,(UNS)  Independent Asossociation of Serbia (NUNS) , Journalists Union of Serbia (SINOS), media society organisations and one foundation published a joined statement to support Belgrade’s leading political weekly NIN in challenging the decision of the High Court in Belgrade which determined that NIN had damaged the reputation of Serbia’s Minister of Interior Nebojsa Stefanovic by publishing a June article which portrayed Stefanovic as “The Phantom of Savamala”, the Court ordered the magazine to pay the equivalent of 2500 euros for harming the Minister’s reputation. Serbia’s journalistic community is shocked that Judge Slobodan…

Montenegro: Investigative journalist Martinovic released while pending trial

Yesterday evening investigative reporter Jovo Martinovic has been released from over a year of detention ahead of his appearance in court on January 19 to answer drugs-smuggling charges while pending trial. He was indicted for aiding and belonging to a drugs-trafficking gang in April 2016 and is due to appear in court on January 19. The EFJ and IFJ in cooperation with its member in Montenegro, the Trade Union Media of Montenegro  (SMCG) had urged in a letter to former Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic in September  to consider his journalistic work as a justifiable explanation for his alleged contacts with…