Panama Papers: ICIJ Maltese journalist sued for defamation by Prime Minister Muscat

Updated on 16.05.2017. Malta’s Prime Minister Joseph Muscat has filed on the 10th of May 2017 a defamation case against Matthew Caruana Galizia, journalist at the International consortium of investigative journalists (ICIJ) and Pulitzer Prize winner, for revealing documents through the Panama Papers accusing Maltese Prime Minister of corruption. Joseph Muscat denied the journalist’s allegations. The European Federation of Journalists called on the minister to reconsider his legal action, highlighting the chilling effect of such an action on media freedom. Caruana Galizia is sued in relation to a series of posts and documents published on his Facebook page proving, among others, that the Prime Minister took kickbacks on the sale of Maltese passports, via his chief of staff Keith…

Meeting EP rapporteur Barbara Spinelli on media freedom

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) and press freedom groups met yesterday (11/05/2017) with Italian MEP Barbara Spinelli, Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) Committee, who is the main rapporteur for an upcoming own initiative report on media freedom. Tom Gibson from the Committee to Protect Journalists, EFJ director Renate Schroeder, Giovanni Melogli from the International Alliance of Journalists and Julie Majerczak from Reporters Without Borders pointed out the importance of monitoring media freedom, solving the issue of self-censorship, strengthening media pluralism, boosting media literacy and finding more efficient law enforcement at European level when it comes to attacks…

Temporary refuge for European journalists at risk

+++ new deadline for applications: 19 MAY 2017 +++ The ECPMF’s Journalists-in-Residence programme is designed to host journalists from across geographical Europe who face harrassment and intimidation in their home country. It provides a temporary refuge, a safe place to rest and to continue ones work and — if so desired by those being hosted — a platform to highlight threats to media freedom back home. Key info at a glance: Eligible countries: EU28, Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova, Turkey, countries of the Western Balkans and the Caucasus region Timeframe of the upcoming residency cycle: July 2017 to January 2018 (individual arrangements…

Last chance to register for EIJC17 & Dataharvest 

Seven more days until the seventh ever EIJC & Dataharvest Conference. If you haven’t registered yet, you will want to do so soon. Here’s why. There are over one hundred sessions packed into two and a half days and spread over ten wildly interesting tracks: Cross-border, Data, Data Lab, Entrepreneurial & Funding, Online Research & Security, Tax & Finance, Algorithm Accountability, Journo-scholar collaboration and Wobbing. Check the programme here. Get your hands dirty at our hand-on Data Lab and dive into software like Excel, SQL, Python scraper, R for journalists with the help of experienced data trainers. There will be sessions for all levels: beginner, intermediate,…

Judicial harassment against journalists in Turkey

The European and International Federations of Journalists (EFJ-IFJ) are strongly concerned about the judicial harassment in Turkey against journalists and media workers detained for allegedly “being member” or “doing propaganda on behalf of an illegal organisation”. The EFJ-IFJ has received a detailed report about the critical situation of the young (27) female Turkish journalist and law student Aysenur Parildak, arrested for more than 9 months, released by court on 2nd of May 2017 and immediately re-arrested the same day with new charges related to the same facts (being correspondent for Zaman newspaper). Similarly mid-April 2017, 12 journalists (Gökçe Fırat Çulhaoğlu, Yakup Çetin, Bünyamin Köseli, Cihan…

Journalist in Hungary violently expelled from a forum by a local politician

Júlia Halász, a reporter of the Hungarian liberal 444.hu website, was violently expelled from one of the public party forums in Budapest last Thursday (04/05/2017). National Economy Minister Mihály Varga and National Defence Minister István Simicskó were explaining the dangers of the “Soros network” and the “Stop Brussels” campaign. Halász was reporting on the anti-Soros forums and started producing footage when she was approached by three men who told her to leave, as she could not record the event without registration. “I went back in the room, but no longer recorded the event with the camera. I just took some…

The battle between the media and politics in Europe

ita Increasing tensions between the interest of media and politics pose a serious threat for European democracy. An editorial by Mogens Blicher Bjerregård, President of the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), originally published by the Osservatorio Balcani e Caucaso Across Europe, the political understanding of the impact of journalism and the importance of free media for democracy seems to be in decline. When we take a look around, we can only deplore the worsening discrepancy between the media as a fundamental pillar of our democracies and populist politicians increasingly criticizing or even violating media freedoms when they can’t use them as…

New study shows that media are under-resourced when covering migration

Media in many countries in the Euro-Mediterranean region don’t have enough resources and are unable to provide time, money and appropriate level of expertise needed to tell the migration story in context. This is the main finding of a recent study “How does the media on both sides of the Mediterranean report on migration?”, conducted by the Ethical Journalism Network (EJN) and implemented by the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD). Journalists from 17 countries examined the quality of migration media coverage in 2015/2016 from a national perspective. The study covers nine European countries and eight countries in the…

Sharing practices to organise journalists in Turkey

The European and International Federation of Journalists (EFJ-IFJ) organised on 2nd of May 2017 a workshop for TGS trade unionists (Journalists Union of Turkey) in Istanbul with Tim Dawson (NUJ President) as the trainer. In the training, the NUJ example in the UK was discussed and TGS branch and national leaders debated various issues including collective bargaining, signing recognition agreements, recruiting members accross all sectors, the impact of social media, producing stress surveys, distributing flyers, proposing legal services and planning activities in the country. Have a look to the video report (activate subtitles in English by pressing on CC) about…

Pristina media days and protest for media freedom in Kosovo

The EFJ was invited to the Prishtina media days organised by the University of Prishtina in cooperation with the University of Vienna and the South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO) on 3-5 May. Under the motto of “Truth and wisdom in journalism. Media and social change”, experts on media and journalism discussed with a large group of  students of journalism the main challenges ahead of us: relationship between journalists and audience; role of media in societies of transition including the public service media and its specific challenges when it comes to financial sustainability and political independence. They also discussed how…

Finding the answer to fake news in ‘post-truth’ climate

“A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes,” says the quote by Mark Twain which speakers used as a starting point at the debate on journalism in ‘post-truth’ climate at Difference Day. The event was hosted by the Centre for Fine Art (BOZAR) in Brussels on the occasion of World Press Freedom Day (WPFD), which is celebrated May 3rd every year. One of the five panels on journalism and press freedom talked about the spread of misinformation, which is widely scattered through different platforms and an alarming phenomenon. Experts on the panel emphasized the…