EFJ and IFJ back Ukraine Russian dialogue to counter harassment and intimidation of journalists

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) pledged their support to the ongoing dialogue between the Ukraine and Russian journalists unions under the auspices of Dunja Mijatovic, Representative on Freedom of the Media for the OSCE. IFJ President, Jim Boumelha, participated in the fifth Ukraine / Russian dialogue meeting in Vienna 25 February, where the Russian Union of Journalists, the National Union of Journalists of Ukraine and the Independent Media Trade Union of Ukraine met to review the situation facing journalists attempting to report the conflict in Eastern Ukraine. “The conflict, violence and war…

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Nils Muižnieks (CoE) ready to strenghten synergies with EFJ-IFJ for media freedom

The growing trend of legal restrictions on journalists and media in Europe is an issue of concern raised in a meeting today (26/02/2015) with the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Nils Muižnieks, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) and the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ). The EFJ presented an exclusive survey on the legal restrictions facing journalists and media. The discussion showed that journalists are most concerned by laws on data retention, protections of sources, anti-terrorism laws, privacy and defamation. The EFJ and its affiliates expressed concerns that such trend of legal restrictions is growing in the climate of fear…

Macedonia: over 100 journalists illegally tapped

Macedonian government stands accused of tapping the phones of over 20,000 citizens, including more than 100 journalists. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) and its Macedonian affiliates, the Trade Union of Macedonian Journalists and Media Workers (SSNM) and the Association of Journalists of Macedonia(ZNM), expressed grave concerns about the publicly announced allegations of the unauthorised mass surveillance of journalists and citizens. Zoran Zaev, leader of the center-left opposition party (Social Democratic Union of Macedonia – SDSM), has released yesterday many details on the mass wire-tapping of more than 100 Macedonian journalists for more than three years. “This violation of privacy directly affects…

Why do they leave journalism?

“Why do they leave journalism?” – This is the question asked to 38 former journalists by journalism student Hélène Brédart in a project initiated at the Université de Liège and reproduced by Jean-François Dumont of the Belgian Association of Professional Journalists (AJP, member of EFJ). The results of the project published in the latest edition of the monthly Journalistes by the AJP show that the deteriorating working conditions and practices in journalism make are major reason why journalists left the profession. The most frequently mentioned reasons for journalists to leave their job are: • Increasing workload: The digital development and restructuring measures are putting…

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London: the world capital of foreign correspondents

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) has attended at the Brussels Press Club,  the launch of a new book Mapping Foreign Correspondence in Europe showing that London is the world capital of foreign correspondents. The editor of the book Georgios Terzis has conducted a pan-european research for almost two years and gathered data about the 6.600 registered journalists working as correspondents in 27 countries (this first edition does not include information for Poland and Italy). According to the data disclosed, the country that has the highest number of foreign correspondents working there is the United Kingdom (1.700), following by France (945), Belgium…

Swedish freelance journalist released in Syria

Joakim Medin, a Swedish freelance journalist arrested by Syrian security forces has been released, on Saturday night, according to the Swedish daily newspaper Expressen, who talked to the journalist. He was arrested by the Syrian forces earlier last week in the Kurdish areas of the country. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joins its Swedish affiliate, SJ, to welcome his release. “Our thoughts are with the journalist’s family and I hope that they can be reunited as soon as possible,” said Jonas Nordling, President of the Swedish Union of Journalists, Journalist Förbundet (SJ). “It is becoming increasingly common for journalists being targeted…

Deutsche Welle journalists protest against cuts

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) has today expressed its solidarity with Deutsche Welle (DW) journalists who are participating in this afternoon’s demonstration in Bonn against cost-cutting measures in the agency. Ricardo Gutiérrez, the EFJ General Secretary said: “Cost-cutting measures are used to address the economic crisis but often for the wrong places. In an media organisation, such measures will have great impact on media pluralism, diversity and democracy. “We express our solidarity with DW workers and support the protest action today organised by the initiave of the trade union action circle, of which our affiliates DJV and dju in…

Putin’s war on NGOs threatens the Mass Media Defense Centre

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) and its Russian affiliate, the Russian Union of Journalists (RUJ), are deeply concerned by the new threats against the Mass Media Defence Centre (MMDC), which is the only Russian NGO specialising in media law, as well as providing legal assistance and protecting media rights on a daily basis. Over the past two years, an unprecedented number of laws have been adopted in Russia which dramatically restrict the activities of all independent non-governmental organisations (NGOs). According to a law passed in 2012, Russian NGOs that receive foreign funding must declare themselves as “foreign agents”. This law threatens…

Charlie Hebdo journalist faces death threat

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) had today joined their affiliates in France and Morocco (SNJ, SNJ-CGT, CFDT-Journalistes and SNPM) to strongly denounce the death threats sent from a Twitter account to Zineb El Rhazoui, journalist and contributor of Charlie Hebdo, and her husband, the Moroccan writer Jaouad Benaissi. Rhazoui has received several threats via the social media Twitter containing picture and information on her husband’s home and working place; information that has also been published on social network. The fresh attack on Rhazoui and her husband shows that the Charlie Hebdo perpetrators…

Danish daily launches project to improve media coverage of women and minorities

In wake of the events taking place in Copenhagen last weekend, the Danish newspaper Politiken, launches today a project to improve diversity in the news and newsroom practices. According to the chief editor, Anne Mette Svane, the projest is ” about making better journalism”. ”We must be more aware of sensitive issues and question ourselves whether we have done enough in our reporting to reflect the reality;” said Mette Svane. The goals of the project are to achieve an equal representation of women in its news and increase its media coverage of ethnic minorities for at least 10% by 2018. The…

EFJ told EU Enlargement Commissioner “Media censorship is a reality in Serbia”

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) today has told Johannes Hahn, the European Commissioner in charge of European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiation that media censorship is a reality in Serbia following his controversial remark made on 15 February in a media briefing prior to his visit to Skopje this week. According to journalists attended the media briefing, Commissioner Hahn told journalists that “I have heard this several times [concerns about media freedom] and I am asking always about proof. I am willing to follow up such reproaches, but I need evidence and not only rumours.” When journalists further questioned…

Two French journalists arrested in Morocco

Two French journalists, Jean-Louis Perez and Pierre Chautard, working for France Télévisions were arrested by the Moroccan authorities on 15 February while they were making a documentary in Rabat. Perez and Chautard were arrested in the premises of the Moroccan Association for Human Rights (AMDH) when they were interviewing the President of the AMDH, Mr. Ahmed El-Haij about the human rights situation in the country. The police also seized their equipment and told them to leave the country immediately. Following the arrest, the French journalists’ unions (SNJ, SNJ-CGT and CFDT-Journalistes) denounced the arrest. “The arrest is not acceptable and the…

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Copenhagen: IFJ and EFJ stand united with Danish citizens in refusing intimidation

(updated 15/02/2015) The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) strongly condemn the deadly shootings which took place Saturday and early Sunday in Copenhagen. One civilian has been killed and three police officers injured after armed men opened fire on Krudttønden meeting place, on Saturday. The title of the meeting was: “Art, Blasphemy and Freedom of Expression”. In the second attack, early Sunday, outside the city’s main synagogue, a man was shot in the head and later died, and two officers were wounded. The Saturday meeting was attended by Lars Vilks, the controversial Swedish artist who has…

IFJ/EFJ welcome plans by the Syriza government to reopen ERT in Greece

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) have welcomed the announcement by Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to reopening Greek public broadcaster ERT, which was closed down by the previous government in June 2013. On Monday 9 February Nikos Pappas, the State Minister responsible for public service broadcasting, said that the government will prepare a draft law in a month’s time in order to allow the re-opening of ERT. The PSB went off air in June 2013 and 2700 staff were laid off as part of austerity measures adopted by the government of former Prime…

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Journalist refugee at Swiss Embassy in Azerbaijan

Update (13/06/2015): Emin Huseynov flew out of Azerbaijan on the plane of Switzerland’s top diplomat Didier Burkhalter, who attended the Euro Games ceremony in Baku late on Friday (12/06/2015). Emin Huseynov who had been sheltering for 10 months at the Swiss embassy in Baku, is now in Bern. Julian Assange’s Courage Foundation helped him escape Azerbaijan and fly to Switzerland.   Reportage broadcasted this week by the Swiss national television shows the case of Azeri journalist and human rights defender Emin Huseynov, secretly hidden in the Swiss Embassy in Baku (Azerbaijan) since last August due to a wave of repression…

EU copyright reform needs to address fairness in creative sector

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) represented by President, Mogens Blicher Bjerregård, told EU policy-makers to address the unfair contractual practices in the media and creative sectors in a meeting organised by the European Parliament working group on intellectual property rights and copyright reform in Strasburg. Addressing members of the working group, Blicher Bjerregård says, “The biggest challenge facing journalists today is the unfair contractual practices that deprived the right of journalists from receiving fair payment for their work. “The imbalance in negotiation power between media organisations and individual journalists allows this to happen.” You can read the full speech…