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,…

President of the Croatia Journalists’ Association threatened with dismissal

UPDATE 01.10.2018: The Croatian Journalists’ Association (CJA) published an open letter  entitled “CJA’s appeal for freedom of journalism” calling for an urgent public response for public broadcaster HRT and the emblematic case of Hrvoje Zovko. The International and European Federations of Journalists (IFJ and EFJ) joined today their Croatian affiliate, Croatia Journalists’ Association (CJA), to strongly condemn the launching by the Croatian public broadcaster HRT of a procedure to fire journalist Hrvoje Zovko, president of CJA. On 12 September, Hrvoje Zovko decided to resign as deputy editor-in-chief of public TV channel HTV4. Hrvoje Zovko has been a journalist and an editor…

Danish government to cut 20% funding for public service media

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), representing 320.000 journalists across Europe, is shocked to learn that the Danish government intends to cut 20 percent of funding for Danish public service media (DR). The EFJ urges the government in Denmark to withdraw its proposal. The Danish government has agreed on a new media agreement that is expected to come into effect on January 1, 2019. The new measures include a cut in DR’s budget of 20%. It will also scrap the licence fee for public broadcasting. The measures were taken by the VLAK government with the support of the Dansk Folkeparti party. Free and…

European media organisations express support to Swiss public service and local TV and radio stations

On March 4th, Swiss citizens will decide through a national vote whether to abolish the media reception fee, previously collected through the company Billag (hence the initiative’s name “NoBillag”). The current Swiss media system is comprised of public service, private and community media, each sector with its specific functions and roles. The abolition of the national media reception fee would result in the loss of reliable sources of information and put democratic values at risk. In a country characterised by great linguistic and cultural diversity, public service media operated by SRG SSR not only guarantees access to information in all…

Spanish government threatens to take over public media in Catalonia

The media segment of the trade union FSC-CCOO and the journalists’ trade union of Catalonia (SPC-FeSP) strongly condemn the threat of takeover of Catalan public media by the Spanish central government, following the measures announced on Saturday by the Prime minister Mariano Rajoy (People’s party), with the support of the two main opposition parties (Socialist party and Ciudadanos). The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joins its affiliates FSC-CCOO and the Catalan Union of Journalists SPC-FeSP in denouncing this inacceptable political interference in dealing with public service media. This Friday, the Spanish senate could vote a series of measures in application of article 155…

Public service media in Bosnia and Herzegovina closer to sustainable funding

Public service media in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) has signed an agreement with the electric company Elektroprivreda – JP EP on the collection of TV license fee through the electricity bills starting this month. With this agreement, the Radio and Television of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BHRT) will be provided with a steady income of independent funding and will be able to start investing in new technology and programming. The other domestic electric companies will be offered the same contract and the BHRT expects a positive outcome. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) along with the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) welcomes…

Which are the challenges and solutions for public service media?

Politicians with an agenda, managements on tight budgets and industry competitors under existential threats to malicious disseminators of falsehoods – it is a “perfect storm” of challenges for today’s public service news providers. The European Broadcasting Union (EBU)’s new study addresses those changing demands, much of which were researched during a rapid tour of small group of European broadcasters in the spring 2017. The report highlighted some key trends. Economic pressure Broadcasters have to reallocate resources for new platforms in order to stay relevant, but at the same time their public funding is being squeezed. Pressure can be also put on…

Call on BiH authorities to save national public service media

The Bosnia and Herzegovina public service broadcaster (BHRT), the EFJ affiliate, the Bosnia -Herzegovina Journalists Association (BHN), the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), and the South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO) call on Bosnia and Herzegovina authorities to undertake urgent measures to save national public service media (PSM) in BiH. The above mentioned organisations urge BiH authorities to ensure political consensus about the importance of existing independent and professional national PSM in BiH, to find sustainable solutions for the funding of PSM, to undertake immediate amendments of the existing legislation and support the national public…

Croatia: EFJ alarmed by extended term for acting general manager of public service media HRT

The Croatian technical Government decided to extend the term to Siniša Kovačić as acting HRT general manager from 6 months to 1 year besides internal and external opposition. With early elections scheduled for September 11, the technical government in July opened a ten-day-consulting process on a decree to amend the law on the Croatian Radio-Television, HRT in order to allow the acting head of HRT to stay on for a year, instead of six months, which is the timeframe stipulated under the existing law. While the regulation says that the present acting HRT general manager term shall be expanded until…