Public Service Media in Western Balkans – Ensuring editorial independence and credibility

The regional workshop on developing code of conduct/editorial guidelines for Public Service Media in Western Balkans has started today, 18 October, in Hotel 88 Rooms, Belgrade. The workshop brings together the program directors and editors-in-chief from the six PSM (RTSh Albania, BHRT Bosnia and Herzegovina, RTK Kosovo, MRTV Macedonia, RTCG Montenegro and PSB Serbia) to discuss, examine and assess code of conducts and editorial guidelines with European experts in the field. How to ensure independence, how to be accurate & relevant, connected & accountable as well as fair & respectful are the challenges for all journalists and media; for public…

Unsustainable and unfair future for staff at the Turkish Radio and Broadcasting (TRT)

The European and International Federations of Journalists (EFJ-IFJ) – the largest organisation of journalists in Europe and in the World, representing over 600,000 journalists – backs Haber-Sen and UNI Global Union – media entertainment & arts in expressing their concern with the impact of the new regulations affecting the future of TRT (Turkish Radio and Broadcasting) and its staff. The EFJ-IFJ will meet Haber-Sen General Secretary, Mr Burak Ustaoglu, next week in Brussels to discuss the situation in details.  The joint declaration of Haber-Sen and UNI Global Union, supported by the EFJ, is the following : The Emergency Decree Law No. 703, which…

Examining and assessing PSM editorial guidelines of the Western Balkans

A new publication on editorial guidelines or codes of conduct in the public service media of the Western Balkans was drafted by Renate Schroeder, director of the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), and presented during a launching event of the EU-funded project “Technical Assistance to Public Service Media in the Western Balkans” in Tirana, Albania, in June 2018. The project is managed by the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) in close cooperation with the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), in collaboration with the EFJ, Austrian public broadcaster ORF, the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network and the Office of the Eurovision News Exchange…

“No to NoBillag”: BREG sent a solidarity letter to Swiss affiliates

The Broadcasting Expert Group (BREG) of the European Federation of Journalists sent the following letter to Swiss affiliates, impressum and syndicom, ahead of the “No Billag” vote to take place on the 4th of March 2018. Dear colleagues, The Broadcasting Expert Group (BREG), one of the expert groups working for the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), is deeply concerned by the news from Switzerland, regarding the plans to scrap the licence fee in public service broadcasting, and the proposed prohibition of any kind of subsidies for the Swiss public service broadcasting sector. If the law passes, we are informed it would lead to the…

Public service media in Bosnia and Herzegovina closer to sustainable funding

Public service media in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) has signed an agreement with the electric company Elektroprivreda – JP EP on the collection of TV license fee through the electricity bills starting this month. With this agreement, the Radio and Television of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BHRT) will be provided with a steady income of independent funding and will be able to start investing in new technology and programming. The other domestic electric companies will be offered the same contract and the BHRT expects a positive outcome. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) along with the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) welcomes…

Safe and reform public service media in Bosnia and Herzegovina

An international conference on public service media (PSM) in Bosnia and Herzegovina has concluded with an agreement that the failure of PSM in the country would be unacceptable. Public service media in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) is under threat of imminent collapse due to insufficient and unsustainable funding and the authorities’ inability to make the necessary reforms to the media law. More than 100 participants from parliament, government, regulatory authorities, the media, the international community and the civil sector met in Sarajevo to discuss the importance of PSM. Organised by the Radio and Television of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BHRT) in…

Request for EU Support for Public Service Media in Balkan

On 1st and 2nd February, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) and the European Broadcasting Union (EBU)  had a series of meetings with members of the European Parliament to discuss the urgency of supporting public service media and independent journalism in the accession countries. The lack of financial independence, outdated technologies as well as increasing political control, not only in Hungary and Poland but in all accession countries  affects the compatibility of public media outlets. Out of all Balkan countries only Serbia and Macedonia fully digitalised their production, although they still have most of their products in analogue format. The…

Albanian government accused of “sophisticated silence censorship”

Four months before the next general elections in Albania, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) has received alerting information regarding new regulations affecting media freedom situation in the country. The EFJ has been informed that new amendments proposals have been tabled by the ruling Socialist Party to the Article 78/7 of the Election Code and if adopted would seriously damage online media freedom in the country and potentially legalize censorship in Albania. The proposed amendments ambiguously target “uncontrolled and unregistered news websites” and “mandates state authorities to close them down if they engage in election propaganda or conduct unauthorized opinion…

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…

Ukraine: National Radio and TV Council bans broadcast of Russian TV Dozhd

On 12 January, the National Radio and TV Council (NRTC) of Ukraine voted unanimously to cease the retransmission of the Russian TV Channel Dozhd (Rain), following TV reports showing Crimea as part of Russia. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joins today the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Dunja Mijatović in condemning this decision, which will have harmful consequences for media pluralism in Ukraine. Decision of @NacRada to stop broadcasting @tvrain DozhdTV very demaging for media pluralism in #Ukraine https://t.co/cdT4mmMLna @OSCE_RFoM — Dunja Mijatovic (@Dunja_Mijatovic) January 12, 2017 According to a press release posted on the council’s website,…

Azerbaijan: Survey about the social conditions of journalists

The Journalists’ Trade Union of Azerbaijan published a report on social conditions of journalists in the country in 2016. Overall 51 media outlets took part in the survey, among them national newspapers, information agencies, news portals and TV channels. One of the big issues stated in the report was the lack of individual labour contracts in Azerbaijan.  The media companies prefer to sign short-period contracts, in the best cases 60% of employees had labour contracts, whereas 40-45% had no legally binding documents and relied on verbal agreements. The application of health insurance is extremely low (less than 5% ). The…

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