The EU General Court denies a group of journalists access to MEPs’ expenses

The General Court of the European Union ruled on 25 September 2018 that MEPs expenses can remain secret. The highest court confirmed the European Parliament’s refusal to give access to documents related to MEPs’ expenses to a group of journalists, claiming that this would undermine MEPs’ personal privacy. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) condemns this decision and renews its call to improve transparency and access to information in the European Union. The request was forwarded to the European Parliament (EP) in 2015 by a group of 29 journalists, who wanted to access information on the MEPs’ spending records. According to Euractiv,…

Macedonia: Election Commission authorised to fine media for ‘Unbalanced Reporting’

Several amendments to the Electoral Code were passed  by the Macedonian Parliament on 25 July 2018 in a fast-track procedure, as a result of a political agreement between the leaders of the four main political parties. An amendment to the Electoral Code empowers the State Election Commission to register and monitor online media reporting on the elections. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) supports its Macedonian affiliates, the Association of Journalists of Macedonia (AJM-ZNM), the Independent Union of Journalists and Media Workers (SSNM), joined by the Council of Media Ethics of Macedonia, in criticising the new Electoral Code, as the…

EFJ calls on EU to reinstate media freedom budget

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) sent a letter to the Commissioners Gabriel and Oettinger on 24 May 2018 to express our concern that freedom of expression will not be reflected in the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF). We believe that it is crucial for media freedom and media pluralism to be given a clear priority in the EU budget for the future (2021-2027). Other media freedom organisations like the ECPMF sent a letter to Commissioners Gabriel, Navracsics, Oettinger and First Vice-President of the European Commission Timmermanns. Missing Freedom of expression budget in Multiannual Financial Framework Dear Commissioner, We write to you on…

Montenegrin investigative journalist Olivera Lakić shot and injured

The European and the International Federation of journalists (EFJ/IFJ) joined its Montenegrin affiliate, the Trade Union of Journalists of Montenegro (SMCG) in condemning the attack on Vijesti journalist Olivera Lakić, who was shot in the leg outside her home on 8 May 2018, in Podgorica. She was taken to the hospital and remains in stable condition after a man shot her in the right leg, while two other men ran away, according to Vijesti’s editor-in-chief. Olivera Lakić is working as an investigative journalist for the daily newspaper Vijesti. She is known for investigating crime and corruption in Montenegro. According to media reports she…

Hungary: two media outlets forced to close following Orbán’s electoral win

Radio station Lánchíd Rádió as well as Hungarian opposition daily newspaper Magyar Nemzet have shut down on 10 and 11 April 2018. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) is appalled by the latest developments following Orbán’s electoral win, which further narrows media pluralism in Hungary. The Hungarian opposition daily newspaper Magyar Nemzet and its online version were forced to close yesterday due to financial reasons. A sudden increase in rent of the publishing buildings, whose owners are reported to be close to the newly re-elected Hungarian Prime minister Viktor Orbán, led it to cease its media production.  The Hungarian radio station Lánchíd Rádió…

Czech President Milos Zeman verbally attacks journalists during inauguration speech

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) condemns the verbal attacks on journalists delivered by Czech President Milos Zeman during his inauguration speech on 8 March 2018 in Prague. Mr. Zeman accused the Czech public broadcaster of granting too much coverage to the TOP 09 conservative political party. He further went on to allege a general manipulation by liberal news outlets. Karolina Blinkova, a spokeswoman of Czech Television (CT) dismissed his accusations of biased news coverage in favour of the TOP 09 political party as attacks on the independence of the media: “We absolutely reject any attacks on journalists and independence of…

Media Against Hate Conference calls for higher ethical standards and effective self-regulation in journalism

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) held the final conference of the 18-month campaign ”Media Against Hate” to counter hate speech in the media in Brussels, on 5-6 March 2018. The conference was attended by around 60 participants from all over Europe including journalists, community media, media regulators, journalists’ unions, IT companies and policymakers. Harlem Désir, the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media opened the conference with a keynote speech. He emphasised high ethical standards in journalism and effective self-regulation are key to combat hate speech and disinformation in the media. Mr. Désir said, ” This is a challenging…

CoE Commissioner for Human Rights concerned about safety of journalists in Serbia

“Serbia has to establish an adequate environment for media work” said today Nils Muižnieks, Council of Europe (CoE) Commissioner for Human Rights, following a four-day follow-up visit to the country carried out from 19 to 22 February 2018. As concerns freedom of the media, the Commissioner noted the agreement of all media actors that he met that Serbia has a solid legislative framework governing this field. ”Serbia also has great investigative journalists, some of whom have been presented with prestigious international awards. The Commissioner for Information of Public Importance, whose importance for investigative journalists’ work cannot be overstated, is a…

Spain must release Swedish-Turkish journalist #HamzaYalçin!

UPDATE (24/08/2017):  Hamza Yalçin publishes letter in El Periodico criticising his arrest in Spain The International and European Federation of Journalists (IFJ and EFJ) together with its affiliates in Spain and Sweden have strongly condemned the continued imprisonment of Swedish-Turkish journalist Hamza Yalçin by Spanish authorities since 3 August 2017. “It turns out that Tayyip Erdogan declared me a terrorist because I have written and spoken against him and he warned Interpol to capture me and deliver me. The Spanish authorities, therefore, detained me and imprisoned me. I would hope that the Government of Sweden, a country to which I came…

UK Investigatory Powers Bill threatens journalistic sources and whistleblowers

The International and European Federation of Journalists, (IFJ) and (EFJ), joined their UK affiliate, The National Union of Journalists (NUJ), in strongly condemning the Investigatory Powers Bill, which threatens the right to privacy, freedom of expression and investigative journalism, giving the Government sweeping spying powers. The new law gives the UK one of the most extreme spying powers in the developed world whose impact will be felt around the world. Under the “national security” pretext, the bill, which was passed by the House of Lords on 17 November will force internet and phone companies to store their users’ browsing data…

Journalists call for lifting the ban on news channels in Turkey

The European and International Federations of Journalists (EFJ/IFJ) today organised a press briefing at the Brussels’ Press Club to protest the on-going clampdown on media in Turkey and to urge the government to lift the ban on news channels.  The Turkish government recently shut down about 20 TV and radio channels, including the Kurdish Channel Med-Nuçe based in Belgium that was removed on 3 October by Eutelsat SA, a French satellite provider, on Turkey’s request.  In Turkey, 90 journalists are in jail, more than 2,500 journalists lost their jobs and arrest warrants have been issued against hundreds of media workers…

Load more