EU Copyright Directive is a step in the right direction but still needs to be improved

The first copyright law reform in the EU in almost two decades is designed to give authors, artists, musicians, journalists and publishers a better chance of being paid when their work appears on the internet. A final draft of the new EU Copyright Directive was approved on Wednesday night in Strasbourg. It now needs approval by EU governments at meeting that is likely to be next week and will then be voted on by the European Parliament in March or April. “The Directive offers improved rewards for all authors, including reporters, feature writers and photographers. It is not perfect –…

Open letter: Making whistleblowing work for Europe

The EU is poised to take a momentous step and adopt a new directive to protect whistleblowers across Europe. This could have a dramatic impact on the capacity and ability of whistleblowing to work in all our interests. We know that protecting those who speak up in the public interest saves lives, protects our environment, reveals and stops corruption, and stems the huge financial losses to business and governments that result from failures to address wrongdoing. It is vital that an EU Directive on the protection of whistleblowers protects the free flow of information necessary for responsible exercises of institutional…

New copyright directive makes a mockery of journalists’ authors’ rights

After months of speculation, EU institutions last night agreed the wording of a proposed Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market, which risks journalists being deprived of their authors’ rights and denied ‘’proportionate remuneration’’ for the work they do. The new proposal does introduce the principle of an appropriate and proportionate remuneration for all authors, including journalists, place transparency obligations on publishers and open up the possibility of alternative dispute mechanisms which could avoid lengthy and expensive court cases. It also allows authors to be represented by their unions in that process. The International and the European Federations of…

Resolution Turkey: The myth of domestic legal remedy

Nearly 50 MEPs join the resolution supported by the EFJ calling for restoration of rule of law and release of Turkey’s journalists. MEP Rebecca Harms (centre) at a roundtable on press freedom in Turkey at the European Parliament in January 2019 A total of 47 MEPs and 14 press freedom and free expression organizations, including the EFJ, and Green MEP Rebecca Harms have joined a resolution underscoring the lack of effective domestic legal remedies for journalists targeted in Turkey’s media crackdown. The resolution follows a roundtable held under Chatham House Rules on January 29, 2019, at the European Parliament on…

Report: Urgent action needed to protect press freedom in Europe

Press freedom in Europe is more fragile now than at any time since the end of the Cold War. That is the alarming conclusion of a report launched today by the 12 partner organizations of the Council of Europe Platform to promote the protection of Journalism and safety of journalists. The report, “Democracy at Risk”, analyses media freedom violations raised to the Platform in 2018. It provides a stark picture of the worsening environment for the media across Europe, in which journalists increasingly face obstruction, hostility and violence as they investigate and report on behalf of the public. The 12 Platform partners…

The Charter on journalists working conditions (full document)

The EFJ Charter on Journalists Working Conditions is a guideline on working conditions, signed on 12 February 2019 in Belgrade (Serbia), by 14 journalists’ organisation representatives affiliated to the European Federation of Journalists and leading journalists’ unions from Western Balkans and Turkey. The Charter is open for signature to all journalists organisations, private or public media companies or authorities willing to commit to improve the working conditions and reinforce the labour rights of journalists and media workers in Europe, to fight against censorship and to promote free access to information and sources. The Charter contains 10 articles condensing the main principles affecting the working relationship between journalists,…

EFJ to launch a new Charter on Journalists Working Conditions

On February 12, 2019, the European Federations of Journalists (EFJ)’s labour rights expert group (LAREG) members will officially launch a new Charter on journalists working conditions during a press conference organised in Belgrade at : speakers : members of the labour rights expert group (LAREG+) in EU, Western Balkans and Turkey Subject : Launch of EFJ Charter on journalists working conditions Date : Tuesday 12 February 2019 at 10:00 am Location : Press centar UNS, street Kneza Mihaila 6, Belgrade language : English and Serbian registration : free access (no accreditation required for journalists) contact : mehmet@europeanjournalists.org / camille@europeanjournalists.org    …

France: Mediapart secret sources threatened by police search attempt

On February 4, 2019 around 11 a.m., under the pretext of Mediapart having breached the privacy rights of Alexandre Benalla, the Paris Prosecutor’s office sent two prosecutors and three policemen to search its offices. The attempted search clearly targeted the “recording and listening devices” to uncover the sources of the last revelations, audio recordings, between Alexandre Benalla and Vincent Crase. Fabrice Arfi and Michaël Hajdenberg both heading the investigative journalism pool at Mediapart opposed the search in the absence of its President and founder, journalist Edwy Plenel. As a rule, during a preliminary enquiry, the media has the right to refuse entry…

In the UK and France, freelance journalists stand up for their rights to fairer, better and faster pay

Both in France and the UK, freelance media workers have joined forces to tackle the unlawful working practices of media owners. They demand the end of payment on publication, to be paid for all their work, not just on the basis of what has been published, only after it has been published. They also expect to receive payments promptly, instead of enduring huge delays and being left out of pocket. Media workers are under pressure from employers who are cutting editorial budgets, slashing jobs and undermining trade union organisations. Many journalists have been forced into what we call “fake freelance”…

Copyright Directive: IFJ/EFJ reject the Romanian compromise

The International and European Federations of Journalists (IFJ/EFJ), the world and Europe’s largest journalists’ organisations, call on EU Institutions to reject provisions and proposals that aim to restrict or obliterate journalists’ remuneration, ahead of final negotiations on the Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market (DSM). It is with great dismay and disbelief that the IFJ and the EFJ have read the EU Presidency’s latest proposals regarding journalists’ remuneration in the context of the draft legislation. While floating a possible compromise idea of an “appropriate and proportionate” remuneration for authors in Recital 39Y and presumably in Article -14, the…

Belgium enforces largely opposed €50 security check fee to cover the EU

The Belgian government passed a bill  or “Taxe Michel” forcing media workers (journalists and technicians), residing in Belgium or Belgian, to pay a mandatory €50 fee for the security screening document it delivers to authorize access to EU events. It debuted at last October’s EU Summit. The Belgian Union of Journalists (AJP) opposed the law 6 months ago to no avail. About 1000 journalists, either Belgian or residing in Belgium, will be forced to pay the fee. Belgium has now started billing journalists or their employers and the European Federation of Journalist joins the AJP ‘s recommendation to refuse to…

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