Special rapporteurs call to endorse transparency of media ownership

On the occasion of the World Press Freedom Day (3 May 2015) and the two events which are going to be organised in Riga and Brussels, Access Info Europe together with the European Federations of Journalists (EFJ), and the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) have called on the four Special Rapporteurs on Freedom of Expression, Pansy Tlakula ( the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Right), Edison Lanza ( Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression of the Organisation of American States), Dunja Mijatović ( OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media) and David Kaye ( United Nations Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of…

Police in Bulgaria attacking TV 7 to prevent broadcasting

Today (29/04/2015), police forces in Bulgaria entered to the building of private television channel TV7 in order to impound the television’s property and get off the TV equipment preventing it from broadcasting. Bulgarian citizens were alerted by the increasing number of police forces out of the building. According to the EFJ affiliate in Bulgaria, SBJ or the Union of Bulgarian Journalists, TV staff and journalists are resisting and refused to allow the police to enter the TV headquarter without seeing any judicial order. They have also requested to talk with Kristina Dimitrova, the head of the Bulgarian police called Bailiff. According to the SBJ, this police action is a blatant violation of press…

EFJ asks Luxembourg drop charges against journalist over LuxLeaks

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) today condemned the Luxembourg authorities for accusing the French journalist, Édouard Perrin, of disclosing confidential information of the accounting firm PricewaterhouseCooper (PwC) about custom made tax deals for multinational corporations known as LuxLeaks. According to the indictment issued by the investigating judge, on 23 April, Perrin was charged for being a “co-author, if not an accomplice, in infractions committed by one of PwC’s former employees”. Ricardo Gutierrez, the EFJ General Secretary said, “It is shameful that the Luxembourg authorities are going after a journalist who has acted entirely in the public interest to publish the information. The authorities…

Verhofstadt: “EU Progress Report does not say much about press freedom”

“The annual Progress Reports produced by the European Commission does not say much about the situation of press freedom and freedom of expression in the candidate countries. Therefore, I call the Commission to better focus on those topics as we need a deeper analysis and development on those important topics, specially regarding the situation in Turkey”, said Guy Verhofstadt, member of the European Parliament and leader of the Group of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe of (ALDE) , during a seminar on Press Freedom in Turkey co-organized on 22/04/2015 by ALDE and the Greens. The liberal MEP’s call to…

Austria: Journalists’ union (GPA-djp) demands fair play from media employers

Vienna: After the first bargaining round for a collective agreement in the daily and weekly newspaper sector, its supplements and editorial digital services for employed journalists, technical workers and freelances, there has not been any consensus with the Austrian Publishers Association (VÖZ). The chairman of the GPA-djp Franz C. Bauer said: There is a shadow over the positive agreement we negotiated last year with the employers. We had agreed that for the next bargaining round we would focus on freelances – our demand for a adequate rise of the fee per line was however refused by the employers.“ The next…

EFJ congratulates new leadership at Belarus Association of Journalists

The EFJ affiliate, the Belarus Association of Journalists (BAJ) elected a new chairman at its  IX Congress on 24 April. The out-going chair woman, Zhanna Litvina, had been serving the BAJ for almost 20 years announced the candidate for the chairmanship Andrei Bastunets. Litvina, had headed the organisation since it was founded in 1995. Litvina called Bastunets “conscience of the organisation, a person you can always rely on”. Bastunets, 48, a former deputy head, was elected chairman of BAJ, an organisation with 1,300 members. Andrus Klikunou , who is a mmeber of the EFJ Freelance expert Group, was elected for…

Nils Muižnieks: “We need to ensure the viability of both independent media and NGOs”

The Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Nils Muižnieks, presented today in Strasbourg his annual activity report 2014. The Commissioner is concerned by the “increased pressure against NGOs and the media in many Council of Europe member states”. Nils Muižnieks quoted the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) in his report. Here are some excerpts. “NGOs and the media play an extremely important role in safeguarding human rights more broadly. Where large parliamentary majorities govern and other checks and balances are weakened, NGOs and the media are often the sole remaining watchdogs able and willing to keep the authorities accountable before the law.…

IFJ/EFJ ask for legislation securing fair contracts for journalists

To mark this year’s World Book and Copyright Day on 23 April, the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) call on public authorities across the globe to put legislation in place that secure fair, minimum contractual conditions for journalists and ensure they are equitably remunerated for the use of their works. Journalists are the authors of the works they produce. They own economic rights and in most countries have moral rights. This means that they must be remunerated for the use of their works and can protect the integrity of their journalism against any form…

Macedonian journalist Borjan Jovanovski faces death threat

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and the European Federation of journalists (EFJ) have strongly condemn the death threat against a Macedonian TV presenter, Borjan Jovanovski, and call on the Macedonian authorities to prosecute the perpetrators. Borjan Jovanovski, a prominent journalist, editor and founder of Novatv.mk, received on 21 April at his home in Skopje, Macedonia (FYROM), a death threat in the form of a funeral wreath with the words ”last goodbye” written on it. The wreath was brought by an unknown man in the name of Todor Aleksandrov, a controversial figure celebrated by the ruling party, VMRO DPMNE. Jovanovski…