European Federation of Journalists

Covid-19: Freelance packages negotiated in UK

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) has congratulated the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) in the UK & Ireland, for contributing to the successful negotiation of the financial packages for freelances affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. On 26 March, the British Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, annouced that the government will pay self-employed people who are adversely affected by the coronavirus, a taxable grant worth 80 per cent of their average monthly profits over the last three years. The maximum per month will be  £2,500. The scheme will be open to anyone with an income up to £50,000, but only those who…

COVID-19: Serbian government urged to guarantee free flow of information

Serbian Prime Minister, Ana Brnabic, withdrew a planned decree that would have limited the publishing of information related to COVID-19 just to official sources on 2 April. The International and European Federation of Journalists (IFJ and EFJ) welcome the U-turn by the government and urges the authorities to respect the free flow of information and not to arrest journalists for their reports on COVID-19. The Serbian government had on 28 March passed a decree stating that only the Prime Minister or individuals authorized by the Crisis Management Taskforce could release information about the COVID-19 pandemic. A few days after, the Serbian…

ARTICLE19 briefing: How to tackle misinformation about COVID-19

Professional journalism, ethical journalism, independent media, transparency from those in power, media literacy and the free flow of information are the best antidote to misinformation and conspiracy theories about the spread of COVID-19 across the globe. In that particular context, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) welcomed the policy brief recently issued by ARTICLE19. “More than ever we need professional journalists in the field. Citizens are counting on them to report on the real impact of the pandemic, to disseminate protective measures and to hold decision-makers accountable. The EFJ asks media owners to refrain from any initiative to reduce wages,…

Hungary: EFJ urges again the EU to condemn limits on freedom of information

In the wake of our discussion on Friday with the Vice President of the European Commission for Values and Transparency, Věra Jourová, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) expressed again today its serious concerns about the sweeping powers granted to Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orbán in a parliamentary vote approving indefinite rule by decree and jail terms for spreading misinformation. The EFJ fully supports the petition “No Quarantine for Democracy!” developed with MEPs (including Ramona Strugariu, Stelios Kouloglou, Viola von Cramon-Taubadel, Lara Wolters and Guy Verhofstadt), which is calling on all EU Member States to ensure reinforced protections for journalists, the media…

Belarusian investigative journalist Siarhei Satsuk detained

Siarhei Satsuk, journalist and chief editor of the online publication EJ.BY, was detained on 25 March in Minsk by officers of the Department of Financial Investigations of the State Control Committee. The police confirmed that Satsuk was interrogated as a suspect in a criminal case. According to his relatives and friends, he is charged with receiving bribes. He faces 3 to 10 years jail term. Siarhei Satsuk is known for his investigative work. His last high-profile investigation denounced systemic corruption in the Belarusian Ministry of Health. Lately, he criticised the government’s response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. In August 2019,…

COVID-19: Council of Europe must ensure press freedom is protected

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), the largest organisation of journalists in Europe, representing over 320,000 journalists in 72 journalists’ organisations across 45 countries, today called on Europe’s top human rights and democracy organization to protect free flow of information and ensure that media freedom is guaranteed as states strive to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic. EFJ joined with nine other press freedom and journalists groups to write to the heads of the Strasbourg-based Council of Europe to express its profound concerns over the dangers of governments taking advantage of the coronavirus pandemic to punish independent and critical media and introduce…

Turkey: Release imprisoned journalists and human rights defenders at risk of coronavirus

Amid growing concerns over the spread of COVID-19 in prisons, the Turkish government is accelerating the preparation of a draft law that will reportedly release up to 100,000 prisoners. This is a welcome step. Overcrowding and unsanitary facilities already pose a serious health threat to Turkey’s prison population of nearly 300,000 prisoners and about tens of thousands of prison staff. That will only be exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic. However, we remain concerned that journalists, human rights defenders and others imprisoned for simply exercising their rights, and others who should be released, will remain behind bars in the package of…

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