Roularta Media Group stops comments on its websites

Roularta Media Group announced on 10 January in a press release the decision to block comments on articles published on its newspapers’ websites, “due to the disrespectful nature of the discussions”. The Belgian group publishes among others Le Vif/L’Express, Trends, Knack and Sport-Foot Magazine. “Our mission is not to moderate resentments, but to inform. In this new era, where fake news spread on social networks takes precedence over verified information, there is an urgent need for the press to get back to basics: informing while at the same time avoiding to ride the buzz wave”, wrote Le Vif editor-in-chief, Vincent…

#Media Against Hate: EFJ launches a Europe-wide campaign to counter hate speech in the media

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) has today launched together with partners ARTICLE 19, Media Diversity Institute (MDI), Croatian Journalists’ Association (CJA), Cooperazione per lo Sviluppo dei Paesi Emergenti (COSPE), Community Media Institute (COMMIT), Community Media Forum Europe (CMFE) a Europe-wide campaign Media Against Hate, to counter hate speech and discrimation in the media. The media and journalists play a crucial role in influencing both policy-making and societal opinion on migration and refugees. As hate speech and stereotypes targeting migrants and refugees proliferate across Europe, balanced and fair media reporting is needed more than ever. Despite some good journalism practices…

Social media need “self-regulation, education and literacy, not new restrictions”, says Dunja Mijatović in a report

The Representative on Freedom of the Media of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), Dunja Mijatović, published today her regular report to the Permanent Council from March 2016. She expressed great concerns about the safety of journalists and fake news on social media. Here are some excerpts. On the safety of journalists: As you all know, unfortunately safety of journalists continues to dominate my agenda. Impunity for killings, attacks and threats prevails. This must stop. In order to assist the participating States in monitoring progress on fighting impunity for killings of journalists my Office has prepared a…

Majority of EU citizens think media lack independence

The results of the 2016 Eurobarometer survey on “Media pluralism and independence” published today (17/11/16) – just in time with the EU Annual Colloqium on Fundamental rights on “Media pluralism and democracy” – show two worrying trends: a majority of EU citizens believe that the media in their countries lack independence ; and 75% of the respondents have experienced hate speech on social media. This survey aims at representing the state of media pluralism and independence across the European Union. The results highlight that, according to the Europeans, there is much work to be done in ensuring the independence of national media – a vital cornerstone of…

Refugees: how to change the negative narrative?

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) and the Alliance Internationale de Journalistes (AIJ) successfully organised yesterday (4 October) a roundtable discussion on Refugees and Migrants, the inconvenient truths – Journalism against bias and stereotypes in Brussels. Migrants and refugees have suddenly jumped at the top of the agenda and media organisations play a crucial role in shaping the public opinion. How to cover the refugee crisis with more humanity? How best to communicate with media?  Many journalists, NGOs representatives and intergouvernmental organisations (UNCHR, OIM) dealing with migration issues attended the event to reflect and build a constructive dialogue on these fondamental questions. The biggest requests @UNmigration…

Hungary: journalists should not heat animosity

On November 11, the Budapest Centre for the International Prevention of Genocide and Mass Atrocities hosted a round-table on the role of journalists in preventing genocide and countering extremism at the Hungarian Institute of Foreign Affairs and Trade. The opening panel featured the keynote speech of András Trom, Head of Section of Foreign and Security Policy of the Association of Hungarian Journalists (MUOSZ), an EFJ affiliate. The Budapest Centre noted that “Trom pointed out the key role that journalists have in society, insofar as they are charged with reporting on events and thus mediating people’s understanding of reality. In this sense, the quality…

#nohatespeech: sign our petition now

Banning the promoters of online hate speech and preventing broadcast thereof are not simply acts of civic responsibility. For journalists, this is the fulfilment of a basic duty: giving readers, viewers and listeners real facts. This is why today the Italian organisation Associazione Carta di Roma, with the support of the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), Articolo 21, the National Federation of the Italian Press (FNSI), the Italian Order of Journalists and the Journalists’ Union RAI (USIGRai), has launched the #nohatespeech campaign.   OUR ONLINE PETITION ASKS: JOURNALISTS – Don’t be passive in front of hate speech cases. Since they are based on…

Refugees: choices about words do matter

A hundred refugees spent the night outside in a park in front of the Refugees Office in Brussels, the “capital of Europe”, on Wednesday. Commenting on these events, many media talked about a “massive influx of refugees in Belgium.” Some simply mentioned a “flood of refugees”. Others stuck to comment on “the problem of hosting refugees.” The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), an active member of the Ethical Journalism Network, reminds journalists “shall be aware of the danger of discrimination being furthered by the media, and shall do the utmost to avoid facilitating such discrimination based on, among other things,…