A silent problem: 4 stories on the threat of (self-)censorship

Hungary It all started with a simple question. Janos Karpati, then Brussels correspondent for the Hungarian national newswire, didn’t think it would terminate his longtime career when he addressed the Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Orban at a press conference at the fringes of the European Parliament’s plenary meeting in Strasbourg. Orban had come to Strasbourg to speak about migration – and his widely-criticized comment on reinstating the death penalty. Karpati, an experienced correspondent who has worked in Prague and Washington, DC, asked Orban about Fidesz’ position within the European People’s Party, a question he hadn’t cleared with anyone beforehand. He…

Self-censorship is affecting more and more European media

I can’t write that, it seems that more and more European journalists are saying this sentence to themselves when working for a media outlet. The refugee crisis, the Cologne attacks, the Panama papers or the new French surveillance law are some recent examples of sensitive topics that raised the question of self-censorship among journalists. The Friedrich Naumann Stiftung für die Freiheit in co-operation with the EFJ organised an event (02/05/2016) in Brussels to discuss how self-censorship affects journalists’ reporting in the European media industry.  The debate was moderated by EFJ Director Renate Schroeder, who at the outset drew the meeting’s attention to a comprehensive quantitative…

Debate – “I can’t write that”: Self-censorship in European media, 2 May 2016 in Brussels

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) together with the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom will organise a debate on self-censorship in European media on 2 May in Brussels. If an internet search has the potential to land a journalist on the blacklist of security services or if a reporter cannot guarantee for the anonymity of sources, free reporting is in danger. The same goes for journalists who have to pick their words carefully in order to secure their media company’s advertisement revenue. In several Central European states and in Europe’s neighborhood, particularly in Turkey, the government is tightening its grip on media companies.…

CoE Commissioner for Human Rights raises concerns over surveillance laws

The Council of Europe (CoE) Commissioner for Human rights Nils Muižnieks visited the International and European Federations of Journalists (IFJ and EFJ) on 3 November in Brussels to exchange on the threat of surveillance laws to press freedom in Europe. Commissioner Muižnieks , accompanied by Deputy Director Giancarlo Cardinale and Stefano Montanari , met with the EFJ Secretary General Ricardo Gutiérrez , IFJ press officer Pamela Morinière together with human rights and safety head Ernest Sagaga. The Commissioner said he has been assessing the impact of surveillance laws on journalism in Europe and wanted to consult the two journalists’ organisations…

New research project: “Journalists at Risk: part of the job?”

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) has today welcomed the launch of a new research project by the Council of Europe (CoE) to assess the risk facing journalists across the 47 CoE member states. The EFJ, Reporter without Borders (RSF), International News Safety Institute (INSI) and Index on Censorship, are partners of the project “Journalists at Risk: part of the job?” and a working group to conduct a comprehensive quantitative and qualitative study on unwarranted interference, fear of crime and self-censorship among journalists in Europe, which is one of the most important issues facing the journalism community. The working life of journalists is often…