Serbia: Attacks against journalists must stop

Following the recent media stage black out in Serbia to warn against Serbian leader Aleksandar Vucic‘s muzzling of the press, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ)’s Steering Committee meeting yesterday (9 October 2017) in Brussels discussed how to best support its affiliates to resist such mounting pressure and coordinate successful advocacy at European and international level. “We ask the European Commission and in particular EU Commissioner Hahn, responsible for European Neighbourhood Policy & Enlargement Negotiations, to be firm and coherent when it comes to enforcement of European standards of freedom of expression and media freedom in Serbia” said Mogens Blicher…

The 2nd Eastern Partnership Media Conference

The 2nd Eastern Partnership Media conference, organised by the European Commission with the direct support of the European External Action Service and the Government of Ukraine will bring together more than 300 participants from the Partner countries and the European Union. The conference is an event building up to the 5th Eastern Partnership Summit to be held in Brussels in November this year, and the discussions and findings will provide a basis for further considerations at the Summit. The overall goal of the conference is to draw the attention of EU member states and partner countries to the importance of…

OSCE Media Freedom Representative building new coalition defending media freedom

A coalition of international journalist and media freedom organisations, as well as intergovernmental institutions have gathered in Brussels on 5 September under the initiative of Harlem Désir, the newly appointed OSCE Media Freedom Representative, and the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) to discuss challenges and develop new ideas for cooperation to defend media freedom across Europe. The attended organisations included Access Now, Article 19, Association of European Journalists, Committee to Protect Journalists, European Federation of Journalists, European Digital Rights, IFEX, International Federation of Journalists, Index on Censorship, International News Safety Institute, International Press Institute, PEN International, Reporters Without Borders as well as David Kaye the UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of…

Russian TV presenter Alexander Batmanov detained by police in unlawful conditions

Alexander Batmanov, presenter for Volgograd based channel NGO TV, was detained by Russian police on the suspicion of theft from a grocery store on Friday July 7. Mr Batmanov was summoned by the police several weeks ago on suspicion of having stolen food from a grocery store but never responded to the summons. On Friday 7th, he was arrested by the police. Due to the police’s dissatisfaction with their discussions with him, Batmanov remained detained over the weekend in an office on the police station’s third floor without any food or water. In an attempt to escape, Batmanov jumped out…

EP hearing: “Media pluralism essential element for democracy”

Citizens’ fundamental rights to freedom of expression and information can only be guaranteed through media freedom and pluralism. Even though that is enshrined in Article 11 of the Charter, the reality is different. “Since our last report in 2013, plurality has just gotten worse,” stressed Italian MEP Barbara Spinelli in her opening remarks at the “Media Pluralism and Freedom in the EU” hearing, which took place in the European Parliament on Tuesday (11/07/2017). Organised by the Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) Committee, it reflected the media situation in EU, with the experts presenting the most alarming issues. Spinelli…

#MPM2016: No country free of risk on media pluralism, shows report

In 2016, the Media Pluralism Monitor (MPM) examined media freedom and pluralism indicators in 28 European countries as well as in Montenegro and Turkey, two applicant countries. The Centre for Media Pluralism and Media Freedom (CMPF) released on Friday (19/05/2017) the report which shows alarming trends, in particular when it comes to journalistic profession including working conditions, safety, protection of sources, access and the role of unions and associations in protecting journalists. The report especially emphasized that no country is free from risks when it comes to media pluralism. The risks were examined under different aspects and potential threats, related to…

Meeting EP rapporteur Barbara Spinelli on media freedom

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) and press freedom groups met yesterday (11/05/2017) with Italian MEP Barbara Spinelli, Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) Committee, who is the main rapporteur for an upcoming own initiative report on media freedom. Tom Gibson from the Committee to Protect Journalists, EFJ director Renate Schroeder, Giovanni Melogli from the International Alliance of Journalists and Julie Majerczak from Reporters Without Borders pointed out the importance of monitoring media freedom, solving the issue of self-censorship, strengthening media pluralism, boosting media literacy and finding more efficient law enforcement at European level when it comes to attacks…

Workers’ Day: Media Freedom requires decent working conditions for journalists

“There can be no press freedom if journalists exist in conditions of corruption, poverty or fear”… On this Workers’ Day, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) strongly encourage journalists to share the motto of the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ). Guaranteeing fair and decent working conditions to journalists is a precondition for media freedom. The study “Journalists under pressure” published on 20th April by the Council of Europe, based on a sample of 940 journalists reporting from 48 countries, shows that journalists in Europe are often exposed to serious pressure in their work, including intimidation and violence. As a consequence, many…

The CoE adopted resolution on attacks against journalists

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe on Tuesday discussed the rising levels of violence against journalists, particularly in Turkey, Russia and Azerbaijan. Ukrainian MP Volodymyr Ariev (EPP/CD), pictured above, presented the report, where he drew attention to the death of 16 journalists and the arrest of 150 media employees since January 2015 in member States. Mr. Ariev spoke about the deterioration of media freedom in Turkey and called for “release from detention all journalists who have not been indicted for actively participating in terrorist acts”. He also raised concerns on the media situation in Crimea and eastern parts of Ukraine.…

Commissioner for Human Rights Nils Muižnieks reiterates his commitment on media freedom

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) held a meeting on 9 November with the Council of Europe’s Commissioner for Human Rights Nils Muižnieks and his team at the EFJ headquarters in Brussels. The two teams discussed current threats to media freedoms in Europe especially the situation in Turkey and abuses of defamation laws against journalists in EU countries. EFJ General Secretary Ricardo Gutiérrez presented the main challenges and projects the EFJ is currently working on, namely the independence and the strengthening of public service broadcasting in Eastern Europe and the Balkans, the oppressive emergency situation in Turkey and the increase of self-censorship and hate speech in the…

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