European Federation of Journalists

European Parliament stands up for journalists to defend democracy

After Polish MEP Magdalena Adamowicz (EPP) presented a passionate call for the report on strengthening media freedom: the protection of journalists in Europe, hate speech, disinformation and the role of platforms in plenary, the European Parliament adopted today with a great majority the report, which was first drafted in February this year. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) has fully supported the draft and given its input throughout the process. The own-initiative report focuses on six principal areas which are all intertwined: media freedom and pluralism, political independence of the media, the protection of journalists, financial and economic pressure, hate speech and…

Czech government must reverse exclusion of critical media from press conferences

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joined the International Press Institute (IPI) and the partner organisation of the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) in sending an open letter on 17 November to the government of the Czech Republic raising concerns about its side-lining of critical media during press conferences. The letter comes after journalists from certain outlets, including one of the country’s biggest independent media outlet Forum 24, have been denied accreditation to attend press conferences since March 2020 without further explanation. “We note that this worrying situation persists despite recent pledges by both the Prime Minister and the Ministry…

EFJ demands the immediate release of Belarusian reporter Katsiaryna Barysevich

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) today joined its affiliate in Belarus, the Belarusian Association of Journalists (BAJ) in demanding the immediate release of TUT.BY reporter Katsiaryna Barysevich. She was arrested on 19 November while investigating the death of 31-year old Raman Bandarenka due to serious injuries caused by the brutality of plain clothed policemen. On 19 November, the Prosecutor General’s Office announced the initiation of a criminal case due to “disclosure of medical secrets” and “provision of false information” on Raman Bandarenka’s death. According to the press service of the department, “the suspects have been detained.” The police searched…

SLAPPs: EU should protect journalists against vexatious lawsuits

More and more journalists and civil society organisations are being sued by powerful businessmen and politicians via strategic lawsuits against public participation (SLAPP). The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) has joined a coalition of 87 organisations calling on the EU to ensure those with a watchdog role are protected from such gag lawsuits. The English version of the following Op-ed was published on EURACTIV on 16 November 2020. The full list of signatories is to be found at the bottom. One hot spring afternoon in Malta, a journalist drove up to her house to find a court marshall duct-taping hundreds of sheets…

Scotland: Arson attack against “The Digger” publisher

The car belonging to James Cruickshank, the publisher of The Digger magazine, was firebombed in Glasgow in the night of Sunday 1 November. During the same night, unknown individuals tried to intimidate about 30 shops to stop selling the publication. The Digger reports on organised crime in Glasgow. Together with the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom and the International Press Institute as part of the Media Freedom Rapid Response, the European Federation of Journalists condemned in a statement the arson attack and attempted intimidation. The National Union of Journalists (NUJ) called on the Scottish authorities to hunt down…

Google’s increasing capture of journalism

Why does Google invest so much in publishing houses? How does this funding affect media pluralism and editorial independence? How can “new work” create a better atmosphere for workers, particularly during Covid-19? These and other issues were discussed during our latest Digital Expert Group (DEG) meeting on 16 November, which took place online. In their recently published study “Google, the media patron: How the digital giant ensnares journalism“, journalists  Alexander Fanta and Ingo Dachwitz investigated the motivations behind Google’s huge financial investments and how these may influence the media landscape. They shared their findings based on 25 guided interviews, a data analysis…

Belarus: BAJ won the first Canada-UK Media Freedom Award

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) welcomes the awarding of the First Canada-UK Media Freedom Award to the Belarusian Association of Journalists (BAJ). BAJ was nominated for the award by the EFJ and International Media Support (IMS). BAJ was singled out for its ongoing commitment to journalistic ethics and principles and its perseverance and self-sacrifice in the face of increased targeted crackdowns on media in Belarus. The announcement was made jointly during this year’s Global Conference for Media Freedom, held virtually on November 16, 2020, and hosted by Canada and Botswana. “It is vital that journalists, wherever they work in…

EFJ calls on all journalists’ organisations to support Assange

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joins its affiliate in the UK, the National Union of Journalists (NUJ), in condemning the detention of Julian Assange pending his extradition proceedings. We call on journalists’ organisations in Europe to support the NUJ’s DEA campaign to draw to broad attention concern about the implications of this lawsuit for free speech. The EFJ joins the NUJ in further condemning the attempted use of the US Espionage Act to prosecute Assange for his work exposing the war crimes committed by US service personnel in the Iraq and Afghan war logs. The Espionage Act has also…

France: bill on security will prohibit dissemination of images of police

The European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF) and European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), as part of the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR), with French unions SNJ, SNJ-CGT, CFDT-Journalistes, are concerned about a legislative proposal currently pending in the French parliament, which would make it illegal to disseminate images of law enforcement officers of the national police and gendarmerie. We call on the members of Parliament to delete the proposed text. Legislative proposal No. 3452 on global security was introduced by Members of Parliament of the presidential majority on 20 October 2020. The text proposes a host of legislative…

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