Public Service Broadcasting

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) defends public service values in broadcasting. We promote public service values, editorial independence, quality programmes and democratic and accountable systems of administration. The EFJ is a member of the social dialogue in the audiovisual sector of the European Union.

As with other sectors, broadcasting journalists continue to face severe problems for their future. Redundancies are occurring in both public and commercial broadcasting organisations, pension funds are in crisis, and employers are, in many cases, forcing changes in working practices, changes in agreements on pay and conditions, and demanding that workers should take on additional duties and skills. It's not just employers reducing employment standards; there is a rise in political interference

The EFJ builds union solidarity. It co-ordinates discussions with unions, international organisations and other global groups dealing with media. This action programme should lead to the preservation and expansion of broadcasting of high standards and integrity.

Broadcasting News

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EBU Conference urges Parliaments to protect PSM independence

Over 100 delegates from 19 countries in Central & Eastern Europe (CEE) and beyond came together in Prague last week to discuss the need to protect the independence and sustainability of public service media (PSM) in the face of numerous challenges. The conference was hosted by the Czech Parliament in Prague, and organized by the Council of Europe, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, Czech Television and the European Broadcasting Union (EBU). Public service broadcasters, Parliamentarians, regulators, diplomats, academics and experts from a range of organisations including the Council of Europe, Venice Commission, OSCE and the European Federation of…

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Turkish government shuts down 15 Kurdish media outlets

The Turkish government issued on Saturday 29 October a decree shutting down 15 Kurdish media outlets: 11 newspapers, two news agencies and three magazines. The latest closures bring the number of media outlets shut down under state of emergency in Turkey to 168. The Turkish government declared a state of emergency on 20 July, following the failed coup attempt on 15 July. This situation allows the government to close any media organization by issuing a cabinet decree. Here is the list of media outlets targeted by the decree issued on Saturday: Newspapers: Özgür Gündem, Azadiya Welat, Batman Çağdaş , Cizre Postası…

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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…

Liviu Dragnea, elected president of Social Democratic Party (PSD) ruling party, gestures during congress of PSD to elect a new president after the Romanian Prime Minister resigned as party leader amidst a corruption probe in Bucharest October 18, 2015. AFP PHOTO / DANIEL MIHAILESCU / AFP PHOTO / DANIEL MIHAILESCU

Romania must not terminate Public Broadcasting Licence Fee

Update (25/10/2016) Romania’s parliament passed a bill on Tuesday to scrap over 100 small taxes, including radio/TV fees. The EFJ and IFJ join their Romanian affiliate FAIR-MediaSind to ask the Romanian President not to promulgate this law. ———————– On October 17, the Romanian Senate approved a draft law to eliminate the monthly TV and radio license fee and to introduce direct funding of public service media from the state budget. The proposal, initiated by the Social-Democrats leader Liviu Dragnea, has come just a few weeks ahead the general elections. The far-reaching measure was buried in a draft law proposing the elimination of…

Employees of the state-owned English-language Russia Today (RT) television network are silhouetted against the backdrop as they wait for the arrival of Russia's President Vladimir Putin at the RT new studio complex  in Moscow, on June 11, 2013. AFP PHOTO/  POOL/ YURI KOCHETKOV / AFP PHOTO / POOL / YURI KOCHETKOV

UK Bank decided to block RT accounts

State-funded Russian broadcaster RT complained on Monday that National Westminster Bank (NatWest) had withdrawn its banking services in Britain without explanation. According to a letter featured on the RT site, the bank will withdraw the card facility on November 14. ”All accounts will be closed on December 12,” the letter continues. The incident would not prevent RT from working in the United Kingdom. NatWest wrote to the UK company that supplies services to RT, rather than the television network itself. The decision to block RT accounts was taken independently by the bank, UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said Tuesday. The Royal Bank of Scotland…

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Turkey: Med Nûce, IMC TV, Hayatin Sesi,… must be re-established urgently

The European and Federation of Journalists (EFJ) has received today (05/10/2016) a delegation of journalists working for Med Nûçe television. The signal of the Kurdish channel based in Belgium has been removed on Monday (03/10/2016 at 10:00) by Eutelsat SA, a French sattelite provider, on Turkish request because “the content is not in line with public order directives of the term’s between us as well as with the laws which regulate TV distribution in Europe and surrounding countries”. The EFJ strongly condemned the action considered as a media freedom violation and reported the case to the Council of Europe’s platform…

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Turkey: 11 TV channels removed and state of emergency extended

Update on 04.10.2016: Turkish authorities cut the signal of IMC TV, sealed the building of Hayatin Sesi TV, raided the office of Özgür Radyo and detained journalists / media workers. Update on 30.09.2016, IMC TV was added to the list of banned TV channels. The European and International Federations of Journalists (EFJ-IFJ) have today (29/09/2016) backed its affiliates TGS and TGC in condemning the removal of at least 11 TV channels in Turkey including IMC TV, Hayatın Sesi, Azadi TV, Jiyan TV, Van TV, TV 10, Denge TV and Zarok TV from the national satellite platform TÜRKSAT. According to media reports, the administrative decision…

Picture taken on August 31 2016, shows the Franceinfo's TV production control room, at the Maison de la Radio, the French public service radio broadcaster Radio France's headquarters in Paris.
Franceinfo, formerly a 24-hour news radio station operated by Radio France, will become as of September 1, 2016 integrated into a new triple media 24-hour platform comprising of a rolling news channel, a reworked news radio station and a news website operating under the same name, the same logo and airing some shared content provided by four public broadcasting groups : France Televisions, Radio France, France 24 and the INA for archival images. The new public news channel will be broadcast on channel 27 of TNT. / AFP PHOTO / BERTRAND GUAY

EFJ calls on MEPs to strengthen independence of audio-visual regulators in Europe

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) has today expressed growing concerns over recent amendments to weaken the independence of national regulatory authorities in the review of the EU regulation on audio-visual media (AVMSD Directive 2010/13/EU). The EFJ has called on Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) to reject amendments that would weaken the independence of national regulatory authorities and the  European Regulators Group for Audiovisual Media Services (ERGA). Ricardo Gutiérrez, EFJ General Secretary, said, ‘‘We are very surprised to see several amendments attempting to weaken the provision to guarantee the independence of national regulatory authorities. This is completely contradictory to…

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Croatia: Reports highlights media freedom in turbulent times

Media freedom in Croatia is facing turbulent times with excessive political influence, concluded by an international mission in a report published on 9 August.  The report published by the International Press Institute (IPI) highlighted that the political crisis in the country has put journalists and media freedom at risk resulting in the lack of independence of public media, increase in legal restrictions and physical attacks on journalists. The report listed a series of findings from the international mission back in June 21 – 23 carried out by the South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO). The mission included representatives from the…

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Excessive restrictions on foreign broadcasters in Moldova

The European Federation of Journalists is strongly opposed to restrictions on foreign broadcasters in Moldova. The amendments to the Audio-visual Code under consideration by the Parliament in Moldova run counter to international standards on media freedom. On 7 July, the Parliament adopted, in the first reading, amendments to the Audio-visual Code of the Republic of Moldova. The amendments proposed by the Liberal Party and the Democratic Party, members of the ruling coalition, aim to limit broadcasts in foreign languages or those originating from abroad. Ricardo Gutiérrez, the EFJ general secretary, participated to a public debate organised by the chairman of the Parliament…

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Croatian President says shaming media law should be scrapped

Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović told an international media freedom delegation today that she supports efforts to protect the independence of national public broadcaster HRT and to repeal her country’s controversial ‘shaming’ law. While Croatian political parties have traditionally sought to control HRT, alarmingly rapid moves by the outgoing Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ)-led government to replace key positions at the broadcaster have raised international concern. Some observers have warned that the moves represent an attempt to promote a nationalist – and in some cases even historical revisionist – editorial line. The president, in response to concerns raised by the delegation, assured…

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Trends and skills in the European audiovisual and live performance sectors

The final conference of Creative Skills Europe, the European Skills Council on Employment and Training in the Audiovisual and Live Performance sectors, will take place in Brussels, Belgium, on Monday 6th of June 2016. Closing a phase of activities that included three meetings in Tallinn (April 2015), Prague (January 2016), and Madrid (March 2016) the conference will present the final publication of the project, as well as recommendations for future actions and co-operations in the field of skills development for the audiovisual and live performance sectors in Europe. More than 50 participants from across Europe are expected to this event.…

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From State Media to Public Service Broadcast

Speech by Mogens Blicher Bjerregård (EFJ President) The European Partnership countries in former Soviet states must realize that they in reality have to replace their state media by public service media independent from government Independency of media in the so-called partnership countries from Caucasus to Belarus, Ukraine and Moldova was on the agenda 11th April 2016 at a conference set up by the Council of Europe, hosted by UK Parliament at Portcullis House. I was on the speakers list and should deliver a speech about public broadcast. I emphasized and repeated what a previous panelist has said, that it is important to…

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Greek journalists protest against government plan to reduce TV licence number

Journalists across Greece stopped broadcasting on 11 February from 18:00 until 01:00 in a protest against government plan to reduce the number of TV licences in Greece to only four national commercials broadcasters. The International and European Federations of Journalists (IFJ and EFJ) and its Greek affiliates (JUADN, PFJU, ESPIT and ESIEMTH) demand the Greek government to withdraw immediately the proposal and guarantee media pluralism and transparency in media ownership. According to the draft law voted on 11 February, the number of TV licences issued to commercial broadcasters will be limited to four. The independent authority (National Broadcasting Council ESR) will be  bypassed and the power to grant…

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EFJ-ECPMF-IPI urge the Polish government to guarantee public broadcasting independence

WARSAW, Feb 1, 2015 – The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF) and the International Press Institute (IPI) completed a two-day fact-finding mission to Poland by calling on Polish journalists to stand together in defence of principles of press and media freedom. The group’s call came after the newly elected Polish government rushed through controversial changes to the country’s public service broadcaster that have deeply divided the journalistic community. The changes, in the form of an amendment to the Media Law, allow the Minister of State Treasury to directly appoint and dismiss…

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Albanian National Theatre Director attacks a journalist

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) has joined the Association of Professional Journalists in Albania and the Union of Journalists of Albania condemning the attack of television journalist, Eni Shehu, by the Director of the National Theater, Hervin Çuli, on 15 January in Tirana. The attack took place on Friday when Shehu and his collegues went to the premiere of a play shown in the National Theater. It was not known why Çuli attacked Shehu. Following the attack, Shehu has reported the attack to the police. He suffered from minor injuries. The two journalists’ organisations was outraged by the attack and have demanded the Prime Minister, Edi Rama, and the Minister of Culture, Mirela…

Commission launches action against Poland following EU-wide protest

Journalists, broadcasters and media freedom organisations have gathered this morning (13/01/2016) in front of the Polish Embassy in Brussels protesting against new attempt by the Polish government to control the media while the European Commission was discussing possible action against Poland. The EFJ has been heavily criticising the new law in the past weeks accusing Poland of violating European law on media freedom. It has written to the European Commission calling for prompt action against Poland. Today, the European Commission has discussed the first time at its college meeting the case of Poland and decided to launch action against Poland under…

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The Polish media law is signed: our letter to EU Commissioner Oettinger

Poland’s president Andrzej Duda has signed today a controversial state media law. Prior to the next weekly meeting by the college of Commissioners on 13 January, 2016 in which the European Commissioners will discuss both the developments of the Constitutional Court and the media law in Poland, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) has sent the following letter to Commissioner Günther Oettinger. Commissioner Günther Oettinger, responsible for the digital economy and society, said on Sunday Poland should be put under the EU’s rule of law supervision, a three-step procedure consisting of a Commission assessment, a Commission recommendation and a follow-…

Protesters shout slogans during an anti government demonstration in Warsaw on  December 19, 2015.  
Thousands of Poles participated in demonstrations across Poland to protest moves by the new right-wing government to neutralize the Constitutional Tribunal as a check on its power. / AFP / JANEK SKARZYNSKI

Poland: we are outraged by the abolition of safeguards for pluralism and independence in public service media

The undersigned press freedom and media organisations – European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), European Broadcasting Union (EBU), Association of European Journalists (AEJ), Reporters Without Borders (RSF), Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) and Index on Censorship – are outraged by the proposed bill, hastily introduced by the majority party in Poland yesterday (29 December) for immediate adoption, without any consultation, abolishing the existing safeguards for pluralism and independence of public service media governance in Poland. The introduction of a system whereby a government minister can appoint and dismiss at its own discretion the supervisory and management boards goes against basic principles and established…

A man buys a copy of the new Polish daily "Fakt" published by the German media group, Axel Springer Poland in downtown Warsaw, 23 October 2003. "Fakt" aims to be the equivalent of Germany's "Bild" and will publish 700,000 copies daily, the highest figure of all the news dailies published in Poland.  
AFP PHOTO JANEK SKARZYNSKI / AFP / JANEK SKARZYNSKI

Polish media reform to exert more control on public service broadcaster

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) has today expressed growing concerns over recent announcements by the newly elected government to introduce a new law on public media in the coming months with the aim to exert more control on public service broadcasting media and to “repolonise” print media. Following the newly elected conservative government (“Right and Justice” (PiS) in Poland in October, Prime Minister Beata Szydlo has given Culture Minister, Mr Piotr Glinski, the responsibility on media policy. In a recent interview given by Mr Glinski, who is also the Deputy Prime Minister, he announced that a new media law…

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Ensuring a fair digital single market: Independence of media regulators

A debate on the revision of the Audio-Visual Media Services Directive (AVMSD) and the independence of media regulatory authorities will be hosted by the European Parliament by MEP Sabine Verheyen on 7 December. The aim of the meeting is to provide MEPs and other stakeholders with an overview of the key challenges to be addressed in the revision. The European Commission recently conducted a public consultation (closed 30 September 2015) and is currently preparing revisions to the Directive which will then be submitted to the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union. The meeting will include contributions from Lorena Boix Alonso, Head of Unit,…

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EFJ raises concerns over the independence of RTVE ahead of elections

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) has expressed concerns over the lack of independence of the Spanish public service broadcaster RTVE following a visit of the EFJ Broadcasting Expert Group (BREG) on Thursday, 28 October in Madrid, Spain. The group has met with representatives of the RTVE News Council (Consejo de informativos), an internal body formed by RTVE journalists “tasked with overseeing the broadcaster’s independence” and whose members are elected by their fellow journalists.   Members of the News Council at the RTVE explained their concerns over the quality and credibility of information and the need to develop measures to prevent…

Greece's public TV employees broadcast a Web-Tv signal in a control room at the ERT headquarters in Athens on June 12, 2013, a day after a shock decision by the government to shut down the state broadcaster's operations with immediate effect, a move affecting nearly 2,700 jobs. The announcement comes after months of work stoppages by ERT employees in opposition to plans to restructure the broadcaster as demanded by debt-laden Greece's troika of international creditors. The Greek government said today it will reorganise the state broadcasting company after it abruptly pulled the plug on ERT as part of its austerity drive. AFP PHOTO/ LOUISA GOULIAMAKI

Greek journalists protest against new law on broadcasting licences

Thousands of Greek journalists who are members of the EFJ affiliates in Greece are taking part in a 24-hour strike starting from 6 am today against a draft bill on broadcasting licences that will be voted by the Greek Parliament on Saturday, 24 October. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) has backed journalists’ unions (JUADN, PFJU, ESPIT and ESIEMTH) in Greece by demanding the government to make changes to the draft bill’s provisions that are affecting the journalistic profession, labour relations and restrict access to information. The draft law stipulates that TV stations will be able to obtain a license…

Pearle_Wider Spectrum Group by Milton Pereira-30

EU spectrum policy needs to ensure access to and diversity of content

One year after the Lamy report’s publication and shortly before the World Radiocommunications Conference 2015, senior representatives from broadcasting, network infrastructure, trade unions, viewer groups and media organisations met in Brussels to engage with EU Commissioner in charge of the Digital Single Market Mr Günther Oettinger and Member of the Parliament Mr Pascal Lamy on spectrum policy and the future of Europe’s audiovisual, creative and cultural sector.               Frequencies are at the heart of a future proof audiovisual, radio and live performance sector; with spectrum as a core driver for cultural diversity, creative jobs and growth in the Digital Single Market.…

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Media should speak out against hate speech

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) has joined the Italian organisation on Carta di Roma welcoming the new initiative launched by the Italy newspaper La Stampa to counter hate speech. The EFJ has called on media professionals to be aware of the danger of discrimination being furthered by the media through hate speech following recent debates and media coverage on “migrant crisis” in Europe. Ricardo Gutiérrez, the EFJ General Secretary said, “Journalists should dare to denounce and confront hate speech publicly. They have the ethical responsibility to counter racist and discriminatory messages and comments that incite hatred, violence or insult…

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Commission to assess EU audiovisual rules on media pluralism and independence of media regulators

The European Commission has launched a public consultation to assess current EU law on audiovisual media (Audiovisual Media Services Directive 2010/13/EU – AVMSD) to check if the current legislation is up-to-date for media in the digital era. According to the Commission’s communications, the consultation focuses on the following key topics: providing rules to shape technological developments creating a level playing field for emerging audiovisual media preserving cultural diversity protecting children and consumers safeguarding media pluralism combating racial and religious hatred guaranteeing the independence of national media regulators. During the review, stakeholders will be asked how effective the current law in…

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Oettinger: “Lack of media freedom and pluralism affects negatively media and creative industries”

Attending the Deutsche Welle’s Global Media Forum 2015 in Bonn (22/06/2015), the European Commissioner Günther Oettinger referred in his speech to “media freedom and pluralism” as a “crucial value for the EU”. To give examples of concrete steps, the Commissioner mentioned different EU projects involving the active participation of the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ). “Whether a media outlet is so-called traditional or online, media practitioners will always have to be warranted the right to report facts and offer their views and opinions. Political pressure, economic hardship, physical attacks against journalists, restrictive legislation, and a general financial crisis in the sector all influence…

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EFJ welcomes return of ERT and former media workers

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) has welcomed the reopening of the Greek public service broadcaster, ERT on 11 June, the same date it was shut down two years ago in 2013 leaving 2600 people out of work. According to recent announcements made by the government, former ERT workers will be able to return to their jobs (except those who retired voluntarily at the time of the closure). It is estimated that around 1500 media workers will be rehired. However, it is not completely clear yet on what terms and conditions these workers will be hired. Marilena Katsimis, former General…

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Police in Bulgaria attacking TV 7 to prevent broadcasting

Today (29/04/2015), police forces in Bulgaria entered to the building of private television channel TV7 in order to impound the television’s property and get off the TV equipment preventing it from broadcasting. Bulgarian citizens were alerted by the increasing number of police forces out of the building. According to the EFJ affiliate in Bulgaria, SBJ or the Union of Bulgarian Journalists, TV staff and journalists are resisting and refused to allow the police to enter the TV headquarter without seeing any judicial order. They have also requested to talk with Kristina Dimitrova, the head of the Bulgarian police called Bailiff. According to the SBJ, this police action is a blatant violation of press…

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The IFJ and the EFJ support striking journalists over salary arrears in Ukraine

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and its regional organisation, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), have together backed a journalists’ strike in Kiev in early April after the TVi broadcaster ceased paying salaries to 300 employees. The Independent Media Trade Union of Ukraine (IMTUU), an affiliate of the IFJ and the EFJ, held the demonstration on 2 April in support of the journalists where it demanded the management to pay the media staff. According to TVi staff, the channel, which stopped broadcasting on 23rd March, recently changed ownership to David Zhvania’s and the new management ceased the salary payments.…

Broadcasting Expert Group (BREG)

John Barsby (UK & Ireland)
Johannes Duchrow (Germany)
Ashot Dzhazoyan (Russia)
Jordi Lopez (Spain)
Lidia Galeazzo (Italy)
Mouloud Aissou (France)
Paco Audije (Spain)
Dejan Gligorijevic (Serbia)
Susanna Sjöstedt (Finland)
Christiana Jankovics (Austria)
Rolf Johansen (Norway)
Isabel Magalhaes (Portugal)
Agnieszka Romaszewska-Guzy (Poland)
Naser Selmani (Macedonia)
Moschos Voitsidis (Greece)
Uli Wagner (Germany)


Contact

Yuk Lan Wong
Policy and Projects Officer
+32 (0)2 235 22 26
yuklan.wong(at)ifj(dot)org