Voices, the European Festival of Journalism and Media Literacy travels to Zagreb in 2025

The highly-anticipated second edition of Voices will be hosted at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Zagreb on 28 February-1 March 2025. “New technologies are dramatically reshaping opinion-making dynamics and the media landscape. After the success of the first edition in Florence, the next edition of Voices will continue to raise awareness about the current risks to ethical journalism, media pluralism, and European democracy,” said Giovanni Melogli, the project coordinator. Reflecting on the value of incorporating media literacy into the event, he added, “It is crucial for citizens to become more critical users of media and social media. Voices aims…

Slovakia: Media freedom groups call on Parliament to reject public broadcasting bill

Critics warn: proposed law could seriously undermine the independence of  public media Journalists and media freedom groups are urging Slovakia’s MPs to reject the proposed public service broadcasting bill scheduled for parliamentary review next week. Despite recent amendments to the bill, the new structure would lead to the politicization of the broadcaster in breach of the European Media Freedom Act. The public broadcasting bill aiming to replace Radio and Television of Slovakia (RTVS) with a new entity, Slovak Television and Radio (STVR), will be discussed by the Parliament next week after its finalization by the government in May.  If passed…

From the European Media Freedom Act to the right to information: the challenges ahead

On 5 June, the Kofi Annan Foundation (KAF), the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) and Reporters without Borders (RSF) organised a roundtable discussion at the Brussels Press Club on the European Media Freedom Act (EMFA), which came into force on 7 May. Opening remarks were provided by Corinne Momal-Vanian, Executive Director of KAF, Renate Schroeder, Director of EFJ, and Antoine Bernard, Director of Advocacy at RSF, followed by a keynote speech from Vice-President of the European Commission, Vera Jourova. Sébastien Brack, KAF’s representative in Brussels, moderated a panel discussion with Renate Nikolay, Deputy Director-General of DG Connect, Frederic Bokobza, Deputy…

Croatia: Solidarity to Croatian Journalists Association’s president in further legal battle

The Supreme Court’s council decided on 10 April 2024, overturning the previous verdicts of the lower courts, which had determined that the Croatian Radiotelevision’s (HRT) 2018 decision to summarily terminate the employment contract of Hrvoje Zovko, the president of the Croatian Journalists’ Association (CJA) and then executive editor of HTV4, was unlawful and the termination unjustified. The Supreme Court concluded that the verbal altercation between Zovko and Katarina Periša Čakarun, the senior editor of HRT’s Informative Media Service, constituted “an attack on the employer, insults, and an assault on the honor and reputation of the employer,” and thus represented a…

Letter to the Parliament of Montenegro : Alarming last-minute changes to the draft Law on National Public Broadcasting

The International and European Federation of Journalists (IFJ-EFJ) and its affiliate, the Trade Union of Media of Montenegro (TUMM), sent a letter to the members of the Parliament of Montenegro expressing serious concern about the significant last-minute changes to the draft Law on National Public Broadcasting in Montenegro. The Prime Minister’s Office has amended the agreed text of the draft Law, on which the Working Group on Media Legislation had been working for almost 30 months, without public consultation. We urge the Parliament to clarify and amend the text to ensure the normal and sustainable functioning of the endangered media…

Germany: Journalist Ignacio Rosaslanda physically assaulted by police while covering a police operation

The undersigned international media freedom, free expression, and journalist organisations call on the German authorities to conduct a thorough investigation into the physical attack by Berlin police on Mexican video journalist Ignacio Rosaslanda while he was covering a police operation. The journalist who is working for the daily Berliner Zeitung was not only prevented from reporting and physically abused but was also arbitrarily detained for hours without medical care. We urge authorities to take appropriate measures to ensure that the attack does not go unpunished and strengthen the protection of journalists who are vulnerable targets during demonstrations.   On 23 May…

Serbia: SafeJournalists network, MFRR partners, and Coalition for Media Freedom condemn continuing pressures and attacks on journalists

The SafeJournalists network, Media Freedom Rapid Response partners, and Coalition for Media Freedom condemn the ongoing attacks on journalists in Serbia. This growing pressure has been recently exemplified by a physical attack on journalist Vuk Cvijić, and the demand for prison sentences for the journalists of the media outlets KRIK and Pištaljka. We call on the authorities to prioritise addressing the rise in attacks against the press and to genuinely commit to improving the safety of journalists. Radar weekly journalist Vuk Cvijić was attacked on 29 May in Belgrade by Milan Lađević, co-owner of the publisher of the pro-government tabloid…

Russia: Detained Ukrainian journalist Viktoria Roshchyna must be released 

Russia’s Ministry of Defence confirmed, on 27 May 2024, that it has detained Ukrainian investigative journalist Viktoria Roshchyna. She had been reported missing while reporting in the Russian-occupied territory in August last year. Along with their affiliate, the National Union of Journalists of Ukraine (NUJU), the International and European Federations of Journalists (IFJ-EFJ) condemn the arrest of Roshchyna and urge the Russian authorities to immediately and unconditionally release her. According to a letter dated 17 April 2024 received by Roshchyna’s father from the Russian military police, the Ukrainian investigative journalist is currently being detained in Russia. Her father shared the…

Czech Republic: EFJ organises conference on local journalism in Europe

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) is organising the Local Journalism Festival at Masaryk University in Brno, Czech Republic, on 17 – 18 June, as part of the Local Media for Democracy (LM4D) project. In light of the upcoming EU elections, the role of local media is ever more important to keep local communities informed and encourage their political participation in elections. Ultimately, how can we support local media in these emerging news deserts and how to prevent it from spreading all over Europe? The Local Journalism Festival will highlight success stories of vibrant, resilient local journalism and media as…

EFJ Annual Meeting stands up for journalism as a public good to meet today’s challenges

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) held its Annual Meeting in Prishtina, Kosovo, on 23-24 May 2024. The event, which brought together around 100 journalists’ trade unions and professional associations from 45 European countries, was organised by the Association of Journalists of Kosovo (AGK). The theme of the annual meeting “Journalism in times of war” allowed major discussions on current challenges such as the safety and working conditions of journalists. #EFJPrishtina24: Throwback to the annual meeting in Prishtina. “Stand up for journalism as a public good” 🤝🏼 pic.twitter.com/PPErweXyRK — EFJ (@EFJEUROPE) May 28, 2024   “It is a historic milestone…

President’s speech at the EFJ Annual Meeting 2024 in Prishtina

Speech by Maja Sever (EFJ President) on 23 May 2024. Dear colleagues, I am glad that we gathered here in Prishtina.  Thank you to our AGK for hosting us, and I believe that we will send a message about the importance of protecting the independent, professional, and safe work of the media community in this part of Europe as well. It’s been a difficult year. Times are tough and might get even tougher. But we’re all here because we refuse to give up. We believe in journalism and democracy, and we won’t back down from our fight. Our colleagues are…

Greece: Bridging the gap between journalism and active citizenship

A Greek media outlet based in one of Europe’s poorest regions has adapted its business model and editorial line to become more attractive to young and old alike. Xronos Media Group, which operates in the regional unit of Rhodopi (Eastern Macedonia and Thrace region), with a population of around 105,000, aims to promote the importance of local media in the daily lives of this declining and aging population, with the ambition of inspiring better informed and more active readers and citizens.  “We are happy to see how, in media with a long-standing tradition such as Xronos, both the ownership and…

Letter to BiH authorities: Urgent action needed to resolve financial deadlock at Radio-Television of Bosnia and Herzegovina

The long-running financial dispute between the national public broadcaster (BHRT) and the Federation of Public Broadcasters of Bosnia and Herzegovina (FTV) is leading to an unprecedented media blackout of programs ordered by the BHRT board and dramatic working conditions for journalists and staff. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joins its Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) partners, together with the Bosnia and Herzegovina Journalists’ Association (BHJA), in urging the authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina to find a sustainable solution to ensure that the Public Broadcasting Service of Bosnia and Herzegovina receives sufficient funding to operate normally and to safeguard citizens’…

Montenegro: Two decades of impunity in case of murder of Duško Jovanović

On the 20th anniversary of the murder of Montenegrin journalist Duško Jovanović, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joins the SafeJournalists Network and partners in the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) in calling for stronger action from the authorities. Journalists and media freedom organisations jointly condemn the two decades of impunity in the case of the murder of journalist Duško Jovanović and urge the Montenegrin authorities, both political representatives and relevant bodies, to take all necessary measures to identify and bring the perpetrators and masterminds to justice. Duško Jovanović was the founder, director, and chief editor of the daily newspaper…

Croatia: Death threats sent to editorial office of weekly magazine Nacional

The editorial office of the weekly magazine Nacional received death threats in an SMS message on Monday, 20 May 2024. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joined the SafeJournalists Network and the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) partners in calling on the relevant institutions in Croatia to immediately respond, find, and prosecute the perpetrator. The message sent to Nacional’s official phone contained the following text: “You and those like you carried out the attempted assassination of Prime Minister Fico by writing half-truths, lies, and inciting against people who are doing their jobs just to make money. Your triple informant paid…

Law enforcement officers break into the apartment of journalist Dzmitry Kazakevich on 16 May, 2024.

Belarus: Authorities confiscate exiled journalist’s property, search journalists’ union leader apartment

On 20 May 2024, state media informed that an apartment belonging to journalist Dzmitry Kazakevich will be confiscated and sold as “sanctions compensation”. On 16 May 2024, law enforcement authorities invaded the home of the Belarus Journalists’ Association (BAJ) deputy chairperson, Barys Haretski, in Minsk. The International and the European Federations of Journalists (IFJ-EFJ) join their affiliate, BAJ, in condemning the latest repressive moves by the Lukashenko regime and calling on the authorities to halt the systematic harassment of exiled journalists. In a week’s time, the Belarusian authorities searched the homes of two exiled journalists. On 20 May, a TV…