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 The lack of financial independence, outdated technologies as well as increasing political control, not only in Hungary and Poland but in all accession countries  affects the compatibility of public media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…

EFJ in the news 2016

Europe Online Magazine – Turkish police detain several journalists, Kurdish leaders (25.12.2016) Villamedia – België arresteerde Koerdische journalist op verzoek Turkije (23.12.2016) De Wereld Morgen – “Aanhouding Koerdisch journalist in België is gevaarlijk precedent” (22.12.2016) EUObserver – EU looks to trade treaty for better Turkey relations (22.12.2016) ARA News – Kurdish journalist arrested in European capital “on Turkey’s request” (21.12.2016) Transitions Online – Polish Government Hit by More Protests (19.12.2016) Balkan Insight – Croatian Journalist Blames Attack on Hateful Atmosphere (16.12.2016) Libertas – San Marino. Cause civili abnormi: tentativo di censura. Richiesta danni sino a 300mila euro (15.12.2016) Herald Scotland – Letters: We should not…

EFJ President: “We should cooperate more with Human Rights Institutions”

The Council of Europe (CoE) and the European Network of National Human Rights Institutions (ENNHRI) organised on 15 December in Strasbourg a high level seminar as a follow-up activity to the CoE Secretary General’s report on the State of democracy, human rights and the rule of law in Europe 2015. The EFJ was represented by its president. In his report, the Secretary General of the CoE, Thorbjørn Jagland, proposed a two-year Europe-wide programme to support national mechanisms to protect journalists, such as ombudsman institutions, press commissioners and non-governmental organisations. The programme pursues several goals: to strengthen the capacities of such…

8 tips for migration coverage

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) has been invited by the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) to attend the 10th edition of the Civil society media seminar held at the Diplomatic Academy on 24-25 November 2016 in Vienna. The seminar gathered over 190 experts (policy makers, journalists, social workers, law enforcement officers, refugees, professors) and was dedicated this year to the topic “Communicating Migration”.  EESC President Georges Dassis said :”Europe’s reconstruction is greatly due to migrants’ contributions. Over the past two years, media have played a big role in our perception of the migration flows. It is thus necessary to mention the benefits…

EU colloquium called on Commission to protect whistleblowers

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) attended on 17-18 November 2016 the second edition of EU colloquium on fundamental rights dedicated this year to media pluralism and democracy. Hosted by Frans Timmermans, the European Commission’s first vice-president said in his opening speech that “being a journalist has become one of the most dangerous professions worldwide. Being a journalist is dangerous because of the physical dangers, it’s dangerous because of all the abuse you get all the time – online and elsewhere – it’s dangerous also because you take huge risks with the sustainability of your finances since it also is…

EBU Conference urges Parliaments to protect PSM independence

Over 100 delegates from 19 countries in Central & Eastern Europe (CEE) and beyond came together in Prague last week to discuss the need to protect the independence and sustainability of public service media (PSM) in the face of numerous challenges. The conference was hosted by the Czech Parliament in Prague, and organized by the Council of Europe, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, Czech Television and the European Broadcasting Union (EBU). Public service broadcasters, Parliamentarians, regulators, diplomats, academics and experts from a range of organisations including the Council of Europe, Venice Commission, OSCE and the European Federation of…

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