Rights and Jobs in Journalism: Building Stronger Unions in Europe – New handbook launched

In the past years, the media industry has undergone drastic changes due to the emergence of new technologies in the way news are produced and consumed as well as the structural changes driven by the economic crisis. Journalists’ organisations themselves also undergo changes to renew their commitment and strategies to counter new challenges. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) launched a handbook within the framework of a project, ‘‘Rights and Jobs in Journalism: Building Strong Unions in Europe’’, showcasing best practices of journalists’ organisations undertaken to tackle new challenges. The handbook was launched in a final conference held in Zagreb…

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…

TTIP: EFJ complains to the EU Ombudsman

On Monday, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), ClientEarth, the European Environmental Bureau, Friends of the Earth Europe, and the Corporate Europe Observatory jointly submitted a complaint to the EU Ombudsman regarding maladministration by the European Commission in relation to access to documents relating to the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). The complainants note, and welcome, the own-initiative investigations launched by the European Ombudsman in relation to the transparency of the TTIP negotiations and the public consultation, and the decision published on 6 January 2015. We furthermore note the publication by the Commission of additional documents on its website on…

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…

Mission Report – Ukraine 2014

(20.11.2014) The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) has carried out a mission to Ukraine on 6 – 8 November to investigate the situation facing journalists reporting in conflict areas. Yannis Kotsifos, a member of the EFJ Steering Committee has visited the EFJ affiliates (NUJU and IMTUU) in Kiev to understand the challenges they face in protecting their journalists. ” Since the political crisis in Ukraine broken out in November 2013, journalists have been at the heart of these events covering violent demonstrations, clashes and armed conflict. They have been shot at, assaulted, kidnapped, arrested, abused and killed. They have been…

EFJ Study Confronting Austerity 2014

Confronting Austerity in Journalism

(2014) ‘‘Journalists’ and their organisations must be the driving force for the future of journalism’’ – this is the notion highlighted in the study published by the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) today about finding ways to sustain quality journalism. Authored by Andreas K. Bittner, the study on Confronting Austerity: Financial and Employment Models in Journalism was the result of a one-year project carried out by the EFJ to find out how journalists and their organisations can confront the crisis and respond to / take advantage of the rapidly changing media landscape.  Responses collected from 42 EFJ affiliates across Europe…