PACE hearing on “Threats to media freedom and journalists’ security”

A hearing on “Threats to media freedom and journalists’ security” is being organised by the Committee on Culture, Science, Education and Media of Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), on 6 December in Paris. A specific motion was tabled on this issue. A parliamentary report on the matter will be prepared next year. The EFJ President Mogens Blicher Bjerregård will participate in this hearing.

Council of Europe: blocking online content is serious interference with freedom of expression

Blocking of online content and social media, throttling of internet traffic and shutdowns of entire websites constitute the most serious interference with online expression, preventing information from reaching its intended audience, states the fifth annual report by the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Thorbjørn Jagland. The report analyses the state of democracy, human rights and the rule of law in Europe, based on the findings of the Council of Europe monitoring mechanisms and bodies. Among the main findings, the focus was drawn to the freedom of expression, especially concerning the troubling tendencies of intimidation and threats against journalists around Europe –…

New Council of Europe report calls on Montenegrin legislators to ensure professional rights of journalists

The final report “Montenegro Media Sector Inquiry” published on 5 April 2018, expressed the urgent need for Montenegrin authorities to guarantee professional rights of journalists. A group of independent experts carried out a detailed analysis of the Montenegrin media sector from August 2017 until January 2018. Representatives from the EFJ’s Montenegrin affiliate, the Trade Union of Media of Montenegro (SMCG) were consulted for the investigation. The report found that the private Montenegrin media had failed to engage with the SMCG about a collective agreement prepared by the national journalist trade union a year ago. The EFJ backs the recommendation addressed to private…

Council of Europe: new guidelines on media pluralism and transparency of media ownership

The Council of Europe has issued guidelines to its 47 member states in order to promote media pluralism, transparency of media ownership and media literacy. In a Recommendation adopted today, the Committee of Ministers endorses a comprehensive framework of guidelines for creating a pluralist, transparent and participatory media environment, both offline and online. States are encouraged to develop strategies for increasing the sustainability of a variety of media ranging from public service media, local, minority, community and cross-border media. States are also encouraged to support quality independent and investigative journalism, whilst fully respecting the editorial and operational autonomy of the…

Brussels Book Fair: hate speech and freedom of expression

The Council of Europe will be hosting a discussion/debate at the Brussels Book Fair from 22-25 February 2018. The theme of this year’s event will be hate speech and freedom of expression. The event is a round-table discussion, in French and usually involving 3 or 4 speakers, followed by questions and answers from visitors to the book fair. affichette conf 3

CoE Commissioner for Human Rights concerned about safety of journalists in Serbia

“Serbia has to establish an adequate environment for media work” said today Nils Muižnieks, Council of Europe (CoE) Commissioner for Human Rights, following a four-day follow-up visit to the country carried out from 19 to 22 February 2018. As concerns freedom of the media, the Commissioner noted the agreement of all media actors that he met that Serbia has a solid legislative framework governing this field. ”Serbia also has great investigative journalists, some of whom have been presented with prestigious international awards. The Commissioner for Information of Public Importance, whose importance for investigative journalists’ work cannot be overstated, is a…

Council of Europe: 114 MPs demand further investigation of Daphne Caruana Galizia case

114 MPs from the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) have signed a motion demanding an international monitoring on the investigation of the murder of Maltese journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia. The motion was signed at Strasbourg but has not yet been discussed in the Assembly. The signatures were collected in a single day, well surpassing the 20 signatures needed to submit a motion, with representation from all political groups. The motion was proposed by Dutch politician Pieter Omtzigt, and calls for an international approach to investigating the case of the murdered journalist. “The Parliamentary Assembly believes that the international community…

“Information Disorders”: Council of Europe committee discusses recommendations to tackle fake news

At the meeting of the Council of Europe Steering Committee on Media and Information Society (CDMSI), from 5 to 8 December 2017, participants discussed a series of documents and recommendations currently relevant for journalists and media workers. A study by Claire Wardle and Hossein Derakhshan, commissioned by the Council of Europe, highlighted the various aspects of what the authors call “Information Disorders” (not “fake news”). These information disorders come in three forms: misinformation, disinformation and malinformation. Information disorders can be organised or unorganised, and are emotional, visual and repetitive. To counter information disorders, the authors recommend action by content providers…

Council of Europe Culture Committee asks governments to strenghten the status of journalists

The Culture Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) has adopted a draft resolution asking European governments to do more to protect media professionals, revising laws if necessary, as they state that media freedom is a “key prerequisite for the existence and development of a democratic society”. At a meeting in Bucharest on 4 December 2017, PACE Committee recognised the precarious nature of the current journalism profession, and the threats to journalistic values and freedoms. In response, PACE Committee unanimously adopted the draft resolution, asking governments of member states to assume their obligation to protect media professionals, to…

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