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Violence against journalists has increased in Western Balkans

Number of attacks against journalists has increased in last few years. What causes even more worries is the fact that physical attacks and violence against journalists has increased too. That was pointed out at the opening of two-day conference held in Belgrade on 6th and 7th December 2016 on Media Freedom and Security of Journalists in Western Balkans. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) has been invited to take part to the event. The conference was organized by the Independent Association of Serbian Journalists (NUNS) as the part of the project Regional Platform for Advocating Media Freedom and Security of Journalists…

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The future of news is linked to journalists’ working conditions

On 1st December, the Council of Europe’s Steering Committee on Media and Information Society (CDMSI) invited the EFJ, digital start-ups and media groups to discuss  “Media adaptation strategies and expectations” together with representatives of the Council of Europe government representatives. Rasmus Kleis Nielsen, Director of Research at the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism of Oxford University, presented at the outset the results of a recent study on Challenges and opportunities for news media and journalism in an increasingly digital, mobile and social media environment –   prepared for the Council of Europe on this topic. “The move to an…

Police officers investigate the area where three women were killed in a restaurant in Imatra, Eastern Finland on December 4, 2016.
A gunman shot dead three women, including a local council official, as they were leaving a restaurant in a small Finnish town on Saturday night, police said. / AFP PHOTO / Lehtikuva / Hannu RISSANEN / Finland OUT

Two journalists and a local politician killed in Finland shooting

Two journalists and a local politician were shot dead with a rifle outside a restaurant in the small Finnish town of Imatra at around midnight on Saturday night. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) today called on the authorities in Finland to conduct a swift investigation of the killings. The chairwoman of Imatra Town Council and two local reporters were gunned down in a pedestrian area outside a restaurant in the town just before a police patrol car arrived to the scene around midnight Saturday. A 23-year-old local man with a criminal record was detained at the scene, but the motive for the…

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Social media need “self-regulation, education and literacy, not new restrictions”, says Dunja Mijatović in a report

The Representative on Freedom of the Media of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), Dunja Mijatović, published today her regular report to the Permanent Council from March 2016. She expressed great concerns about the safety of journalists and fake news on social media. Here are some excerpts. On the safety of journalists: As you all know, unfortunately safety of journalists continues to dominate my agenda. Impunity for killings, attacks and threats prevails. This must stop. In order to assist the participating States in monitoring progress on fighting impunity for killings of journalists my Office has prepared a…

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The Russian Union of Journalists committed to stop gender-based violence in Russia

On November 28, the Russian Union of Journalists (RUJ), together with the United Nations agencies in Russia and the Centre for gender and media studies of Moscow State University, organised a round table focused on “Russian journalists in UN: Combating gender-based violence”. This event took place in the Moscow Journalist Club and gathered experts, journalists and human rights activists. It followed the International Federation of Journalists action to mark UN Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and Girls on 25 November. Nadezda Azhgikhina, vice-president of the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) and member of the IFJ Gender council, presented a…

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8 tips for migration coverage

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) has been invited by the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) to attend the 10th edition of the Civil society media seminar held at the Diplomatic Academy on 24-25 November 2016 in Vienna. The seminar gathered over 190 experts (policy makers, journalists, social workers, law enforcement officers, refugees, professors) and was dedicated this year to the topic “Communicating Migration”.  EESC President Georges Dassis said :”Europe’s reconstruction is greatly due to migrants’ contributions. Over the past two years, media have played a big role in our perception of the migration flows. It is thus necessary to mention the benefits…

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EU Parliament Resolution to tackle anti-EU Propaganda comes under criticism from journalists

Propaganda pressure on the EU from Russia and Islamist terrorist groups is growing, the European Parliament warned in a non-legislative resolution voted on Wednesday. To counteract so-called anti-EU campaigns, MEPs suggested reinforcing the EU’s “strategic communication” task force and investing more in awareness raising, media literacy, online and local media as well as investigative journalism. The resolution calls on EU member states to boost funding for counter-propaganda projects. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) is not convinced by this controversial resolution. A total of 691 MEPs participated in the vote: 304 (44%) voted in favor of the resolution dubbed “EU…

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German journalists concern over media concentration due to newspapers takeover

Journalists and their unions in Germany expressed concerns over the sale of newspaper Donaukurier to the larger publishing house Passauer Neue Presse (PNP). The Bavarian Journalists’ Association, a member of the German Federation of Journalists (DJV) warned that the deal will result in further media concentration and uncertainty for the journalists  working at both Donaukurier and PNP. In response to this development, the journalists’ unions in Germany including DJV, (dju) in ver.di and BJV will organise a protest on Saturday 24 November in the Passauer Fußgängerzone, Bahnhofstr. 2-4 (in the City Gallery). The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) supports the action…

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EU colloquium called on Commission to protect whistleblowers

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) attended on 17-18 November 2016 the second edition of EU colloquium on fundamental rights dedicated this year to media pluralism and democracy. Hosted by Frans Timmermans, the European Commission’s first vice-president said in his opening speech that “being a journalist has become one of the most dangerous professions worldwide. Being a journalist is dangerous because of the physical dangers, it’s dangerous because of all the abuse you get all the time – online and elsewhere – it’s dangerous also because you take huge risks with the sustainability of your finances since it also is…

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Dataharvest 2017, the European investigative journalism conference

The EFJ is encouraging to register for the Dataharvest/EIJC, the European Investigative Journalism Conference organised by Journalismfund.eu, the most relevant networking event for investigative and data journalists in Europe. Dataharvest/EIJC 2017 will take place on Thursday 18, Friday 19, Saturday 20 and Sunday morning 21 May 2017 in Mechelen (Belgium). Conference hashtag is #EIJC17. register at : www.dataharvest.eu  Dataharvest EIJC was first organised in 2011, when some 30 journalists gathered in Brussels to exchange best practices and story ideas. In 2012, the number of participants more than doubled to about 95, a number that increased even further to 150 in 2013, 194…

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Stop impunity, nobody should be free to kill journalists

by Mogens Blicher Bjerregård, EFJ President 827 journalists were killed during the last decade and paid the ultimate price for exercising their job. An appalling and worrying fact documented by the biannual report from the Director General at UNESCO. The safety of journalists and fighting impunity was on top of the agenda during the UNESCO IPDC Council meeting, 17th-18th November 2016 in Paris. IPDC is an UNESCO program for safety of journalists, press freedom and media development. As the representative of Denmark, I delivered the following speech: Eight hundred and twenty seven, 827 journalists, have been killed since 2006. This is…

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ETUC says new research shows need for EU whistleblower protection law

The European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) issued today a press release calling for an EU-wide whistleblower protection. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) is a member organisation of the ETUC and fully supports the following statement. The EFJ is encouraging individuals and organisations to sign its petition on the issue. The EU can and should do a lot more to protect workers who come forward and blow the whistle on wrongdoing. Legal protection for whistleblowers throughout  the EU is a complicated maze of protections and the various civil liability laws mean that some people may be penalised and held personally liable…

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Panama: IFJ/EFJ urge to release Dutch journalist detained over fraud and corruption reports

The International and European Federations of Journalists, IFJ and EFJ, together with their affiliate the Dutch Journalists Association (NVJ), have called for the immediate release of a Dutch journalist who faces a 20-month jail sentence. Dutch journalist Okke Ornstein was detained and arrested upon arriving at Panama’s Tocumen International Airport on 15 November. He is facing a 20-month sentence for libel and slander in relation to articles he posted on his blog about the alleged dubious business activities of a Canadian citizen, Monte Friesner, in Panama. The unions claim the libel and slander claims are baseless. The substantive aspects of…

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Internet freedom around the world declined in 2016

Freedom on the Net 2016 report published by Freedom House : Key Findings •Internet freedom around the world declined in 2016 for the sixth consecutive year. •Two-thirds of all internet users – 67 percent – live in countries where criticism of the government, military, or ruling family are subject to censorship. •Social media users face unprecedented penalties, as authorities in 38 countries made arrests based on social media posts over the past year. Globally, 27 percent of all internet users live in countries where people have been arrested for publishing, sharing, or merely “liking” content on Facebook. •Governments are increasingly…

A general view shows the House of Lords chamber in session at the Houses of Parliament in London on September 5, 2016 during which Norman Fowler, the new Lord Speaker, speaks. 
The House of Lords is the upper house of the UK parliament.  / AFP PHOTO / POOL / Kirsty Wigglesworth

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…

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