Collective Toolbox

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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…

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Turkey: Organising journalists under the state of emergency

The regional meeting of EFJ-IFJ affiliates from the Balkans and Eastern Europe successfully took place in Istanbul on 29-30 November 2016. The meeting was hosted by the Journalists Union of Turkey (TGS) and the Istanbul office of the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES) who are financially supporting the event with the Swedish Union To Union global trade union programme. The gathering of more than 10 international journalists representatives showing solidarity under the state of emergency with so many journalists in jail (over 120), under prosecution (thousands), without job (over 10.000) was warmly welcomed by the colleagues and local media.   The event has primarily focused on…

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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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President Juncker joined trade union debate on future of Europe

The European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) welcomed European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker for a discussion on the future of Europe with trade union leaders from all EU countries. The discussion took place yesterday, in Brussels, during an extraordinary Executive Committee meeting of the ETUC. The European Federation of Journalists was represented by its General Secretary, Ricardo Gutiérrez. The ETUC believes a wide debate on the future of Europe is desperately needed due to the growing lack of trust in the EU caused by high unemployment and poverty, Brexit, terrorism, the failure to deal effectively with the refugee emergency, and growing…

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Media Pluralism monitor now in 30 countries: worrying results

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) was invited to the Final conference on “The Application of the Media Pluralism monitor (MPM2016) in 30 countries in Florence on 4 November. The preliminary, but almost finished results, gave some alarming trends, in particular when it comes to the journalistic profession including access, the role of unions and associations in protecting journalists, working conditions, safety and protection of sources. In Florence, #MPM2016 preliminary results show a range of risks for journalists working in Europe, particularly in S&SE Europe @CmpfEui pic.twitter.com/nVkdwAdrqR — JOURNALISM AT MDX (@JRNatMDX) November 4, 2016 The Media Pluralism Monitor 2016…

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Rights and Jobs in Journalism: Building Stronger Unions in Europe – New handbook launched

In the past years, the media industry has undergone drastic changes due to the emergence of new technologies in the way news are produced and consumed as well as the structural changes driven by the economic crisis. Journalists’ organisations themselves also undergo changes to renew their commitment and strategies to counter new challenges. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) launched a handbook within the framework of a project, ‘‘Rights and Jobs in Journalism: Building Strong Unions in Europe’’, showcasing best practices of journalists’ organisations undertaken to tackle new challenges. The handbook was launched in a final conference held in Zagreb…

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Enforcing labour rights for journalists in South East Europe and Turkey

Enforcing labour rights and improving working conditions for journalists remain challenging in South East Europe and Turkey, as concluded in the Labour Rights Expert Group meeting of the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) on 26 October in Zagreb. The meeting is partly funded by the UNESCO as part of the project “Building trust in the media in South East Europe and Turkey” that enables labour rights experts from the region to exchange views with their colleagues. Erisa Zykaj, journalist and representative from the Association of Professional Journalists of Albania (APJA) said that the enforcement of labour rights is yet to…

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EFJ participates in European trade union informal network on digitisation

(7 October 2016) European trade union federations (ETUFs) informal network on digitialization met  to exchange view on following topics: The need  to regulate on right to disconnect through collective bargaining and other legal instruments Surveillance of data of employees at the workplace, analysis patterns and rating platforms of employers The link between digitalisation and gender equality Online-Platforms and the “sharing economy” with atypical forms of workers as crowdworking, freelancers and the need for framework for employee protection and equal treatment, collective bargaining and fighting undeclared work Digital integration of value chains The Copyright Reform and Intellectual Property Rights and the…

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Confronting the crisis of transparency and censorship facing journalism in Serbia

A mission to Serbia by the Ethical Journalism Network and the European Federation of Journalists this month has called for urgent action to strengthen journalism and independent media across the country. Aidan White, EJN Director, and EFJ Project Officer Mehmet Koksal talked with media leaders and journalism support groups during their visit on September 16-17. They found that problems of political bias, lack of transparency in ownership, manipulated state funding for favoured media, and a desperately weak economic situation all contribute to a deeply flawed media system. “The media crisis cannot be allowed to get worse,” said White. “It poisons…

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South East Europe and Turkey journalists join European Labour Rights Experts group

Journalists and media workers from South East Europe and Turkey are able to share best practices, illuminate present challenges in labour rights and benefit from legal expertise after joining European Labour Rights Experts Group. “If journalists’ working conditions are poor, how can media be the driver for sustainable and peaceful development in the region? By promoting these exchanges, UNESCO and the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) aim for a collective upgrade of media professionals’ rights, for the benefit of publics and democracy,” commented Mehmet Koksal, project officer from EFJ. Under the EU-funded project “Building Trust in media in South East…

Greece: union representative dismissed at Alpha 989 radio station

Journalists at Greece’s Alpha 989 radio station are to meet to consider action following the “unfair, illegal and abusive” dismissal of their union representative. The International and European Federations of Journalists have pledged their support to Greek affiliate JUADN following the sacking of Georgia Ioannidou. The union had given the radio station’s board a deadline to reinstate Georgia, who is also a board member of JUADN, but the company failed to act. In a statement the union said: “Our colleague has been targeted for being a union representative and her persistence in taking up issues with the personnel department such…

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European trade unions call for stronger protection of workers in digital economy

European trade unionists and the European Commission have called for a new start for strong social dialogue following in a conference with multi-stakeholders on ”Shaping the new world of work” held by the European Trade Union Institution (ETUI) and the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) in Brussels. The conference was kicked off by a panel of high-level speakers from European and international institutions, including Marianne Thyssen, EU Employment Commissioner, Jeffrey Franks, International Monetary Fund (IMF) Europe Office Director, Guy Ryder, Director-General of the International Labour Organisation (ILO), Mark Keese, head of the OECD’s employment, analysis and policy division, Thomas Handel,…

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Irish government must restore freelance rights for collective barganing

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), joining its affiliate in Ireland the National Union of Journalists, is welcoming the decision of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) to challenge Ireland’s failure to treat freelance workers in accordance with the rights enshrined in the organisation’s convention. Following a complaint by the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) the Irish government faces questions at the ILO assembly in Geneva about the treatment of freelance workers, who are denied the right to be collectively represented by unions as a result of the actions of the former Competition Authority in Ireland. The complaint was lodged…

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No to the yellow card on posted workers

The European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) has written to the European Commission demanding that it : • rejects the arguments against the revision of the posting of workers directive in the ‘yellow card’ from some Member States; • allows a democratic debate without delay on the existing proposal through the normal EU legislative procedure with governments and the European Parliament. The ETUC letter accuses the Member States involved of neglecting their own workers. “All trade unions in Europe, including in countries where parliaments have supported the yellow card procedure, strongly support revision of the Posting of Workers Directive,” said Luca Visentini,…

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40 % of Serbian journalists wants to leave the profession

Journalists Union of Serbia (SINOS – EFJ affiliate) in partnership with the Friedrich Ebert Foundation held a seminar in Prolom Banja (Serbia) from 19 to 21 May. The theme of the was organising unions for media workers in Serbia and the Balkans countries. The participants talked about precarious work, legal and social status of journalists and the sustainability of trade unions in the media with multinational ownership problems. The President of the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), Mogens Blicher Bjerregard spoke about the experience of organizing unions for journalists in different European Union member states. He stressed that progress is possible when…

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Swiss journalists campaign for collective agreements

Swiss Employment Law is designed liberally and the protection of employees is quite weak compared to other countries. In Switzerland, due to the different circumstances in each language area, the working conditions in the media industry vary from one area to another. While a Collective Agreement for journalists does exist in the French-speaking part of Switzerland, journalists in the German- and Italian-speaking parts have been working without one since 2004 and are therefore constantly facing the consequences of the lack of protection. However, there is reason to hope that this long lasting state of affairs may come to an end…

A man holds up a placard as people demonstrate in support of Turkish daily newspaper Zaman in front the headquarters in Istanbul on March 4, 2016.
An Istanbul court on Friday ordered into administration the Turkish daily newspaper Zaman  that is sharply critical of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, amid growing alarm over freedom of expression in the country.  / AFP / OZAN KOSE

Turkey: Press conference tomorrow to support press freedom

On March 24, 2016 at 5:00 pm, a press conference in support for “freedom of information and freedom for journalists” in Turkey  will be held in the district of Cağaloğlu in Istanbul, where representative of national and international professional media organisations will gather together. The conference is the result of a joint ongoing campaign launched by the Journalists Association of Turkey (TGC), the Journalists’ Union of Turkey (TGS), the Progressive Journalists Association (CGD), DISK-Basin Is trade union, Haber Sen trade union and the Turkish national press institute to set imprisoned journalists free. International media organisations. including EFJ, IFJ, IPI, EJN,…

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Improving social rights for atypical workers in culture and media sector

On 26-27 January, FIA (Actors’ Unions), FIM (musicians), UNI-Europa (media, entertainment & art) and the EFJ organised a workshop in Ljubljana and discussed how to better protect those categories of workers who do not enjoy any social and legal  protection. MEP Tanja Fajon gave a video key note speech reminding participants that all EU Member States are committed to provide social security for all workers, and that we all have to defend the European social model. She referred to the EP report on social protection for all including self-employed workers. The report asks the European Commission and Member States to…

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UNESCO and European Union launch a new project with EFJ to build trust in media in South East Europe and Turkey

UNESCO and the European Commission have renewed their partnership to strengthen freedom of expression and media freedom in South East Europe and Turkey. The new project, Building Trust in media in South East Europe and Turkey, will last 36 months starting in early 2016. The European Commission is contributing 1,500,000 Euros to support media self-regulation mechanisms, promote media internal governance and foster media and information literacy (MIL) in the region. “This project is a direct follow-up of the previous successful project, Media Accountability in South East Europe and Turkey, and aims at further supporting professional and ethical journalism and boosting…

Journalists and Turkish intellectuals shout slogans during a demonstration on December 26, 2015 in Istanbul, following the arrest of Cumhuriyet newspaper's Editor in Chief last month. 
A court in Istanbul charged two journalists from the opposition Cumhuriyet newspaper with spying after they alleged Turkey's secret services had sent arms to Islamist rebels in Syria, Turkish media reported. Editor-in-chief Can Dundar and Erdem Gul, the paper's Ankara bureau chief, are accused of spying and "divulging state secrets". Both men were placed in pre-trial detention.  / AFP / OZAN KOSE

It was a terrible year for journalists in Europe

The General secretary of the European Federation of Journalists, Ricardo Gutiérrez, has been quoted today in Politico as stating: “It’s been an awful year. I must say, five years ago I was not suspecting such a bad evolution.” The title of the article is very clear: “2015, an awful year for Europe’s free media – A year of arrests, assaults, legal restrictions and murder”. “It was a terrible year for journalists in Europe,” writes Alex Spence, the author of the article. “Attacks by Islamic militants, unjustified arrests, assaults, harassment, threats and tougher legal restrictions made it harder for editors, reporters and photographers…