Serbia: Attacks against journalists must stop

Following the recent media stage black out in Serbia to warn against Serbian leader Aleksandar Vucic‘s muzzling of the press, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ)’s Steering Committee meeting yesterday (9 October 2017) in Brussels discussed how to best support its affiliates to resist such mounting pressure and coordinate successful advocacy at European and international level. “We ask the European Commission and in particular EU Commissioner Hahn, responsible for European Neighbourhood Policy & Enlargement Negotiations, to be firm and coherent when it comes to enforcement of European standards of freedom of expression and media freedom in Serbia” said Mogens Blicher…

Today is the World Day for Decent Work!

Today is the World Day for Decent Work! A new survey from the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) shows that unions have helped winning higher pay, saving jobs and securing new collective agreements over the past twelve months. The survey of 60 IFJ affiliates from every continent – released to coincide with World Day for Decent Work – shows that attacks on collective bargaining, low pay and a lack of rights for freelances are threatening to further undermine working conditions for journalists across the globe. A significant majority of unions surveyed highlighted a lack of collective bargaining, a lack of…

Romania: Draft law threatens independence of AGERPRES news agency

The Romanian trade union of journalists MediaSind expressed its concerns about the new draft law intended to regulate the national news agency AGERPRES, to be discussed on 11 October 2017 by the Romanian Parliament. The new law foresees that any political majority could decide to dismiss the director-general, whereas the current law stipulates that the director-general cannot be biased, meaning promoting the ideas, the programmes and the activities of the political parties. Such provisions would have the same impact as on the management of the Romanian Radio Broadcasting Corporation (SRR) and the Romanian National Television Corporation (SRTV): following each election, the…

Safety protocol with 16 points for journalists covering conflict zones

The Journalists Union of Turkey (TGS) in partnership with the European and International Federation of Journalists (EFJ-IFJ) successfully organised a 2-day Safety Workshop in Diyarbakir (Southeast of Turkey) on 03-04 October 2017 for local and visiting journalists regularly covering conflict zones in the region. This workshop was organised in the framework of the IFJ-EFJ-TGS project called #GazetecilikSuçDegildir / #JournalismisNOTaCrime, a campaign to set journalism free, develop trade union rights and defend freedom of expression in Turkey which receives the financial support of the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR) Program managed by the European Commission. 30 journalists and media workers…

Journalists harassed for their reports on Hungary’s anti-Soros campaign

Several journalists working in Hungary for foreign media outlets alerted the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) about the harassment they have been subjected to. The EFJ condemns those attacks and calls on the Hungarian authorities to stop harassing the journalists in question. “Propagandists”, “spokespeople”, “drug addict”: this is the kind of verbal attacks journalists reporting on Hungary’s campaign against George Soros have received, directly from the government or some pro-governmental media outlets. The EFJ recently submitted the following two cases on the Council of Europe platform for the safety of journalists. The Website 888.hu Publishes a List of Eight Journalists Described as…

Protection of sources: Norwegian journalist won in Strasbourg

Ordering a journalist to give evidence on a source is not justified, even though the source himself has come forward to the police. That’s the main outcome of a decision of the European Court of Human Rights, today, regarding the case launched in 2012 by Norwegian journalist Cecilie Langum Becker, who was ordered to give evidence on her contacts with her source for an article about the Norwegian Oil Company, and fears that it might collapse. The European Court recalled that a journalist’s protection could not automatically be removed because of a source’s conduct. Bearing in mind its previous judgments emphasising the chilling…

Time to grant Spanish journalists full authors’ rights protection, says IFJ/EFJ

The lack of protection of journalists’ authors rights in Spain undermines their living standards and journalism ethics. A delegation of the IFJ/EFJ authors’ rights expert group (AREG) members met in Madrid on 2-3 October in solidarity with Spanish affiliates (FES-CC.OO, FESP, FAPE, ELA) to develop a strategy to change Spanish intellectual property law for a better protection of journalists’ rights. The print sector was specifically targeted. To date, Spanish publications are considered as collective works and journalists cannot claim any recognition for their authors’ rights, either from a moral rights’ (right to integrity and paternity) or an economic rights’ (remuneration…

Greece: Unions worldwide support journalists on strike to save social security and welfare funds

International Federation of Journalists affiliates from all over the world have backed colleagues from the Journalists’ Union of Athens Daily Newspapers (JUADN) who began a 24-hour general strike at 6pm today. Unions from South Africa, Australia and the US today sent solidarity messages to Greek colleagues, who are fighting to protect a Fund – Unified Journalistic Organisation of Subsidiary Social Insurance and Health Care (EDOEAP) – which for over 50 years has provided social security and welfare payments for journalists and media workers in Greece. “We the workers in news information are going on strike demanding a new ‘Charter’ for…

Russia: EFJ and IFJ renew calls for release of Ukrainian journalist

The International and European Federations of Journalists (IFJ-EFJ) have today renewed calls for the release of Ukrainian journalist Roman Sushchenko on the anniversary of his arrest by Russian authorities on spying charges. The IFJ/EFJ backed the demand of their affiliates, The National Union of Journalists of Ukraine (NUJU), the Independent Media Trade Union of Ukraine (IMTUU) and Russian Union of Journalists (RUJ) for his immediate release and the condemnation of the charges against him. Working for Ukrainian news agency Ukrinform for 14 years, Sushchenko had been the agency’s correspondent in France since 2010. He was arrested on 30 September last year…

The European Commission will not legislate on illegal content online

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) welcomes Commissioner Jourova’s decision not to initiate  EU-wide legislation to fine internet companies such as Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and Microsoft, for failing to take down hate speech. “We would like to see the laws we have in place offline enforced also online”, EU Justice Commissioner Vera Jourova said on Thursday 28 September during a press conference. Instead, the Commission proposes a guidance to internet companies about how they improve their record by complying with a voluntary code of conduct created last year and so far adopted by Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. “Our key challenge now will…

Turkey : TGS secures a new collective agreement at 9 Eylül daily

Journalists Union of Turkey (TGS, EFJ-IFJ affiliate) announced today (29/09/2017) the signature of a new collective agreement for journalists and media workers employed by 9 Eylül daily newspaper in Izmir (Turkey). The collective agreement include an increase in salary (+100 TL) for all the workers employed by the newspaper during the first year and a second increase (+250 TL) for the upcoming years. The staff will also receive a bonus (+500 TL) twice a year as a gift, an additional bonus (+500 TL) to cover crèche fees for workers under aged children, an exceptional gift (+1500 TL) for workers getting married,…