Expertalia: A tool for journalists to diversify sources

The Belgian Association of Professional Journalists (AJP), a member of the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) launched a web tool Expertalia, an expert directory for media professionals with the aim to diversify media sources in media reporting. The initiative, supported by the Federation Wallonia-Brussels, aims to bring more equality and diversity in the use of experts by the media. Expertalia is a tool targeting at journalists with the aim to renew their sources of information by offering new experts from a diverse background. To date, Expertalia lists 200 experts in various fields (science, law, economics, society, etc), active in research,…

Belgium : protection of sources under threats

The European and International Federations of Journalists (EFJ-IFJ) have alerted the Council of Europe about new worrying threats in Belgium against the protection of journalistic sources and the status of journalists. The Minister of Justice of Belgium, Koen Geens, announced his intention to increase sentences for violation of professional secrecy, which would permit wiretapping or computer tracing of journalists’ sources. According to media reports, the Minister also has plans to allow intelligence services to “withdraw the protection linked to the status of professional journalist” if these services consider that the beneficiary of that legal status in Belgium is not really a…

Solidarity with people of Belgium

The Executive Committee of the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC), gathering today for a meeting in Brussels and bringing together trade union leaders from all over Europe, expressed its solidarity with the people of Brussels and the victims of this morning’s horrific bomb attacks. “We are with all the people in Brussels who have been injured or killed, with their families, with all those dealing with this frightening situation, and with those who are seeking news of family, friends and colleagues,” said Luca Visentini, General Secretary of the ETUC. “It is beyond comprehension that anyone would wish to bring such suffering and misery to others.”    “This…

Media should speak out against hate speech

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) has joined the Italian organisation on Carta di Roma welcoming the new initiative launched by the Italy newspaper La Stampa to counter hate speech. The EFJ has called on media professionals to be aware of the danger of discrimination being furthered by the media through hate speech following recent debates and media coverage on “migrant crisis” in Europe. Ricardo Gutiérrez, the EFJ General Secretary said, “Journalists should dare to denounce and confront hate speech publicly. They have the ethical responsibility to counter racist and discriminatory messages and comments that incite hatred, violence or insult…

Cyprus must improve access to information law, says EFJ

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) has joined Access Info Europe (AIE) in calling the Cypriot Government to improve its draft access to information law in order to meet international transparency standard. According to the global Right to Info Rating, the Republic of Cyprus freedom of information bill is set to become one of the worst in Europe. Access Info Europe (AIE) and the Centre for Law and Democracy (CLD) studied the draft text using the 61 indicators of the Right to Information Rating and found that Cyprus scores a dismal 57 points (out of 150) which positions itself near the buttom…

Belgium: Defending journalists’ rights in a federal system

On Saturday (28/02/2015), the Association des journalistes professionnels (AJP, representing the journalists in the French and German speaking part of Belgium) and the Vlaamse vereniging van journalisten (VVJ, representing the journalists in the Dutch speaking part of Belgium), both EFJ affiliates under the federal umbrella organization called AGJPB-AVBB, held their annual congress at the House of Journalists in Brussels. Unlike many other countries in Europe, AJP and VVJ are not classical trade union organisations but they are registered as non-profit professional unions. They are considered by the authorities and other civil society organisations as the legitimate representative of professional journalists and…

Why do they leave journalism?

“Why do they leave journalism?” – This is the question asked to 38 former journalists by journalism student Hélène Brédart in a project initiated at the Université de Liège and reproduced by Jean-François Dumont of the Belgian Association of Professional Journalists (AJP, member of EFJ). The results of the project published in the latest edition of the monthly Journalistes by the AJP show that the deteriorating working conditions and practices in journalism make are major reason why journalists left the profession. The most frequently mentioned reasons for journalists to leave their job are: • Increasing workload: The digital development and restructuring measures are putting…