Lithuanian journalists criticise new restriction to access public information

Journalists and editors have written to the Lithuanian Centre of Registers complaining about the recent policy to restrict media’s access to public data. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) criticises the Centre for restricting free press and supports the requests made by the journalists to the Lithuanian government. On 14 September, the Lithuanian Centre of Registers ended its long-time practice of providing the media with registry data free of charge. This happened without any prior notice to the media. Since the new policy implemented, registry data are provided to the media for the same fees as those paid by other commercial users.…

EP Public hearing – Role of Independent Public Service Media for Democracy in Europe

Independence of Public Service Media (PSM) in Europe is under increased pressure in a number of the EU Member States. Destabilization of this democratic institution in the context of the overall challenges in Europe and weakening of other democratic institutions, such as political parties represents a real threat to the democracy in Europe. The PSM in Hungary is under the full control of Orban. In 2016 a political cleansing took place in the public service broadcaster in Poland followed by a political purge in the Croatian broadcaster. Recently the Czech Television is under pressure for rejection of their annual report,…

Fact-finding mission report to the Baltics published

A new report about the fact-finding mission conducted by the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) and the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF), which investigated the media situation in Estonia and Lithuania from 22 to 24 January, was published on 9 April 2018. Members of the mission interviewed almost 30 experts: representatives of the government, academia, press councils, public service media, journalists‘ organisations, investigative journalists, editors-in-chief and CEOs of major media companies. The two Baltic states were chosen in the wake of a wave of disinformation spread by Russian specialists during the US election campaign. The question, whether the comparatively small societies…

Report about fact-finding mission to Estonia and Lithuania

A new report about the fact-finding mission conducted by the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) and the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF) which investigated the media situation in Estonia and Lithuania from 22 to 24 January can be found here. Members of the mission interviewed almost 30 experts: representatives of the government, academia, press councils, public service media, journalists‘ organisations, investigative journalists, editors-in-chief and CEOs of major media companies. The two Baltic states were chosen in the wake of a wave of disinformation spread by Russian specialists during the US election campaign. The question, whether the comparatively small societies of Estonia and…

Fact-finding mission to the Baltics: no “fake news” but blurring lines between journalism and advertising

Journalism is under tremendous economic pressure in the Baltics. This opens the door to political influence and PR. The governments of Estonia and Lithuania answer this with very different approaches. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) and the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF) investigated the media situation in Estonia and Lithuania from 22-24 January 2018. They interviewed almost 30 experts, among them representatives from the government, academia, press councils, public service media, journalists’ organisations, investigative journalists, editors-in-chief and CEOs. First, the good news: concerning media freedom and pluralism, Estonia and Lithuania are doing comparatively well. Considering the…

EFJ and ECPMF embark on fact-finding mission to the Baltics

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), along with the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF) will embark on a Fact-Finding Mission to Estonia and Lithuania from 22 to 24 January 2018, in close cooperation with its affiliates, the Estonian Association of Journalists (EAJ), and the Lithuanian Journalists’ Union (LJU). The mission delegation will investigate the state of media freedom and journalists’ rights and working conditions in Estonia and Lithuania, meeting with journalists, government representatives, and public and private media organisations including Russian-speaking media and researchers. The issue of Russian “propaganda” and the need for ethical journalism, but also…

Urgent need for states to step up efforts to address safety of journalists

Journalists and human rights defenders, academics and civil society representatives gathered in Vilnius (Lithuania) on Monday to discuss with state officials and decision-makers how to guarantee the safety of journalists. The conference, The Safety of Journalists – New Challenges and Responses, was opened by Lithuania’s Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) was represented by its General Secretary Ricardo Gutiérrez. “We should be far away from any censorship or prohibitions. We have to create conditions and we have to protect journalists because safety is important not only for the journalists themselves, but also for the statehood, for…

OSCE Conference “Safety of Journalists – New Challenges and Responses”

  INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE  “Safety of Journalists – New Challenges and Responses”  3 July 2017, Vilnius  Freedom of expression and independent journalism are the cornerstones of every democratic society. Yet, we are witnessing a different reality. Journalists and media experts continue to face physical and verbal attacks and intimidations as a direct result of their professional activities. The scale of violence against journalists is stunning – since 1992, more than a thousand journalists have been killed worldwide. In some countries, conditions for media professionals are in constant deterioration – oppressive political pressure, arbitrary arrests and prosecutions, disinformation wars, terrorism and defamation…