Union of Journalists in Finland’s freelance association celebrates 10th anniversary

The Finnish freelance association, which is part of the Union of Journalists in Finland (Suomen Journalistiliitto) on 9 November with more than 200 freelancers participating. The meeting will discuss new opportunities in the media including non-tradition media for freelances?  What is the future for the journalist profession? How to make work-related  changes? How to confront new challenges and find new solutions?  FREE10 seminar in December! The Finnish freelance journalists’ association celebrates its 10th anniversary at this event FREE10 Seminar Centre Lume, Sampo Hall in Helsinki 12.9.2015. The European Federation of Journalists and its Freelance Expert Group wish happy birthday and…

Highlights of EFJ Freelance Expert Group (FREG) meeting

On 19 November, the EFJ organised its biannual Freelance Experts’ Group (FREG) meeting, in which participants from 8 European countries discussed EFJ activities, national developments regarding freelance activities and ideas for the  future working programme to be adopted by next year’s EFJ General Meeting. Below is a snap shot of the main topics debated by the participants. EFJ issues & activities Results of the survey “Mapping Freelance Journalists” : Please click HERE for more information. The Rights and Jobs in Journalism EFJ project debriefing : The Dublin Freelance conference on atypical workers, which was organised in September 2015 by the National union of…

EFJ survey reveals disparities of freelancers’ social rights in Europe

A new survey launched by the European Federation of Journalists reveals the diversity of the freelancers’ professional situations and disparities of their labour rights’ protection in Europe. On 19th November, the EFJ had its biannual meeting with the Freelance Experts’ Group (FREG). Together, they discussed the results of the survey “Mapping Freelance Journalists” conducted since May by the EFJ to collect updated database regarding the social status of the freelance journalists and their representation in professional associations and unions in Europe. Thirty-three organisations from 28 countries have responded to the online questionnaire. The results reveal disturbing disparities between levels of freelancers…

EFJ meets with Thomas Händel, EP Chair on Employment and Social Affairs Committee

”Two weeks ago I would have been much more pessimistic when it comes to ‘Social Europe’, but it seems that the European Commission led by President Jean-Claude Juncker  is working on a package, which has a strong social dimension, something the EU has lacked dramatically in recent years,” said Thomas Händel (GUE/NGL, Germany), Chair of the European Parliament Committee on Employment and Social Affairs. Philippe Leruth, Chair of the EFJ Labour Rights Expert Group and EFJ Director Renate Schroeder had a open discussion with the German MEP Händel covering themes such as the increasingly precarious working conditions in the  media and journalism…

EFJ calls for stronger rights for freelance workers

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) and the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) have called for stronger rights for freelance workers and the need to enforce their fundamental rights to collective bargaining in national and European legislations. The call came after a workshop hosted by the NUJ on Collective bargaining for atypical workers in the audio-visual and live performance sector as part of a capacity building project organised by the EFJ, the International Federation of Actors (FIA), the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), the International Federation of Musicians (FIM) and UNI-MEl. Participants including unions leaders from the-above federations and legal…

US digital-media workers are seeking to unionize

Update (20.08.2015) The European Federation of Journalists sent today a letter to Politico CEO Jim VandeHei expressing its concern about news reports suggesting that Mike Elk, Labor reporter at Politico and co-author of the Louisville Statement, has been fired. Politico confirmed, on Thursday, Mike Elk’s departure, saying it has “nothing to do with his union activities”. Supported by his union, Mike Elk replied that he is on vacation until September 1st: he considers he is still an employee of Politico. ———- Over 12,000 jobs have disappeared from the US media industry, over the last decade. But according to Pew Research Center’s count, 5,000 full-time…

Croatian journalists calling the authorities to end impunity

As a follow-up to the case of Željko Peratović, a freelance journalist and blogger who has been attacked at his home on May 28, 2015 in an attempted murder, the Croatian Journalists’ Association (Hrvatsko Novinarsko Drustvo, an EFJ-IFJ affiliate) is reminding the authorities with several cases of death threats and attacks on journalists which are still not resolved. “It is one year since freelancer Domagoj Margetić has been beaten up in front of his apartment in Zagreb. The Croatian State Attorney defined that attack as attempted murder but not the attacker or motifs, nor the person(s) who possibly ordered it…

Workshop: Collective bargaining for atypical workers, 8-9 September 2015 Dublin

In the framework of the project “Reaching out to atypical workers” funded by the European Commission, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) together with its affiliate, the National Union of Journalists (NUJ), in Ireland will organise a workshop on “Collective bargaining for atypcial workers” on 8 & 9 September in Dublin.  Workshop discussion summary EFJ calls for stronger rights for freelance workers Agenda The workshop is part of the joint project with partners FIA, UNI-MEI and FIM to address the challenges facing by unions in the sector to represent freelance workers and defend their rights. Key issues include: Collective bargaining…

Belarus files 24 cases against freelance journalists in 2015

Working as freelance journalists can be considered as a crime in Belarus. Since the beginning of this year, the Belarusian authority has filed 24 cases (see infographic below) against freelance journalists imposing fines for their works. In all the cases, the journalists are accused of violating article 22.9 of the administrative code (unlawful production and distribution of mass media products). According to the Belarusian Association of Journalists (BAJ), an affiliate of the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), the total sum of the fines imposed on journalists so far this year amounted to 117 million Belarusian rubles (over 6.000 EUR). The EFJ…

Freelance Survey in Portugal

In Portugal the EFJ affiliate, the Sindicato dos Jornalistas‘s newly elected board initiated a freelance campaign starting with a survey about the situation of freelance journalists in Portugal, something which had not been conducted since 2001. In Portugal, trade unions still regard freelances as a new and sometimes unaccepted work form. The union had asked its members registered as freelancers (almost 10% of the total membership) to answer an online questionnaire. The main results which were recently discussed within the membership (see picture above), are the following: Age: average age is 41; Gender: 61.3% are men; 38;7% are female Employment…

Recruiting freelance journalists: example from NUJ, Great Britain

As the media industry grows more freelances, so the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) in the UK and Ireland is trying to ascertain how to attract freelances into membership. The main question is: What services and benefits could the union offer to freelances that are not covered in our ’10 Reasons’ leaflet ? As everyone agrees, the priority for freelances in the current climate is to find work – work that pays! One of our members has suggested a Freelance Salon, an event with speakers who will discuss how to go beyond the traditional pitch to editors and navigate new…