Report: Good practices and recommendations to counter political interference in the media

The final report on “Building independent media to counter political interference”, authored by Marc Gruber, was published by the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) and funded by the Open Society Foundations (OSF). The report provides an overview of different threats to independent media in Europe and shares good practices and recommendations for an advocacy action plan. Below, a summary of the main points. Serving as the basis for this report are data collected through questionnaires circulated to EFJ affiliates, telephone interviews and EFJ activities, such as a series of webinars on the same topic. The participating countries, which are representative…

Solidarity with regional manager of the German union Jörg Reichel after brutal attack

Jörg Reichel, the regional manager of the German Journalists’ Union, dju in ver.di, was brutally attacked during “Querdenker” demonstrations against the Covid-19 measures in Berlin on Sunday 1 August. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joined its German affiliates dju in ver.di and the German Journalists’ Association (DJV), in expressing solidarity with its member and calling on the authorities to conduct a swift investigation to hold the attackers to account. On 1 August 2021, an unauthorised Querdenker demonstration took place in Berlin. Thousands of demonstrators marched through the city, leading to numerous clashes with the police and about 600 arrests. Journalists were…

Belarus: journalist sentenced to 1.5 years in prison for “insulting Lukashenko”

The Ivanovo District Court in Belarus has delivered today its verdict in the case of Sergei Gordievich, a journalist with the website 1reg.by. He was sentenced to one and a half years in prison for “insulting Lukashenko” and “defaming police officers”. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) condemns this wrongful conviction in the context of a new wave of repression of journalists and independent media in Belarus. Sergei Gordievich, a correspondent for the website 1reg.by, was accused of insulting and slandering the illegitimate president of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko, as well as insulting two police officers in a discussion on the…

Russian police raid editor-in-chief of investigative online newspaper The Insider

Russian police took Roman Dobrokhotov, editor-in-chief of investigative media outlet The Insider, in for questioning over a slander case and searched his home on Wednesday 28 July. The formal reason for the search was a criminal libel case over a tweet with alleged “disinformation about the downed Boeing MH-17.” Dobrokhotov posted his home address on Twitter and said police searches were under way there. The journalist’s work equipment was taken away: mobile phones, a laptop and a tablet, thereby endangering the confidentiality of his sources of information. In addition, Dobrokhotov’s foreign passport was seized, while he remains only a witness…

Malta responsible for Daphne Caruana Galizia’s death

A public inquiry into the assassination of Maltese journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia has found the state responsible for her death. The report said the state had failed to recognise risks to the reporter’s life and take reasonable steps to avoid them.The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) calls on the Maltese authorities to prosecute all those responsible and to implement the recommendations of the report without delay. Daphne Caruana Galizia died in a car bomb attack near her home on 16 October 2017. An investigation led to Prime Minister Joseph Muscat‘s resignation in 2019 after his close associates were implicated. In a 437-page…

North Macedonia: Justice Minister introduces amendments to increase protection of journalists

Penalties for attacks on journalists will be toughened in North Macedonia, Justice Ministry Bojan Maricic announced on 27 July 2021. The amendments to the Criminal Code are expected to be passed in the early autumn. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joined its affiliates in North Macedonia, the Independent Trade Union of Journalists and Media Workers (SSNM) and the Association of Journalists of Macedonia (AJM), in welcoming an important step forward for press freedom in the country. The amendments have come at the request of the journalists’ association and union and will help reduce cases of attacks and threats against…

MFRR Monitoring Reports: Press Freedom Under Strain in EU

The Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) monitoring report depicts the alarming trends persons related to the media faced between November 2020 and the end of February 2021. This latest report recorded the highest ever number of attacks on journalists and media workers in Europe and highlighted the key trends exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Read the full report here Compiled by the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) and the International Press Institute (IPI), with the support of the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF), the report monitored in total 147 alerts in the four-month period (with 256 attacked…

EU Rule of Law report: Little bark, no bite

On 20 July, the European Commission published the 2021 Rule of Law Report. The document, which is the outcome of months of painstaking work, can be a valuable tool that empowers civil society, the EU institutions and Member State governments who care about the rule of law in the Union. The Report, comprised of a Communication that covers EU-wide developments and country chapters for each Member State, is designed “as a yearly cycle to promote the rule of law and to prevent problems from emerging or deepening and to address them … It seeks to strengthen the rule of law in…

Stars4Media: 30 projects for media innovation selected

After two rounds of jury evaluation, the Stars4Media is proud to announce the 185 media professionals, grouped around 30 initiatives, involving 76 media organisations, selected as the beneficiaries of the programme’s second edition. The media partners will now put their projects and ideas into practice, benefitting from co-funding for their innovative proposals while cooperating across borders. The selected initiatives were chosen from the total of 101 submissions, across two Calls for Initiatives. The first call resulted in 17 winning initiatives. “From the 101 proposals received, many more than 30 were innovative and relevant, we hope some others will come back for future competitions’’  stated  prof. Luciano…