European Federation of Journalists

Full support to Věra Jourová following attacks by Viktor Orbán

Together with a coalition of 19 organisations, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) urged the European Commission to remain firm and use all the political and legal tools to stop the dismantling of the rule of law, democracy and media freedom by the Hungarian authorities. The signatories of a joint letter sent to the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, and the President of the European Parliament, David Sassoli, expressed their full support to Vice-President Věra Jourová following attacks by Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and his government. “For…

Hungary: two media outlets forced to close following Orbán’s electoral win

Radio station Lánchíd Rádió as well as Hungarian opposition daily newspaper Magyar Nemzet have shut down on 10 and 11 April 2018. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) is appalled by the latest developments following Orbán’s electoral win, which further narrows media pluralism in Hungary. The Hungarian opposition daily newspaper Magyar Nemzet and its online version were forced to close yesterday due to financial reasons. A sudden increase in rent of the publishing buildings, whose owners are reported to be close to the newly re-elected Hungarian Prime minister Viktor Orbán, led it to cease its media production.  The Hungarian radio station Lánchíd Rádió…

Spyware Pegasus helped target investigative journalists in Hungary

The Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) is highly alarmed by the revelations by a consortium led by French NGO Forbidden Stories about the surveillance of journalists, human rights defenders, lawyers and others through the Pegasus spyware program developed by Israeli company NSO Group. The leak, which revealed the involvement of the Hungarian government among others, raises significant implications for journalists’ security and the protection of their sources as well as raising concerns through the chilling effect such applications have on journalists beyond those immediately affected and ultimately, on everyone’s right to information. We call on the Hungarian government and other…

Slovenian government eroding media freedom as it takes over EU Presidency

The Slovenian government of Prime Minister Janez Janša is overseeing an increasingly systematic effort to undermine critical media, a coalition of press freedom organisations and journalism groups warn today in a new report. The report concludes that Slovenia, which assumes the rotating presidency of the EU on July 1, has seen press freedom deteriorate ever since Janša returned to power in March 2020. Since then, the ruling SDS party has embarked on a multipronged campaign to reshape the media landscape in favour of a pro-government narrative, renewing tactics successful during previous administrations and forging ahead with new forms of pressure.…

MFRR calls for EU action as Hungary’s last independent radio is silenced

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joined partners of the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) in expressing serious concern over today’s decision (04.02.2021) by a court in Budapest to reject the temporary license extension to Klubrádió in Hungary, warning it will have far-reaching implications for what remains of media pluralism and independent journalism in the country. The MFRR stresses that this decision effectively consigns Klubrádió to broadcasting exclusively on the internet and represents a significant win for the ruling Fidesz party and Prime Minister Viktor Orbán in their decade-long campaign to destroy one of the last remaining independent broadcasters which…

120 alerts in 4 months: first MFRR-report documents severe threats to media freedom across Europe

DOWNLOAD THE FULL REPORT HERE The year 2020 seems to add another sad chapter on the decline of media freedom in Europe. Main reasons were the impact of the Covid-19 crisis, police violence and online harassment. Find all details in first MFRR-report. The monitoring report compiled by European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) and International Press Institute (IPI), with support from ECPMF, gives unprecedented insight into the threats to media freedom in EU member states and Candidate Countries. Within the monitored period from March to June a total of 120 alerts were registered on the mappingmediafreedom.org platform from two-thirds of the countries covered…

In Hungary EU funds are used to finance pro-government media

The political interference at Index, one of the last independent news outlets in Hungary, requires a strong reaction from the leaders of the European Union. The move contravenes the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, which is a legally binding charter. The EU should feel responsible: issued on Thursday, the EU Media Pluralism Monitor (MPM2020) states that “EU-funds are constantly used to finance pro-government media and spread anti-EU messages” in Hungary. Inaction on behalf of the EU leaders allows Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán to tighten his authoritarian grip. Yesterday, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) together with its Media Freedom Rapid…

Hungary media freedom crackdown: our letter to EU leaders

To the consideration of Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, Charles Michel, President of the European Council, and Heiko Maas, Federal Foreign Minister on behalf of Germany’s presidency of the Council of the EU Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) partners are profoundly concerned about the latest media freedom attacks in Hungary, which follow only days after the EU Summit, where Prime Minister Viktor Orbán praised the rule of law situation in his country.   Dear President von der Leyen, Dear President Michel, Dear Federal Foreign Minister Maas, Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) partners are profoundly concerned by…

Hungary: journalists at Index resign, EU must take action

Thousands of people took to the streets in Budapest on Friday evening to demonstrate against the attacks on Hungary’s biggest independent news portal “Index”. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) welcomes this protest march and calls on European leaders to protect media freedom in Hungary. The editorial board and more than 70 journalists at “Index” have resigned, two days after its editor-in-chief Szabolcs Dull was fired amid claims of political interference. On Friday, three leading editors and more than 70 others said they were ending their employment there, because board president Laszlo Bodolai had refused to reinstate the chief editor. The…