European Federation of Journalists

Netherlands: NVJ wins pay rise for freelance and employed journalists

The Dutch Association of Journalists (NVJ) reached an agreement on Monday 18 December 2023 with the two main employers, DPG and Mediahuis, on pay rises for both freelance and employed journalists. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) welcomes the agreement, which will improve journalists’ working conditions in the Netherlands in a context of falling purchasing power caused by inflation. Work stoppages took place in recent months to put pressure on the negotiations under the slogan “Give us back our wages”. In October, some news editorial teams stopped work and took a “coffee break”, while in November, some media websites were…

Netherlands: Vexatious lawsuit against Het Financieele Dagblad condemned

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joined its partners in the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) and the Coalition Against SLAPPs in Europe (CASE) in deploring the lawsuit against Dutch daily newspaper Het Financieele Dagblad (FD) and stand in solidarity with the FD and its journalists. The case, of which the hearing will take place on 13 November 2023, is a clear attempt to silence and discourage Het Financieele Dagblad and its journalists from further reporting. On April 6, 2023, het Financieele Dagblad (FD), a Dutch daily newspaper specialising in business and finance, received a summons from Willem Blijdorp, founder…

Netherlands: Urgent action needed to protect civic space against SLAPPs and other forms of legal intimidation

Legal intimidation and SLAPPs (Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation) are attempts to intimidate and silence public watchdogs through lengthy and expensive litigation proceedings by starting meritless lawsuits. These threats mostly target civil society actors participating in public debates, including human rights advocates, whistle-blowers, climate activists and even academics more broadly. Under the pretext of seeking justice or protecting their rights, those who start these actions only seek to drain them from their resources (time and money) and force them to self-censor. These abusive tactics have become a very effective way to repress dissent and limit the public’s access to truthful…

New MFRR report in the Netherlands: advancing protection and prevention amidst rising threats

Today, the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) publishes “Towards a safer haven: Advancing safety of journalists amidst rising threats in the Netherlands”. Following interviews with more than twenty local stakeholders, the MFRR concludes that policy and practice around the safety of journalists in the Netherlands in many ways constitutes a best practice example, thanks to its pioneering PersVeilig mechanism. Nevertheless, there remains a need to strengthen several areas to better protect journalists and media workers against the increasingly hostile climate pursuant to intensified societal polarisation and threats emanating from organised crime. The report details the findings and recommendations of the…

Netherlands: International media freedom mission on the safety of Dutch journalists

The Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) is organising an international media freedom mission to the Netherlands. The mission will take at the beginning of 2022 and will be led by Free Press Unlimited and the European Center for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF) and joined by the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) and other consortium members. The aim of the mission is to map the decreasing security of journalists in the Netherlands, despite the establishment of PersVeilig (Press Safe) at the end of 2019 and the strong security mechanism for journalists. With attacks on journalists increasing, the public broadcaster NOS…

Netherlands: Veteran journalist dies from injuries after being shot

Dutch journalist Peter R. de Vries has died on 15 July at the age of 64, days after being shot five times in the street in Amsterdam in a targeted shooting. The European and International Federations of Journalists (EFJ/IFJ) condemned the murder as another tragic blow to press freedom in Europe. On 6 July, Peter R. de Vries was a guest on daily television programme RTL Boulevard. After leaving the building, he was shot several times at close range, including in the head, in a side street near the studio. The police arrested three suspects. One was later released. Peter R.…

Netherlands: 8 out of 10 journalists have experienced violence or threats

In the Netherlands, more than eight in ten journalists have experienced some form of aggression of threat, according to a new study carried out by I&O research for PersVeilig and published on 5 June 2021. Almost 700 journalists in the Netherlands responded to the new survey “Aggression and threats towards journalists 2021” which assessed the level of safety of journalists in the country. The results paints a bleak picture with more than 8 journalists out of 10 reporting having experienced violence or threats at some point in the course of their work. Four years ago, the figure was already high,…

Netherlands: “strong signal” needed after new attack on photographer

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) strongly condemned the violent aggression against a Dutch photographer and his girlfriend in Lunteren last Monday 19 April. The EFJ joined its affiliate in the Netherlands, the NVJ, in demanding a strong response from the authorities to the increasing number of attacks against journalists and media workers. On 19 April 2021, an amateur photojournalist and his girlfriend were shooting photos of a car fire when several people became so aggressive towards them that they had to take refuge in their car. Shortly afterwards, footages show a digger pushing the car and sending it onto…

Netherlands: New violent attacks against journalists around church services

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joined today the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) partners in condemning the violence directed at journalists and media workers on Sunday 28 March in several Dutch cities and calling for increased protection. On Sunday 28 March, several journalists were reporting from churches in the towns of Krimpen aan den Ijssel and Urk about the gathering of hundreds of churchgoers despite strict anti-coronavirus regulations. Hostile and aggressive behaviour from individual churchgoers, sometimes leading to physical violence, soon followed and made it very difficult for journalists to continue their reporting. In Krimpen, Jacco van Giessen, a…

Netherlands: Journalists’ safety increasingly under attack

Riots have taken place in several cities in the Netherlands following the the government’s decision to impose a 9pm curfew to curb the circulation of the coronavirus, on Saturday 23 January. Several journalists were physically attacked in a context of growing hostility towards the press. The European and International Federations of Journalists (EFJ/IFJ) join their affiliates in the Netherlands, the NVJ, in condemning the attacks and expressing alarm over the escalation of violence against media professionals since last year. The unrest has started last weekend in protest against the curfew which came into force on Saturday. At least seven cases…

Netherlands: Union negotiates travel ban exemption for IFJ press card holders

Foreign journalists traveling to the Netherlands will be exempt from a travel ban and be able to leave quarantine to carry out vital newsgathering provided they are carrying an IFJ International Press Card (IPC). The protocol, negotiated between the Dutch Journalist Association, the NVJ, and the country’s authorities exempts foreign journalists in possession of the IPC and a letter issued by the union, are exempted from the travel restrictions currently in place. Journalists are still required to: get a visa when needed follow travel requirements follow corona rules in place, such as self-quarantine for 10 days, except for the time journalists…

Netherlands: Public Broadcaster NOS removes logo from vehicles following increased attacks against journalists

On 15 October, the Dutch Public Broadcaster NOS announced they are removing NOS logos from their cars and trucks due to the number of attacks against their employees and elevated fear of further harassment. The logic behind this step is that journalists’ safety increases when it is not immediately recognisable who they are working for. The measure, which was taken after thorough consideration, is described as a “defeat for the NOS, but especially for journalism” by Marcel Gelauff, editor-in-chief of NOS. “However, almost daily aggressions towards journalists, such as calling names, threats, cutting off on the highway or banging on…

The Netherlands: Landmark ruling sets 50% pay increase for photojournalists

The freelance photojournalists Britt van Uem (Tubantia) and Ruud Rogier (Brabants Dagblad) won on the 1st of November the lawsuit against DPG Media (formerly De Persgroep). The court ruled that the rates they received for their work, respectively 13 cents per word and 42 euros per photo, were not fair. The judge has increased the rates by 50% to 0.21 cents per word and 65 euros per photo respectively. DPG Media therefore has to pay these two freelancers extra for work they did in 2018. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) welcomes this historical decision and congratulates its affiliate, The…

The Netherlands: the travel restriction law threatens media freedom

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joins its Dutch affiliate Nederlandse Vereninging van Journalisten (NVJ) in condemning a new law under which Dutch citizens travelling to an area “controlled by terrorist groups” must request permission from the justice ministry. This new regulation threatens the freedom to inform, EFJ said, calling on the Dutch senate to make an exception for journalists or to withdraw the bill. The bill, proposed by the Dutch Minister of Justice and Security Ferdinand Grapperhaus (our picture), was approved by the Lower House on 10 September. Under the proposed law, failing to request the justice ministry’s permission before travelling…

Netherlands: NVJ adopts plan for equal treatment of freelance & staff journalists

On  28th November, the Dutch Association of Journalists (NVJ) agreed on a “working conditions policy plan” aiming to adapt the rates of freelance journalists in line with the employed journalists. NVJ is negotiating with the publishers to guarantee  4 to 4,5 % salary increase to the publishers association. The NVJ has chosen a comprehensive approach in the negotiations with the publishers to guarantee better rights for both employees and freelancers. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) welcomes this decision in times when more and more freelance journalists suffer precarious working conditions throughout Europe. The plan is part of a broader…

Netherlands: New ‘Source Protection Act’ finally enters into force

On 1st October, the Source Protection Act in Criminal Cases has finally become effective in the Netherlands. The law provides strengthened protection for the confidentiality of journalists’ sources, which have been recognised in several cases as an essential part of freedom of expression by the European Court of Human Rights. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joined its Dutch affiliate the NVJ in welcoming the law, defined by NVJ General Secretary Thomas Bruning as “necessary to the correct functioning of journalism”. With the Source Protection Act, there will always be a preliminary consideration by a judge before the police can have access to the sources data…