The situation for journalists in Turkey has worsened during this summer and after the coup attempt on July 15. Journalists were targeted during that day. One of them, Mustafa Cambaz, paid the highest prize with his life. After the coup attempt, journalists were detained, media outlets were shut down and fear were spreading.
I made contact with Thorbjørn Jagland, the General Secretary of the Council of Europe, to call for an urgent meeting with partners of the Platform to promote the protection of journalism and safety of journalists. Following that, a meeting took place in Paris on 6th October, partners agreed to create a common approach to deal with the situation in Turkey and a media freedom conference shall be organised after the state of emergency is ended.
For the next three years, the EFJ together with the IFJ will continue a new project funded by the European Commission to help our affiliates in Turkey to fight against media freedom challenges and improve their unions’ capacity.
Regarding projects, the EFJ has increased its number of activities significantly. In the next two years, the EFJ will lead a project to tackle hate speech in the media, a topic that has become so contagious across Europe in all spectrums of our societies.
Meanwhile, we remain in close partnership through various joint projects with trade unions such as the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC), UNI-MEI and the unions representing actors (FIA) and musicians (FIM). Recently, the EFJ concluded a project with a final conference with UNI-MEI, FIA and FIM at the European Parliament. The four federations brought the issue of atypical work in our sector to the attention of MEPs and Commission officials and called for review of labour law to allow the collective bargaining of atypical (freelance) workers.
The EFJ is also lobbying for strong authors’ rights for journalists in the review of the current EU copyright law. Significant steps have been made as the latest proposal contains provision to ensure fair remuneration.
The upcoming years will be challenging but the EFJ is ready to face the challenges with new projects and stronger alliances.
Mogens Blicher Bjerregård