EFJ and IFJ back global mobilisation on October 8 to free Julian Assange

On October 8th, at 1PM a human chain will surround the Houses of Parliament in London, UK, to oppose the extradition of Julian Assange, the founder of Wikileaks, and urge the US government to drop all charges against him. The European and International Federations of Journalists (EFJ-IFJ) call on journalists unions, press freedom organisations and journalists to mobilise and express their solidarity. More than 3.600 people will form a human chain to demand Assange’s freedom. Members of the IFJ and EFJ affiliated union in the UK, the National Union of Journalists (NUJ), will join the rally. “Criminalising investigative journalism enables every…

EFJ and IFJ call on Turkey’s parliament to reject the “disinformation and fake news” bill

The European and International Federations of Journalists (EFJ-IFJ) call on the Turkish government to immediately dismiss the “disinformation law”, expected to be turned into law by the end of the week. The law was submitted to the parliament on May 27 by the governing alliance of Justice and Development Party (AKP), President Recep Tayyip Erdogan‘s Islamic party, and Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), their ultra-nationalist allies. The draft will be presented at the Parliament General Assembly this week, and is expected to be voted on and passed promptly after. Such a bill, giving very vague definitions of “disinformation” and “intent”, would, if implemented, enable the government…

Whistleblower Symbolic Picture

Germany: Draft bill does not guarantee sufficient protection for whistleblowers

The proposed Whistleblower Protection Draft Law of the Federal Government does not sufficiently protect whistleblowing, criticised a media alliance of German trade unions and media companies. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) backs its german members’ demands, the German Journalists’ Association (DJV) and the German Journalists’ Union (dju in ver.di), in calling for a tightening of the draft law. On 29 September 2022, the Bundestag debated for the first time theFederal Government’s draft law to better protect whistleblowers from reprisals as part of the transposition process of incorporating the EU directive into German law. The German draft law was weakened…

France: Investigative media outlets under attack in five gagging lawsuits

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joined the Media Freedom Rapid Response organisations in expressing concerns over the recent wave of gagging lawsuits initiated by companies against several independent media outlets in France, and denounce the clear message sent to the French journalistic community to not report information of public interest. We join the French journalists’ unions in expressing solidarity with the media outlets and their journalists and call for the cases to be quickly dismissed. On 21 September 2022, the group Altice sued the media outlet Reflets for “breach of trade secrets”. Altice is owned by Switzerland-based billionaire Patrick Drahi,…

Journalists’ unions get EU green light to negotiate collective agreements for freelancers

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) today joined the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) in welcoming the newly adopted EU Guidelines on collective agreements by solo self-employed people.Restrictions on the right of self-employed workers, including freelance journalists, to collectively bargain for fair pay and working conditions are to be lifted across the European Union following victory in a long-running trade union campaign. The European Commission has adopted today its Guidelines on the application of EU competition law to collective agreements regarding the working conditions of solo self-employed people. The Guidelines clarify when certain self-employed people can get together to negotiate…

Safety for Journalists, symbolic image

Journalists not sufficiently trained in health and safety issues

A report published by the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) about the safety of journalists across Europe reveals a serious lack of training and awareness, as journalists face increasing threats and intimidation in the course of their work. Authored by media expert Marc Gruber, the report analyses the current situation of the health and safety of journalists across Europe and explores the responsibilities of management, journalists’ unions and associations in tackling the issue. The safety of journalists is a priority for many journalists’ unions in Europe, who have witnessed the increasing physical and psychological risks faced by media workers in…

Malta: Government must widen its consultation on media law reform

A number of journalists and civil society groups have urged the Maltese government to launch a public consultation on the media law reform. The International and European Federations of Journalists (IFJ-EFJ) join their affiliate the Institute of Maltese Journalists (IGM) in urging the government to be transparent in the drafting process and openly consult the public before submitting any bill to parliament. A committee of experts, of which IGM is a member, was appointed by the Maltese government and concluded the first part of its remit on 1 June. Its role consisted in providing feedback to a number of laws…

Albania: Media must not face criminal prosecution for public interest reporting

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joined the undersigned media freedom and freedom of expression organisations in expressing concerns over the blanket publication ban issued by Albanian prosecutorial authorities regarding a trove of hacked data, and stress that no journalist or media outlet should face criminal sanctions for publishing information in the public interest. While our organisations recognise the sensitive nature of these leaks and urge all media in Albania to handle the material in a strictly ethical and responsible manner, it is vital that Albanian authorities proceed with caution and full consideration for journalistic freedoms protected under both domestic and…

Russia: 18 journalists arrested during anti-war protests

Over 1,300 people, including 18 journalists, were detained across Russia on Wednesday as rallies against a military mobilization declared by President Vladimir Putin for the war in Ukraine took place in 42 cities across the country. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) demands the release of these citizens who were demonstrating peacefully as well as the journalists who were covering the demonstrations. According to the independent OVD-Info police monitor, at least 1,328 people, including 18 journalists identified by the independent Journalists and Media Workers Union (JMWU), have been detained nationwide so far. A majority of those detained were women. Most…