UK Bank decided to block RT accounts

State-funded Russian broadcaster RT complained on Monday that National Westminster Bank (NatWest) had withdrawn its banking services in Britain without explanation. According to a letter featured on the RT site, the bank will withdraw the card facility on November 14. ”All accounts will be closed on December 12,” the letter continues. The incident would not prevent RT from working in the United Kingdom. NatWest wrote to the UK company that supplies services to RT, rather than the television network itself. The decision to block RT accounts was taken independently by the bank, UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said Tuesday. The Royal Bank of Scotland…

Journalists call for lifting the ban on news channels in Turkey

The European and International Federations of Journalists (EFJ/IFJ) today organised a press briefing at the Brussels’ Press Club to protest the on-going clampdown on media in Turkey and to urge the government to lift the ban on news channels.  The Turkish government recently shut down about 20 TV and radio channels, including the Kurdish Channel Med-Nuçe based in Belgium that was removed on 3 October by Eutelsat SA, a French satellite provider, on Turkey’s request.  In Turkey, 90 journalists are in jail, more than 2,500 journalists lost their jobs and arrest warrants have been issued against hundreds of media workers…

Press conference on whistleblowing, 17 October, Brussels

On Monday 17 October, Eurocadres will launch – in partnership with the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) and other trade unions, academics, NGOs and political groups – a platform calling for an EU-wide whistleblower protection. It will be open for organisations and individuals to sign after the event. Preliminary agenda for the press event 12:30-13:00 Standing lunch 13:00-13:20 Launch of the platform (speakers: President Martin Jefflén, Eurocadres; Confederal Secretary Esther Lynch, ETUC; Director Renate Schroeder, EFJ; Policy Officer Nadja Salson, EPSU; Director Carl Dolan, Transparency International EU Office) 13:20-13:30 Q&A 13:30-14:00 Discussion with MEPs 14:00-14:15 Discussion & Closing 14:30 END When: 17 October 2016, 12h30-14h30…

Worrying study on #mediafreedom and pluralism in 7 EU countries: Urgent EU action needed

The recently published study on  “A comparative analysis of media freedom and pluralism in the EU Member States“conducted research on Bulgaria, France, Greece, Hungary, Italy,Poland and Romania, all countries which have shown political pluralism at high risk, accompanied by heavy state interference in the media, or close economic ties between politics and media. The 175 pages long study starts with the premise that any attempt to address media freedom and pluralism on a European level should be “intrinsically connected to the issues of democracy, rule of law and fundamental rights and should become part of a regular process of democratic…

EFJ participates in European trade union informal network on digitisation

(7 October 2016) European trade union federations (ETUFs) informal network on digitialization met  to exchange view on following topics: The need  to regulate on right to disconnect through collective bargaining and other legal instruments Surveillance of data of employees at the workplace, analysis patterns and rating platforms of employers The link between digitalisation and gender equality Online-Platforms and the “sharing economy” with atypical forms of workers as crowdworking, freelancers and the need for framework for employee protection and equal treatment, collective bargaining and fighting undeclared work Digital integration of value chains The Copyright Reform and Intellectual Property Rights and the…

Conference “No Bavaglio sempre, comunque e dovunque”, 11 October

Circolo della Stampa di Milano (Milan press club) organised on 11 October a conference with Anna Del Freo, deputy general secretary of the Italian affiliate the Federazione Nazionale Stampa Italiana (FNSI) and member of the EFJ Steering Committee. Torture, arbitrary arrests happen too often to journalists including so-called “citizen journalists” in Turkey, Egypt and Syria. Impunity remains the rule and not the exception. “A tragic situation which does not find enough space in the press” said Anna Del Freo. “The EFJ will continue its fight to protect journalists and help those who are working to find the truth,” she added.

Hungary’s biggest opposition newspaper shuts down

Publication of Hungary’s biggest opposition newspaper, Népszabadság (People’s Freedom), has been suspended. The paper’s owner company Mediaworks unexpectedly announced on Saturday it would suspend both the print and online editions. The European and International Federations of Journalists (EFJ and IFJ) are shocked by this huge blow to media pluralism in Hungary. Around 2,000 Hungarians protested in Budapest on Saturday against the closure of the country’s leading leftist newspaper. Mediaworks, owned by Austrian firm Vienna Capital Partners, said the paper was operating at a “considerable” loss and struggled with dropping circulation. But civil rights groups said the newspaper had been shut down because it…

TGS elects its youngest president with a gender balanced board

Journalists Union of Turkey has elected the youngest president of his history during its 21th General Meeting. The equal gender balance at the new TGS board is maintained with an age average of 35 years. EFJ-IFJ and DJV (Germany) representatives shared solidarity messages at the General Meeting and met with banned media representatives. Journalists Union of Turkey (TGS) organised its 21th Ordinary General Meeting, chaired by Canan Onurer (President of Basin-Sen in Cyprus), in Istanbul on 8 and 9 October 2016 with the participation of members, delegates and international guests. The General Meeting elected Gökhan Durmus (former TGS Istanbul Branch) at 33 years…

EFJ and IFJ discussed media freedom in Turkey with CoE Secretary General Jagland

The presidents of the European and International Federations of Journalists (EFJ-IFJ) and the representatives of the other partner organisations of the Council of Europe Platform for the Safety of Journalists met with the Council of Europe´s Secretary General, Thorbjørn Jagland, yesterday, in Strasbourg, to discuss the possible follow up to the media freedom alerts published on the Platform with regard to Turkey in the aftermath of the 15 July failed coup. The Secretary General briefed them on the Council of Europe actions so far and on-going co-operation with Turkey, as a member state of the organisation. Since the coup attempt, the…

Justice for Anna Politkovskaya

On 7 October 2006 Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya, a reporter for the Novaya Gazeta, newspaper and a prominent critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin, was shot dead at her apartment building in central Moscow. The European and International Federations of Journalists (EFJ-IFJ) join their affiliate the Russian Union of Journalists (RUJ) in commemorating the death of the veteran journalist and calling on the Russian government to renew its efforts to identify those who ordered the journalists’ murder.  The journalist and human rights activist’s body was found by a neighbour in the elevator, where she had been shot 4 times. The murder of…

Refugees: how to change the negative narrative?

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) and the Alliance Internationale de Journalistes (AIJ) successfully organised yesterday (4 October) a roundtable discussion on Refugees and Migrants, the inconvenient truths – Journalism against bias and stereotypes in Brussels. Migrants and refugees have suddenly jumped at the top of the agenda and media organisations play a crucial role in shaping the public opinion. How to cover the refugee crisis with more humanity? How best to communicate with media?  Many journalists, NGOs representatives and intergouvernmental organisations (UNCHR, OIM) dealing with migration issues attended the event to reflect and build a constructive dialogue on these fondamental questions. The biggest requests @UNmigration…

Turkey: Med Nûce, IMC TV, Hayatin Sesi,… must be re-established urgently

The European and Federation of Journalists (EFJ) has received today (05/10/2016) a delegation of journalists working for Med Nûçe television. The signal of the Kurdish channel based in Belgium has been removed on Monday (03/10/2016 at 10:00) by Eutelsat SA, a French sattelite provider, on Turkish request because “the content is not in line with public order directives of the term’s between us as well as with the laws which regulate TV distribution in Europe and surrounding countries”. The EFJ strongly condemned the action considered as a media freedom violation and reported the case to the Council of Europe’s platform…

EFJ-IFJ condemn the killing of Dutch journalist in Libya

The European and International Federations of Journalists (EFJ-IFJ) today backed their affiliate, the Nederlandse Vereniging Van Journalisten (NVJ), in condemning the killing of a Dutch photojournalist while covering clashes in the Libyan city of Sirte. On 2 October, Dutch journalist Jeroen Oerlemans (45) was killed by sniper fire as government forces battled Islamic State group holdouts in the coastal city of Sirte, a jihadist stronghold 450 kilometers east of the capital Tripoli, media reported. Forces allied with Libya’s UN-backed Government of National Accord are trying to take the city back from jihadists in an offensive that started in May and which…

Ukrainian journalist arrested in Moscow

The European and International Federations of Journalists (FEJ/FIJ) have backed calls for Ukrainian reporter Roman Sushchenko to be freed following his arrest on 30 September in Moscow on charges of spying. News of his arrest last Friday only emerged after his family expressed concerns that he had not been in touch for two days and after he was spotted in Lefortovo Prison in Moscow by a human rights monitoring group. Neither the embassy nor his family had been informed. According to reports from NGO Open Russia, 47-year-old Roman Sushchenko, who has worked for Ukrainian news agency Ukrinform since 2002, told…