Greece: EFJ/IFJ condemn smear campaign against four sport journalists

The European and International Federations of journalists (EFJ/IFJ) strongly condemned the smear campaign taking place in the streets of Athens against four sport journalists and union members. Around 10 000 posters featuring photos and names of the four journalists were plastered in the early hours of the morning in the streets across Athens on 6 May. Insulting words against the journalists such as “slanderers“, “shameful for 10 euros“, “impostors” were printed on the posters. Three of the targeted journalists are members of Journalists’ Union of Athens Daily Newspapers (JUADN), and IFJ/EFJ affiliate while the fourth is a member of the…

EFJ condemns Loyalist threats against journalists in Northern Ireland

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joined the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) in the UK and Ireland in condemning as “vile” a threat issued to journalists by the South East Antrim Ulster Defence Association (UDA), in Northern Ireland. The dissident loyalist group’s threat was made against journalists at the Belfast-based Sunday World and Sunday Life newspapers. The threat is being taken seriously by the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) and by the media company. The warnings came in the early hours of 8 May 2020. The PSNI is taking the threat seriously and officers have been in contact…

Governments must ensure the public’s right to know in the COVID-19 pandemic

Following its recent webinar with European Press Councils, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) expressed concern about the negative impact of the coronavirus pandemic on freedom of information. The EFJ today joined ARTICLE 19 in calling on governments to ensure the public’s right to know in the COVID-19 pandemic. The EFJ and representatives of 17 press and media councils exchanged ideas and discussed in a webinar the impact of the pandemic on journalism. The EFJ expressed concern about access to information for journalists, as well as potential threats or restrictions to freedom of the press due to the crisis. In…

Media Freedom Rapid Response partners call for protection of all journalists and media workers when covering demonstrations and protests across Europe

Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) partners are concerned about the increased violence against media professionals at protests and demonstrations across EU Member States and Candidate Countries in the last months and call for increased protection. The recent violent attacks against media workers during demonstrations in Germany, three assaults in a few days, and similar threats witnessed across Europe, are establishing a worrying trend. The right to free assembly and association is a vital underpinning of a modern and pluralist democracy and has itself come under significant threat across Europe. However, threats against the press and media further weakens their ability…

Sweden: Cartoonist threatened with death after publishing cartoon

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) together with its affiliate in Sweden Journalistförbundet (SJF) strongly condemned the online smear campaign targeting Swedish cartoonist Mahmoud Abbas since 21 April 2020, following the publication of his cartoon. Cartoonist of Palestinian origin Mahmoud Abbas is residing in Sweden. He is a Swedish citizen. On 20 April 2020, his cartoon about the collapse of international oil prices went viral on Twitter in Saudi Arabia. It shows a person in a Gulf Arab dress and a rolling barrel of oil behind. The character was identified by the audience as crown prince Mohammed Bin Salman and the cartoon…

Croatia: over 905 pending lawsuits against journalists and media outlets

There are currently 905 lawsuits filed against journalists and media outlets in Croatia, with plaintiffs claiming almost HRK 68 million, according to the results of an annual survey conducted by the Croatian Journalists’ Association (CJA) earlier this year and published on the occasion of World Press Freedom Day (May 3rd). Out of the 23 surveyed media outlets, 18 have a pending lawsuit for publishing “violation of honour and reputation”. Most lawsuits are filed against Hanza media (Jutarnji list, Slobodna Dalmacija and Sportske novosti), with as many as 502, weighing an average of HRK 100,000. Styria (Večernji list and 24 sata)…

Media freedom made in Scandinavia – six examples of best practices

While many European governments use the Covid19 crisis to massively restrict media freedom, the report of a fact-finding mission to Scandinavia shows policies and approaches that can inspire change for the better. Representatives of the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF), the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) and Osservatorio Balcani e Caucaso Transeuropa (OBCT) visited Denmark and Sweden from 15 to 18 December 2019. They followed the questions: Why does Scandinavia regularly lead the rankings for media freedom? What can governments and media actors in other countries learn and adopt from this region? In summarising the report, ECPMF’s…

We call for ambitious EU budgetary measures to get through the COVID-19 crisis

Time to put words into action! Europe’s cultural and creative sectors were among the first and hardest hit by the unprecedented COVID-19 crisis. They will also be among the last. Across Europe, almost all cultural activities have been cancelled or postponed indefinitely, while venues and retailers have closed with disastrous consequences for all creators’ and cultural and creative professionals’ livelihoods, as well as the ecosystem as a whole. Millions of jobs are on the line. In its Resolution on how to combat the COVID-19 crisis and its consequences1 , the European Parliament rightly underlines that the cultural and creative sectors “have…

IJ4EU fund opens new calls for cross-border investigative journalism

€1 million euros for projects in Europe in 2020 The IJ4EU (Investigative Journalism for Europe) fund today opened two new calls for cross-border investigative journalism projects in the EU and EU candidate countries. IJ4EU’s Investigation Support scheme will provide grants of between €5,000 and €50,000 to new cross-border investigative projects, including those that have recently begun as well as new phases of existing projects. The deadline for applications is June 14. A second call under this scheme is expected to open in August. See full information and FAQs. Separately, IJ4EU’s Publication Support scheme will provide grants of up to €6,250…