Romania: FAIR-MediaSind signed a collective agreement with Agerpres

The Romanian affiliate of the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), the Federation Culture and Media FAIR-MediaSind, negotiated and signed a collective agreement on 2 March 2017 with the national news agency Agerpres for the period 2017-2019. The collective agreement contains new clauses as well as new dispositions regarding holidays, pension and the Ethics and Discipline Committee. The article 22 introduces three days off on June 1 (for all employees), March 8 (for women) and November 19 (for men). The article 80 introduces the payment of seven months’ severance in case of redundancies and three in case of retirement. The article…

Russia: Sexist of the year 2016

Sexist of the year award ceremony took place in Moscow on March 10. The annual ceremony was initiated six years ago by Russian feminist group “Pro Feminism”. Blogger Natalia Bitten, the founder of the award, said that the aim of the ceremony is to combat hate speech and humiliation of women. Dozens of news-makers, politicians, religious leaders, journalists and academics have been nominated for five different awards this year. The news-portal Gazeta.ru and biologist Alexander Markov won the ‘Sexist in the Media” award for the article “It is beneficial for women to be illiterate”, where the scientist claimed that from…

Dunja Mijatović to journalists: “Never give in; never give up”

Dunja Mijatović, OSCE representative on Freedom of the Media, will leave office on Friday 10 March. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) would like to reiterate its call – defended in a letter on 16 February 2017 – to ensure continuity of the Office of OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media. The EFJ, as many media organisations, strongly believe in the high value and importance of this Office. Dunja Mijatović gave her final speech today during the presentation of her final report to the OSCE Permanent Council. She reflected on her seven years in office and highlighted the need…

Kosovo: towards a better protection of the press for legislative proceedings

Shkelqim Hysenaj, the president of the Association of Journalists of Kosovo (AJK), and researcher Petrit Collaku met on Wednesday 8 March with Aleksander Lumezi, the Kosovo’s State prosecutor, to discuss better protection for the journalists in the country. During the discussion, the AJK president shared his concerns regarding the inefficient justice system and the unsafe environment Kosovo represents for journalists. Shkelqim Hysenaj also presented to the state prosecutor the recommendations of the AJK report “The indicators of the level of media and journalists safety” published in December 2016. It recommends to improve the effectiveness of the justice system when dealing…

Albanian journalist Elvi Fundo attacked in Tirana

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) strongly condemns the attack perpetrated against Elvi Fundo, director of Citynews.al online portal and Radio Best, on Wednesday 8 March 2017 in Tirana, Albania. According to media reports, Elvi Fundo was beaten up by unidentified assailants near the train station. He was later sent to the hospital. He declared to Balkan Insight, the news portal of Balkan Investigative Reporting Network: “Two individuals attacked me near my office at 10.30 am, causing injuries (…) I don’t believe it’s a political attack but the work of criminals financed by corrupt media clans tied to drug-trafficking.” Albanian…

The ethical aspect of “robot” journalism

“Any human being, who is involved in a natural language generation (NLG) process, such as programmers or linguists, must take into account the ethical dimensions governing journalism” concluded Laurence Dierickx, a specialist in Computational Journalism, who was invited to the EFJ Digital Expert Group meeting, that took place on March 8 in Brussels. She explained that the computer scientists and start-up companies, who are heavily involved in the NLG, are not hold under the same ethical standards as journalists. Also in cases with automatically generated content, there is not always a mention that the article is written by a computer, which…

Launch of a new project to advance gender equality in media industries

A multidisciplinary European consortium comprising the Universities of Newcastle (UK), Padova (Italy) and Gothenburg (Sweden), the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) and the Permanent Conference of the Mediterranean Audiovisual Operators (COPEAM) has just been awarded a grant by the European Commission’s Directorate –General for Justice and Consumers to develop an action project to advance gender equality in media industries. The project will bring journalism, media and communication students together with media professionals so as to foster a gender equality perspective within both journalism and media education and professional journalism practice, and bridge the transition between education and employment. The project…

How to deal with fake news? Debate in European Parliament

MEP Michal Boni (EPP, Poland) together with The Guardian Media Group launched a discussion ”News: fact or fake?” on March 7 in the European Parliament. During the meeting experts, moderated by a senior editor from the Guardian – Dan Roberts, discussed how the new technologies change the business model of news reporting and how the fake news and filter bubbles do impact  democracy. Michal Boni stated at the beginning of the meeting that it is important to understand how to react to fake news. He explained: “We don’t need censorship tools, instead we need to promote the better understanding of fake…

Declaration of March 2017 joint mission to Turkey

Türkçe Following an international press freedom mission to Turkey on 7 February to 2 March 2017, the undersigned participants, representing six international free expression watchdog organisations, express severe concern about media freedom and respect for human rights and warn that the country’s democracy is under threat. The mission came in response to an ongoing purge by Turkey’s government in the wake of a failed 15 July 2016 coup attempt that traumatized the country. Hundreds of thousands have been dismissed from jobs or detained under wide-ranging emergency powers granted after the coup attempt. This includes some 155 journalists and media workers…

Ukraine: about 100 jobs at risk following revocation of Radio Vesti’s licenses

The National Council for Television and Radio Broadcasting of Ukraine revoked license of the Ukrainian broadcasting company “Radio Vesti” in Kharkiv city. The council also refused to extend the radio’s license in the capital, Kyiv. Radio Vesti, the largest national professional radio channel in the country, insists they sent the required documents on time in order to renew the licenses, which expired in February. Despite this, the National Council decided to revoke the licenses out of concerns that the ultimate beneficiary of the station was the former Minister of Revenue and Fees, Oleksandr Klymenko. Reports said that as a result,…

CoE Secretary General Jagland warns Turkey on journalists rights violations

Following the visit of Turkish Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ in Strasbourg, the Council of Europe (CoE) Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland published a harsh press statement warning the member state on severe violations of journalists and parliamentarians rights. “It is imperative for Turkey and Europe that the judicial safeguards for all those who have been dismissed or are in prison are based on the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and on the case law of the European Court of Human Rights”, said the Secretary General. Making specifically reference to “the cases of journalists and parliamentarians that are in pre-trial detention”…