Ukraine: Journalist Vadym Komarov dies after one and a half months in coma following assault

Journalist Vadym Komarov died in the early hours of 20th June, a few weeks after he was attacked and left in coma in May in the city of Cherkasy, Ukraine. The International and European Federation of Journalists (IFJ/EFJ) join their affiliate, the National Union of Journalists of Ukraine (NUJU), in condemning the murder and urging authorities to carry out a thorough investigation into this despicable crime and bring the perpetrators to justice. Vadym Komarov was known for his investigations and his hard hitting reporting on local authorities. Komarov reported on corruption and organised crime in Cherkasy and had been attacked before,…

Digital News Report 2019: Every second citizen doesn’t trust the news media he/she uses

Only 49% of the sample in the Digital News Report 2019 trust the news media they use, reveals the most recent Digital News Report published on 12 June by the Reuters Institute in cooperation with the University of Oxford. Based on data from 75,000 online news consumers in 38 countries on six continents, the 2019 report focuses on trust in media and disinformation, models of payment, the impact of populism and the shift to private messaging apps. Trust in media is still diminishing The average level of trust in the news in general has fallen again 2 percentage points to…

EU Fundamental Rights Agency launches new e-learning platform on migration for journalists

Help is at hand for media professionals seeking to enhance the quality of their work when reporting about migration, as the Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) releases a new e-learning platform developed by journalists for journalists to mark World Refugee Day on 20 June. The online e-Media Toolkit provides first-hand assistance to media professionals with learning resources, training courses, and opportunities to share and interact. The learning section allows users to take courses in which journalists or editors of leading media outlets share their real-life newsroom dilemmas of reporting on migration. Training provides material for media trainers to design their own…

Germany: draft legislation endangers newsroom privacy

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) shares the outrage of its German affiliates Deutscher Journalisten Verband (DJV) and Deutsche Jounalisten Union (DJU) in ver.di about a new draft law by the German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer (CSU) which  would remove protections prohibiting the country’s domestic and foreign intelligence services from hacking journalists’ devices during terrorism investigations. Under the current German law, journalists – along with priests, lawyers, doctors, and Members of Parliament – are granted special protection to limit their surveillance by intelligence agencies. According to the German newspaper Die Zeit, the new legislation would remove some of the protections…

Ambassador of Canada to the EU: “Journalists are modern heroes”

On 14 June, the UK Representation to the European Union (EU) and the Mission of Canada to the EU hosted the event “Thought is free: Protecting and promoting media freedom”. In two panels, six discussants shared their thoughts on media freedom, fact checking, safety of journalists, the loss of trust in media and the daily struggles of female journalists. The event was organised in the lead of the Global Conference for Media Freedom to take place on 11-11 July in London. In his opening statement, the Ambassador of Canada Dan Costello quoted journalists to be “modern heroes”, listing a worrying…

Ahead of European games in Minsk, EFJ urges Belarusian authorities to respect press freedom

Ahead of the European Games to take place in Minsk from 21 to 30 June 2019, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) reiterates its call on Belarusian authorities to respect press freedom and journalists’ right to work in complete freedom. The EFJ further calls on the European Olympic Committee to advocate for press freedom in Belarus, its host for the European games. At the moment, the situation is particularly worrying for freelance journalists working in Belarus for foreign media outlets, who are denied accreditation and therefore imposed unjustified bans to carry out their journalistic activities. Since April 2014, freelance journalists…

Russia: around ten journalists detained in new protest wave

Russian authorities detained on Wednesday 12 June hundreds of people, including at least 10 journalists, following a protest in Moscow in support of investigative journalist Ivan Golunov. The European and International Federations of Journalists (EFJ/IFJ) joined their affiliate in Russia, the Russian Union of Journalists (RUJ), in asking for immediate release of all detained journalists. Today’s march was initially organised to press for the release of Meduza journalist Ivan Golunov who was freed on 11 June. Demonstrators were calling for punishment of police officers involved in Golunov’s arrest on 6th June on drug-dealing accusations. Golunov always denied the allegation and…

EFJ-IFJ welcome drop of charges against Russian journalist Ivan Golunov

Journalist Ivan Golunov was arrested in Russia on 6th June on drug-dealing accusations, causing a public outcry that prompted the authorities to drop all the charges against him on 11th June. While welcoming this decision, the International and European Federations of Journalists (IFJ/EFJ) call on the government to stop harassing journalists. Ivan Golunov is a reporter for the independent Meduza news website. He is well known for his work investigating corruption among Moscow city officials. He showed how relatives of Moscow’s deputy mayor Pyotr Biryukov earned billions on city contracts, amassing a fortune in real estate. Police said Golunov was carrying several…

The EFJ calls on the Russian authorities to immediately release journalist Ivan Golunov

Update (11.06.19): On Sunday 9 June, a Moscow court released Golunov into house arrest. Despite the fact that his trial is still ongoing, the decision was celebrated as a first victory, because the standard procedure in drug-related cases is to keep people in custody. Golunov reported about beatings during his investigation. An ambulance determined a concussion, bruising and possible broken ribs. Meanwhile the case caused a public outcry followed by a wave of solidarity from a wide range of newspapers and media houses. According to BBC Moscow correspondent Steve Rosenberg, “in the world of Russian media, acts of solidarity are rare”.…

France 3 journalist hit and locked up in a mosque in Normandy

On 3 June, a 50-year old journalist working for the public broadcaster France 3 Normandie was attacked while filming in front of the mosque As-salam in Petit-Couronne, a city near Rouen. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joined its affiliates in France in strongly condemning the attack. The cameraman was alone taking background footage of the mosque for a report on the imam who was facing trial the same day, when suddenly a man, followed by a group of around 20 men, asked him to stop filming. The journalist was hit, thrown on the ground and had his camera broken.…

Journalists’ organisations on the front line to tackle gender equality and online harassment

Around 30 journalists and journalists’ representatives from 20 European countries attended the workshop on “Increasing gender equality and diversity in the workplace” on 28 and 29 May in Istanbul, Turkey. Co-organised by the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) and the Journalists’ Union of Turkey (TGS), the workshop aimed to provide best practices and concrete tools to improve equality between male and female journalists, improve diversity in the newsroom and counter growing online harrassment. Journalists’ unions and professional associations are best placed to initiate the change when it comes to closing the gender pay gap, improving work-life balance, fighting stereotypes in…

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