Media Freedom coalition calls on the OSCE to appoint a new Representative on Freedom of the Media without delay

The Representative on Freedom of the Media, an independent OSCE Institution, has a unique mandate to protect and promote media freedom in all 57 OSCE participating States. The current mandate holder, Dunja Mijatović of Bosnia and Herzegovina, is due to leave the Office on 10th March 2017. To date, there has been no announcement of her successor. The International and European Federations of Journalists (IFJ and EFJ), together with a wide coalition of freedom of expression organisations (including AEJ, Article 19, CPJ, Index on Censorship, IPI and RSF/RWB), sent today a letter to OSCE Participating states, urging them to press…

Ukrainian authorities must ensure the safety of journalists

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) today, in Kiev, calls on Ukrainian authorities to comply with their commitment to respect freedom and pluralism of the media. The EFJ joined the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Dunja Mijatovic to call on Ukrainian government and Russian-backed separatists to increase efforts to ensure safety of journalists on the frontline of the war in east Ukraine. The General secretary of the EFJ, Ricardo Gutiérrez, is in Kiev today to attend the international conference “Safety of Journalists: An Imperative for Free Media, Freedom of Expression and Public Order” organized by the Ministry of…

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…

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…

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…

Polish government to restrict journalists’ access to parliament

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) has today strongly condemned the latest attack on media freedom by Poland’s ruling Law and Justice party (PiS) to restrict media access parliament. Several thousand people have protested on Friday, Saturday and Sunday in Warsaw over the government’s plans to impose restrictions on media coverage of parliament. The rules proposed by the head office of the Sejm, the lower house of parliament, will ban all recording of parliamentary sessions. Only five selected Polish TV stations will be allowed to record or broadcast parliamentary sessions. The new rules will also limit the number of journalists allowed…

The future of news is linked to journalists’ working conditions

On 1st December, the Council of Europe’s Steering Committee on Media and Information Society (CDMSI) invited the EFJ, digital start-ups and media groups to discuss  “Media adaptation strategies and expectations” together with representatives of the Council of Europe government representatives. Rasmus Kleis Nielsen, Director of Research at the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism of Oxford University, presented at the outset the results of a recent study on Challenges and opportunities for news media and journalism in an increasingly digital, mobile and social media environment –   prepared for the Council of Europe on this topic. “The move to an…

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