Free European Media: Let’s join forces for freedom of the press!

Over 120 journalists, representatives of journalists’ organisations, national media regulators and press councils, as well as academics, politicians, and civil society activists gathered on 15-16 February at the Solidarność Centre in Gdansk, Poland, for a conference on “Free European Media”. The event has concluded with a number of proposed steps, including the need to strengthen partnerships between all stakeholders. The event has been organised by the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) in cooperation with the Council of Europe (CoE), the Nordic Journalism Centre, the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF) and the International Press Institute (IPI), with the support…

Matthew Caruana Galizia’s speech at Free European Media

This is the keynote speech given by Matthew Caruana Galizia, Pulitzer prize-winning journalist at ICIJ, at the conference “Free European Media” which took place in Gdansk, 15-16 February 2018. What are ethics? What is self-censorship? My father, brothers and I spent our first Christmas without my mother together, in a cottage hidden away in rural England. We cooked, played Monopoly and watched cowboy films by Sergio Leone. It reminded me why my mother liked them so much- her first regular column was called The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. In life, like in these parables disguised as films, there are the good…

Harlem Désir’s speech at Free European Media

This is the keynote speech given by Harlem Désir, Representative on Freedom of the Media for the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), at the conference “Free European Media” which took place in Gdansk, 15-16 February 2018.   Mr. President of the European Federation of Journalists, Mogens Bjerregård, M. President of the City of Gdansk, Pawel Adamovicz, Mr. Director Basil Kerski, who welcomed me at the European Solidarity Centre two years ago, Dear Secretary General Ricardo Gutiérrez, Dear Director Patrick Penninckx, Ladies and gentlemen, It is a great pleasure for me to be back in Gdansk, a free city since centuries, and to have the opportunity to speak with…

President’s speech on Free European Media

This is the welcoming speech given by Mogens Blicher Bjerregård, president of the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), at the conference “Free European Media” which took place in Gdansk, 15-16 February 2018.   Distinguished hosts, colleagues, partners, guests – welcome to this conference that is a part of a larger program focusing on the increasing conflict between media and politics that we witness recently. The organisers for this conference are European Federation of Journalists, the Council of Europe, the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom, the International Press Institute and the Nordic Journalism Centre. This conference should not be seen as…

EFJ co-organises the “Free European Media” Conference in Gdansk

Over 150 journalists, representatives of media organisations, media regulators and press councils, as well as academics, politicians and human rights activists are expected to attend the “Free European Media” Conference to take place in Gdansk (Poland) on 15 – 16 February 2018. The conference is organised by the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), in cooperation with the Council of Europe, the Nordic Journalism Centre, the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom and the International Press Institute, with the support of Polish journalists associations, local authorities and European Trade Union Federations, to address the importance of uncensored pluralistic media, a crucial element of liberal democracy. Participants…

Polish journalist receives death threats after public Polish TV classifies her remarks as “harmful to Poland”

Dorota Bawolek, a Polish journalist working in Brussels for Polish private TV channel Polsat TV, was targeted by hundreds of hateful messages on social media after the Polish public TV station TVP reproached her of having asked the European Commission an “upsetting” question on Thursday 13 July 2017. That Thursday, during the daily press conference of the European Commission in Brussels, Dorota Bawolek asked for explanations on the state of democracy in Poland. On that same day, the Polish Parliament had adopted a draft law that would weaken the independence and impartiality of the judiciary and of the Supreme Court…

Media freedom NGOs and professional organisations ask Polish defence minister to drop complaint against journalist

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), Reporters Without Borders (RSF), the European Magazine Media Association (EMMA), the European Newspaper Publishers’ Association (ENPA), the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF), Freedom house, Global Editors Network (GEN), Index on Censorship, International Press Institute (IPI) and South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO) have written to Polish defence minister Antoni Macierewicz urging him to withdraw his criminal complaint against Tomasz Piatek, the author of a new book about the minister’s alleged network of questionable Russian contacts. An investigative reporter for the independent newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza, Piatek is facing a possible two to…

Polish government to restrict journalists’ access to parliament

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) has today strongly condemned the latest attack on media freedom by Poland’s ruling Law and Justice party (PiS) to restrict media access parliament. Several thousand people have protested on Friday, Saturday and Sunday in Warsaw over the government’s plans to impose restrictions on media coverage of parliament. The rules proposed by the head office of the Sejm, the lower house of parliament, will ban all recording of parliamentary sessions. Only five selected Polish TV stations will be allowed to record or broadcast parliamentary sessions. The new rules will also limit the number of journalists allowed…

Coalition of journalists and press organisations highlight importance of defending press freedom on World Press Freedom Day

On May 3, World Press Freedom Day, offers an opportunity to highlight the importance of defending press freedom worldwide, as it is an essential component of any democracy. The European Magazine Media Association, in cooperation with an alliance of national, European and international media and journalist organisations, is organizing a conference, “(R)EVOLUTION OF EUROPE’S PRESS”, on 1 July 2016 in this year’s European Capital of Culture, Wroclaw, Poland. The event will bring together press publishers, politicians, journalists, academics, start-ups and technology experts to discuss a holistic view of real and potential threats for press freedom in Europe. World Press Freedom Day…

Commissioner Muižnieks calls on Poland to protect the independence of public media

The Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Nils Muižnieks, issued a statement today, at the end of a four-day visit to Poland. He expressed concerns at the adoption in December 2015 of transitional legislation in the field of public service media, pending the adoption of a wider reform in this area, expected before the summer 2016. “Placing public service media under direct government control by giving the latter the powers to appoint and dismiss the members of the supervisory and management boards of public service television and radio contradicts Council of Europe standards which notably require that public service media…

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