Journalists might face up to 14 years in jail in the UK

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) back their British affiliate, the National Union of Journalists (NUJ), in its concerns over the proposals to update the Official Secrets Act in the United Kingdom. Due to the new way of defining espionage, including “obtaining sensitive information”, as well as “passing it on”, journalists, whom are simply working on their stories, can potentially face up to 14 years in prison by receiving some secret information. These proposals completely ignore the right of journalists to disclose information in the public interest and would also punish severely whistleblowers,…

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 The lack of financial independence, outdated technologies as well as increasing political control, not only in Hungary and Poland but in all accession countries  affects the compatibility of public media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

Closure of Swiss magazine L’Hebdo: Another blow to media pluralism

Ringier Axel Springer announced on January 23 their plans to close French-speaking magazine L’Hebdo.  Impressum,   the largest journalists’ organisation and the Trade Union of Media and Communications Syndicom  are both deeply concerned about the potential negative impact of the decision on media pluralism, investigative journalism and the future of the media in French-speaking Switzerland. The EFJ expressed its solidarity with their Swiss affiliates and offer full support. A petition was also launched and supported by both EFJ affliates  to demand alternative financial plans to continue or return the title. @EFJEUROPE @lhebdo @IFJGlobal signez la pétition pour @lhebdo https://t.co/zhle3ihJtF — syndicom…

Republika Srpska President’s office limits access for selected media

The European Federation of Journalists backs the Bosnia-Herzegovina Journalists Association (BHJA) in condemning the discriminatory actions by Republika Srbska (RS) President Milorad Dodik against selected media. On January 18 a news crew from N1 Television was denied access to a press conference in Banjaluka on the grounds that they didn’t have accreditation to enter the venue. The TV channel was also removed from the mailing list of the President’s office, which meant no further access to official newsletters or accreditation information that are necessary for the news coverage. BHJA  called these actions unreasonable discrimination against the well-known critical media outlet.…

Verbal attacks against Macedonian journalists

The European Federation of Journalists backs Association of Journalists of Macedonia (AJM) in condemning verbal abuses by the authorities against journalists. Such actions are damaging for the freedom of expression and are limiting the public access to the information. One of the major political parties in Macedonia VMRO-DPMNE accused Fondation Open Society Macedonia for corrupting the journalists and urged to “clean” the “media of Soros”. AJM calls these claims “a pure spin of the government” and finds it very dangerous to call for violence against journalists, as such comments might have negative consequences in the future. The full announcement by…

Calling Turkish authorities to stop criminalising journalists

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) is backing the statement sent by its affiliates TGS, TGC and DISK Basin-Is calling the Turkish authorities to stop the criminalisation of journalists and media workers in Turkey. On 25/12/2016, the following journalists and media workers Tunca Öğreten (freelance), Mahir Kanaat (accountant for BirGün daily), Ömer Celik (DIHABER news director), Metin Yoksa (DIHABER correspondent) and Eray Saygin have been detained by police and no explanation has been provided for these arrests. “You cannot hide the truth by jailing journalists”, said Journalists Union of Turkey (TGS) in a statement. DISK-Basin Is underlines the fact that…

Intimidation against journalists in San Marino

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) is joining USGI, its Sammarinese affiliate, to denounce the attempt to censor journalists in San Marino. During the year 2016, two civil lawsuits were engaged against journalists associated with USGI, claiming damages following articles considered by the plaintiff as damaging his image. The plaintiff, a lawyer who has a leading position in the banking and financial world of the Republic of San Marino, is claiming 250.000 and 300.000 euros as damages after the publication of articles concerning the case. USGI highlighted in a press release the quality of the journalistic works in question and expressed great concerns…

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…

More solidarity needed while reporting on migration issues

More solidarity among journalists is needed to improve the rights of freelancers working in conflict zones and to support the work of local journalists on the ground, agreed the participants of the workshop “Interpreting crisis: Reporting on Migration, Asylum Seekers and Syrian conflict”. The event took place on 24 October 2016 at the IFJ-EFJ headquarters in Brussels and was co-organised by the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), the Finnish Institute in London, the Finnish Cultural Institute for the Benelux, Felm and MDI. The participants were concerned that the leading newspapers are not sending their own correspondents, not even using reports…

EJN 5-point test for hate speech available in 7 new languages

As well as launching new guidelines for migration coverage at the Jakarta World Forum for Media Development, the EJN co-hosted a session about online regulation which looked into ways journalists and others can define, identify and respond to hate speech. Today, the EJN is happy to announce that our 5–point test for hate speech is now available in seven new languages, including Albanian, Dutch, Indonesian, Macedonian, Serbian, Turkish, Ukrainian. The test is already available in Arabic, English and French. The 5-point test and its translations are supported by the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ).

Turkey’s journalists prosecution marathon has started !

This morning (21/09/2016), the Caglayan Court of Justice in Istanbul heard 5 different prosecution cases against journalists. The EFJ-IFJ and its affiliates TGS (Journalists Union of Turkey), DISK-Basin-Is (Journalists Union of Turkey from DISK) and TGC (Journalists Association of Turkey) have been able to observe the following cases : the appeal in the MIT Trucks case where journalists Can Dündar and Erdem Gül  working for Cumhuriyet newspaper who were sentenced to 5 years in jail for revealing state secrets and arms trafficking between Turkish intelligence services (MIT) and Syrian armed rebel groups. The hearing was held in secret but this did not…

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