Ukraine: “In times of war, journalists become targets of information attacks”

To mark the two years since Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, the International and the European Federations of Journalists (IFJ-EFJ) conversed with Serhiy Shturkhetskyy, chairperson of the Independent Media Trade Union of Ukraine (IMTUU) to examine how the reality of Ukrainian journalists have changed and what the journalistic community and sister unions can do to continue supporting journalists on the ground. How is the situation on the ground and how do you feel? The situation remains dire. With a devastated economy, cities raised to the ground and occupied, families divided, constant rocket and drone attacks, there is no place in…

News deserts on the rise: a first comparative study indicates the fragile situation for local media across the EU

The study “Uncovering news deserts in Europe. Risks and opportunities for local and community media in the EU” by the Centre for Media Pluralism and Media Freedom (CMPF) was published today. This research detects challenges and opportunities for local and community media in the 27 EU Member States, analysing the news deserts phenomenon from a holistic perspective. A network of researchers spanning all the 27 EU Member States ran the investigation, using the methodology developed by CMPF. They assessed risks based on 55 variables that relate to the local media market conditions; local journalists’ safety and working conditions, local outlets’…

Poland: we demand a fair trial for journalist Pablo González, in pre-trial detention for two years

Spanish freelance reporter Pablo González is the only journalist imprisoned in an EU member state. On 28 February, it will be two years since he was arrested and held in pre-trial detention in Poland without any evidence of the allegations against him being made public and no trial in sight. The International and European Federations of Journalists (IFJ-EFJ), together with their Spanish affiliates, urge the Polish authorities to release him, so that he can defend himself in court, and ensure that he receives a fair trial. A Polish court extended González’s pre-trial detention for the eighth time on 15 February…

EFJ welcomes the adoption of the Anti-SLAPP Directive, expects Member States to measure up to the task

The European Parliament today adopted with an overwhelming majority (546 in favour, 47 against, 31 abstentions) the Anti-SLAPP Directive, intended to protect journalists and media outlets from abusive litigations. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joined the organisations of the Coalition Against SLAPPs in Europe (CASE) in welcoming an important step in the fight against SLAPPs, but regrets the considerable room for manoeuvre left to the Member States on several crucial points. “Some refer to this law as Daphne’s law (Daphne Caruana Galizia) and I think it’s important to mention it here in this room named after Daphne. We achieved…

French journalist detained while on assignment in Addis Ababa

French journalist Antoine Galindo was arrested on 22 February and subsequently detained in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, while on assignment for Africa Intelligence, the news platform for whom he was working. The International and the European Federations of Journalists (IFJ-EFJ) together with their French affiliates the Syndicat National des Journalistes (SNJ), the Syndicat National des Journalistes CGT (SNJ-CGT), CFDT-Journalistes and the Syndicat Général des Journalistes Force Ouvrière (SGJ-FO) condemn Galindo’s arrest and call on the Ethiopian authorities to immediately release him. They ask the French government to do everything it can to help Galindo. Following his arrest by authorities in civilian…

Ukraine: “Thousands of Ukrainian journalists remain in the profession thanks to international journalistic solidarity”

As the war in Ukraine enters its third year, Sergiy Tomilenko, president of the National Union of Journalists of Ukraine (NUJU) and EFJ Steering Committee member reflects on two years of unwavering work and relentless determination to support journalists and media workers on the ground, with the help of international partners such as the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), and UNESCO. On 24 February, it will be two years since the war in Ukraine started and Tomilenko recalls the imperative need to raise more funds in a war that rages on, despite vanishing from the…

2 years on, Ukrainian journalists still pay a heavy price for the war

February 24 marks two years since the start of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Today, the organizations of the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) reaffirm our solidarity with Ukrainian journalists and call for guarantees of their safety and full freedom to report, as well as a renewed effort to provide the necessary financial and technical support for them to continue their work. Over the past two years, Ukraine’s journalists have demonstrated incredible courage and resilience in covering the horrors of this war for their communities and the outside world, often at great personal sacrifice. We call for continued international support…

European Commission study calls for greater transparency in public financing of news media

A new study released by the European Commission on “Public financing of news media in the EU”, calls for transparency, independence and pluralism from EU Member States in funding news media, both public and private. The study builds on the particular context of recent reforms regarding the financial directions taken by the Member States in supporting news media to adapt to the changes in media consumption and cope with the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.  Those evolutions need attention at the European level to guarantee the efficient functioning of democracy and media freedom, the report says. It confirms that the…

Germany: Farmers’ blockade of media disrupted newspaper deliveries

Germany is facing a major nationwide media blockade, led mainly by farmers who have demonstrated fervently against the government’s proposed subsidy cuts. Criticising the poor representation of their claims in the media, farmers have blocked access to media premises to interrupt newspaper deliveries during protests lasting hours. Since the beginning of February, farmers have targeted at least three media companies and two publishing houses across the country. The European Federations of Journalists (EFJ) call for calm discussions between farmers and the media, and regret that disruption of newspaper deliveries is being used as a means of protest. “Attacks on the press…