Turkey: Press freedom on trial

The EFJ is closely following the proceedings that started on Monday 24 July in Istanbul against 17 prominent journalists, editors and board members of Cumhuriyet newspaper, including Can Dündar, Kadri Gürsel, Murat Sabuncu and Ahmet Şık. EFJ president Mogens Blicher Bjerregård participated in the court case on 24-25 July and met several journalists and EFJ affiliates. Below a personal account of his impressions: Press freedom must be protected, and not put on trial as it has happened this week in Istanbul with the Turkish newspaper Cumhuriyet. 17 journalists and executives are accused in a completely political and fabricated way for…

President’s speech at the EFJ Annual Meeting 2017, Bucharest

Speech by Mogens Blicher Bjerregård (EFJ President) Journalism in Europe is facing critical times. Media and politics are in an increasing conflict across Europe. More than ever, the fundamental pillar of our democracies, credible – high quality – investigative – journalism is crucial for the citizens. Journalism including all media-workers providing content. Across Europe we have three big challenges: Safety of journalists and journalism How to counter the increasing conflict between media and politics Build social dialogue Being innovative in finding new business models Three journalists have been killed in Europe since our general meeting in Sarajevo – in Ukraine, Turkey and…

Stop impunity, nobody should be free to kill journalists

by Mogens Blicher Bjerregård, EFJ President 827 journalists were killed during the last decade and paid the ultimate price for exercising their job. An appalling and worrying fact documented by the biannual report from the Director General at UNESCO. The safety of journalists and fighting impunity was on top of the agenda during the UNESCO IPDC Council meeting, 17th-18th November 2016 in Paris. IPDC is an UNESCO program for safety of journalists, press freedom and media development. As the representative of Denmark, I delivered the following speech: Eight hundred and twenty seven, 827 journalists, have been killed since 2006. This is…

President speech at EFJ General Meeting 2016, Sarajevo

Speech by Mogens Blicher Bjerregård (EFJ President) Ladies and Gentlemen – distinguished delegates, observers and guests! International solidarity among journalist unions and association is of huge importance as cross border activities in Europe are constantly increasing. Being in Sarajevo listening yesterday at the pre-meeting to the challenges and encouragement you have in Bosnia & Hercegovina, the Balkans, The South Eastern Europe, there is an inspiration of hope. You have the severe problems in collective bargaining, in getting journalists to understand at all, that they have rights, but it is impressive to understand how meet this. After several conferences in this region of…

Speak up 3 Conference: Freedom of expression in the Western Balkans and Turkey

This speech is given by the EFJ President, Mogens Blicher Bjerregård, at the Speak up 3 Conference: Freedom of expression in the Western Balkans and Turkey, held in Brussels on 4 November 2015.   Media, journalists and their organisations in Western Balkans and Turkey are operating in an environment where a lack of respect for the fundamental rights of journalists poses threat to the safety of journalists and media freedom. An important message that has been echoed from conference to conference like this – it is impossible to have quality, independent journalism without decent working conditions. Labour rights are a prerequisite…

Safety and solidarity for journalists in Ukraine

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) have today launched a report on the safety of journalists in Ukraine in 2014 during a conflict reporting conference organized by the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) in Vienna. The report was prepared by IFJ/EFJ affiliates, the National Union of Journalists of Ukraine (NUJU), the Independent Media Trade Union of Ukraine (IMTUU) and the Russian Union of Journalists (RUJ) in a joint IFJ/EFJ initiative to document the lessons and experience of the Ukraine conflict for journalists. The handbook details the range and scope of restrictions…

Opening Speech of Marijana Camović, President of Trade Union of Media of Montenegro

Annual meeting, Budva, Montenegro Opening speech by Marijana Camović, President of Trade Union of Media of Montenegro and host The level of media freedom in Montenegro can best be described by the meagre number of media professionals who are left in the job. Working conditions in the media have never been worse before. Since the beginning of this year, four media outlets have been closed. Among them, only the smallest one which employed a small team compensated their employees. In other media outlets workers were laid off without compensation. Around 15 media outlets have their bank accounts blocked by the…

President’s speech, EFJ Annual Meeting 2015, Montenegro

Safety, rights and jobs Mogens Blicher Bjerregård EFJ President Safety, rights and jobs have been and will be our three keywords in the European Federation of Journalists these years. In solidarity we will work within that framework Safety as has been more an IFJ topic has also become an EFJ issue. I addressed it last November at the annual meeting in Moscow. Unfortunately, we see more journalists killed in Europe than ever, journalists are jailed for doing their job. Journalists are beaten and the digitization challenges protection of sources. Rights: Labor rights, rights to organize without being expelled from the…

EU copyright reform needs to address fairness in creative sector

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) represented by President, Mogens Blicher Bjerregård, told EU policy-makers to address the unfair contractual practices in the media and creative sectors in a meeting organised by the European Parliament working group on intellectual property rights and copyright reform in Strasburg. Addressing members of the working group, Blicher Bjerregård says, “The biggest challenge facing journalists today is the unfair contractual practices that deprived the right of journalists from receiving fair payment for their work. “The imbalance in negotiation power between media organisations and individual journalists allows this to happen.” You can read the full speech…

Charlie Hebdo: Free speech under attack

Wednesday, 7 January 2015 is the darkest day in journalism in Europe. The brutal attack on the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris was also an attack on all of us. Our thoughts are with the victims, their families, friends and colleagues. It is hard to believe that such a horror could happen in Europe. The attack confirms that we must continue to safeguard and defend freedom of expression and press freedom as the fundamental pillars of our democracy. This was a direct attack on our freedom and the fundamental values that we hold dearly in our societies. The attack…