UK competition authority to investigate Century Fox’s takeover of Sky

The UK competition authority (CMA) will investigate the proposed merger of 21st Century Fox with Sky on the grounds of media plurality, announced by the Secretary of State, Karen Bradley.  The affiliate of the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) has welcomed the investigation but urged Bradley to broaden the scope of her referral. NUJ acting general secretary, Séamus Dooley, said the inquiry should also deal with the threat posed to broadcasting standards and the union reiterated its call for the government to implement the Leveson Inquiry Part Two. If the merger goes ahead the…

Greece: stop threats against media pluralism!

The International and European Federations of Journalists (IFJ and EFJ) have strongly backed calls by Greek journalists to prevent banks forcing the closure of the country’s oldest newspapers and threatening up to 500 jobs. The IFJ and EFJ have backed demands from their Greek affiliate, the Journalists’ Union of Athens Daily Newspapers (JUADN), to stop the banks foreclosing on the Lambriakis Press Group (DOL) loans.  The group, which owns the oldest national newspapers To Vima and Ta Nea, is facing serious trouble after the banks threatened to call in their loans. Over 500 media workers, including 250 journalists, most of…

EU Colloquium on Fundamental Rights: “Media pluralism and democracy”

European Commission First Vice-President Frans Timmermans, in cooperation with Commissioner Günther Oettinger and Commissioner Vĕra Jourová, will be hosting the 2016 Colloquium on Fundamental Rights on 17 and 18 November 2016 in Brussels. Key national and EU policy makers in the European Union, media representatives, journalists, companies, representatives of civil society organisations, international organisations and academics will reflect together, from a fundamental rights perspective, on the multiple links between a free and pluralistic media space and democracy. They will explore the challenges and opportunities arising in the converged media environment, where for example opinion-shaping is increasingly done on internet platforms…

Excessive restrictions on foreign broadcasters in Moldova

The European Federation of Journalists is strongly opposed to restrictions on foreign broadcasters in Moldova. The amendments to the Audio-visual Code under consideration by the Parliament in Moldova run counter to international standards on media freedom. On 7 July, the Parliament adopted, in the first reading, amendments to the Audio-visual Code of the Republic of Moldova. The amendments proposed by the Liberal Party and the Democratic Party, members of the ruling coalition, aim to limit broadcasts in foreign languages or those originating from abroad. Ricardo Gutiérrez, the EFJ general secretary, participated to a public debate organised by the chairman of the Parliament…

The Polish media law is signed: our letter to EU Commissioner Oettinger

Poland’s president Andrzej Duda has signed today a controversial state media law. Prior to the next weekly meeting by the college of Commissioners on 13 January, 2016 in which the European Commissioners will discuss both the developments of the Constitutional Court and the media law in Poland, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) has sent the following letter to Commissioner Günther Oettinger. Commissioner Günther Oettinger, responsible for the digital economy and society, said on Sunday Poland should be put under the EU’s rule of law supervision, a three-step procedure consisting of a Commission assessment, a Commission recommendation and a follow-…

A true democracy cannot function without a public broadcaster

Comisiones Obreras (FSC-CCOO), one of the EFJ affiliates in Spain, just launched a campaign in defense of public broadcasting. “Public broadcasting is under attack in Europe. Political and economic decision makers are questioning its credibility and even its existence. People should not forget the function of public broadcasting: to ensure public opinion is based on truthful, plural and independent information.” Here is the video of the FSC-CCOO campaign (subtitled in English):

Turkey: State prosecutors attempt to ban opposition media during election

According to several media reports, the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office has urged the Communications Ministry to hamper all media communications linked to the Gülen movement by withdrawing state means used to facilitate the broadcasts. If executed, the general request will lead to forbid specific opposition TV channels to use satellite infrastructure controlled by the state. The office’s Bureau for Crimes against the Constitutional Order sent the Ministry a written request on April 26 to target the broadcasting and publication of TV channels, radio stations, print media outlets and websites owned by the Gülen movement claiming that the US-based preacher Gülen…

Who owns the media?

Who owns the media? Whose interest do they serve? The answers to these questions are difficult reach. To improve media ownership transparency, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) has endorsed a campaign launched by Access Info Europe for transparent and easy access to information about media ownership. According to Access Info Europe, a non-governmental organisation promoting access to information, only 9 European countries can the public find out who the actual owners of the broadcast media are from reporting to media regulators or to company registers. This is because disclosure to media regulators of beneficial (ultimate) owners of media outlets…

Europe needs more media pluralism

Europe needs more media pluralism. The application of the “Media Pluralism Monitor 2014”, developped by the Centre for Media Pluralism and Media Freedom (CMPF) at the Florence European University Institute, demonstrates that there are various risks for media pluralism across nine selected countries (Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, Estonia, France, Greece, Hungary, Italy and the United Kingdom). The results of the study are clear: “Every country has a specific weakness that creates high scores, meaning high risk”. Here are the main results (full report here): Hungary (50% of the indicators show a high risk). The MPM2014 for Hungary shows a situation of high risk for media…