Montenegrin investigative journalist Olivera Lakić shot and injured

The European and the International Federation of journalists (EFJ/IFJ) joined its Montenegrin affiliate, the Trade Union of Journalists of Montenegro (SMCG) in condemning the attack on Vijesti journalist Olivera Lakić, who was shot in the leg outside her home on 8 May 2018, in Podgorica. She was taken to the hospital and remains in stable condition after a man shot her in the right leg, while two other men ran away, according to Vijesti’s editor-in-chief. Olivera Lakić is working as an investigative journalist for the daily newspaper Vijesti. She is known for investigating crime and corruption in Montenegro. According to media reports she…

Resolution calls for protection of investigative journalists in the wake of murders of Ján and Daphne

A resolution on the protection of investigative journalists in Europe, passed by Members of the European Parliament (MEPs)  on 19 April 2018 during the plenary session in Strasbourg, calls for better protection of investigative journalists and whistle-blowers. In the wake of the murders of investigative journalists Daphne Caruana Galizia and Ján Kuciak, MEPs demand better protection of journalists who are regularly subject to lawsuits intended to censor their work a permanent financial EU scheme to support independent investigative journalism a draft EU directive to protect whistle-blowers the Commission to address challenges to media freedom and pluralism in the EU better monitoring of media…

New Council of Europe report calls on Montenegrin legislators to ensure professional rights of journalists

The final report “Montenegro Media Sector Inquiry” published on 5 April 2018, expressed the urgent need for Montenegrin authorities to guarantee professional rights of journalists. A group of independent experts carried out a detailed analysis of the Montenegrin media sector from August 2017 until January 2018. Representatives from the EFJ’s Montenegrin affiliate, the Trade Union of Media of Montenegro (SMCG) were consulted for the investigation. The report found that the private Montenegrin media had failed to engage with the SMCG about a collective agreement prepared by the national journalist trade union a year ago. The EFJ backs the recommendation addressed to private…

Hungary: two media outlets forced to close following Orbán’s electoral win

Radio station Lánchíd Rádió as well as Hungarian opposition daily newspaper Magyar Nemzet have shut down on 10 and 11 April 2018. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) is appalled by the latest developments following Orbán’s electoral win, which further narrows media pluralism in Hungary. The Hungarian opposition daily newspaper Magyar Nemzet and its online version were forced to close yesterday due to financial reasons. A sudden increase in rent of the publishing buildings, whose owners are reported to be close to the newly re-elected Hungarian Prime minister Viktor Orbán, led it to cease its media production.  The Hungarian radio station Lánchíd Rádió…

EFJ meets Slovak journalists in aftermath of Ján Kuciak’s murder

The director of the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), Renate Schroeder met with a group of Slovak journalists from various Slovak media on 11 April in the European Parliament to discuss the current situation of journalists in Slovakia and what must be done to better protect (investigative) journalists. The meeting “Slovakia and Malta: killed journalists. What is changing in Europe?” organised by the Information Office of the European Parliament in Slovakia brought together 15 Slovak journalists from  TV Markiza, TV TA3. RTVS- public TV and radio, TV JOJ, Daily SME , Daily DennikN, daily PRAVDA and press agency TASR. Nora Wehofsits, advocacy…

Fact-finding mission report to the Baltics published

A new report about the fact-finding mission conducted by the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) and the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF), which investigated the media situation in Estonia and Lithuania from 22 to 24 January, was published on 9 April 2018. Members of the mission interviewed almost 30 experts: representatives of the government, academia, press councils, public service media, journalists‘ organisations, investigative journalists, editors-in-chief and CEOs of major media companies. The two Baltic states were chosen in the wake of a wave of disinformation spread by Russian specialists during the US election campaign. The question, whether the comparatively small societies…

Serbian journalists attacked by police in Kosovo

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joined its Serbian affiliate, the Journalists’ Union of Serbia (SINOS), the Journalists’ Association of Serbia (UNS) and the Independent Journalists’ Association of Serbia (NUNS) in condemning the attacks on Serbian cameraman Vladimir Milic as well as journalists Dragana Zecevic and Radmila Komazec on 26 March 2018 in Kosovska Mitrovica, Kosovo. They were covering a meeting of the local community about the Kosovo dialogue in the Mitrovica Community Centre. The level of violence was very high as shown in this reportage. Milic, who works for the public television Radio Television of Serbia (RTS), was reportedly attacked by Kosovar policemen who…

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…

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…

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)…

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