European Federation of Journalists

Online webinar “Media councils in the digital age: how to regain trust and ethics in journalism”

As to discuss last year’s achievements regarding the EU supported EFJ Media Councils project and to talk about the next phase, on 11 January 2021, an informal online webinar will take place from 11 AM until 12:30 PM Brussels time.

Together with three members of the European Parliament, Petra Kammerevert, Ramona Strugariu and Alexandra Geese, four consortium members will highlight some of their respective results in the panel. The European Federation of Journalists is the coordinating partner bringing together several European press councils and two universities. The speakers and their respective topics are listed in more detail in the agenda below. Deputy Head of Unit (DG Connect) Audrius Perkauskas will also give an introductory statement.

The overall objective of the project Media Councils in the Digital Age is to ensure that press and media councils play a significant role in Europe in addressing the new challenges of the digital age. More specifically, the goals are to better inform the international community on how media councils function, to provide access and contact to councils for external actors and to support the creation of new media councils, and to contribute with relevant expertise to the global dialogue on ethical and professional journalistic standards.

Another focus is on the importance of self-regulation to ensure trust in journalism against the backdrop of disinformation. In this regard, the Council for Mass Media in Finland published a report, suggesting that shifting attention to news automation and personalisation is much needed today as ethical problems should be considered.

“Trust in news is possibly the most important issue for the future of journalism and trust has been declining. While we know that within today’s complicated digital eco-system, it is not only journalists’ content that matters but also political and cultural criteria and the public understanding of news-gathering, the role of self-regulation in the digital age has yet not been sufficiently researched and highlighted. We are very grateful that this project has helped us to dig deeper into the role and further development of media councils against the background of disinformation and algorithm driven news production” said Renate Schroeder, EFJ Director, who will moderate the debate.

Join webinar

If you are interested in joining the webinar on 11 January 2021 from 11 AM to 12:30 PM (CET), send an e-mail to with “Join Media Councils Webinar 11/01” in the subject line.


Moderator: Renate Schroeder, EFJ Director

11:00 – 11:20  Welcome and introductory remarks

Audrius Perkauskas – Deputy Head of Unit “Audiovisual and Media Services Policy”, European Commission’s Directorate‐General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology (CONNECT)

Petra Kammerevert – Member of European Parliament

Ramona Strugariu – Member of European Parliament

Alexandra Geese – Member of the European Parliament 

11:20 – 12:00 Panel – Media Self-Regulation in Europe: a model to protect media freedom and encourage professionalism in journalistic ethics in the Digital World 

Ricardo Gutierrez, General Secretary, European Federation of Journalists – Regaining trust in media 

Lauri Haapanen, Lecturer in Journalism Studies, University of Jyväskylä – Media Councils and self-regulation in the emerging era of news automation and robot journalism

Alexander Warzilek, Chairman, Austrian Press Council – Media Literacy for youth in the age of disinformation

David Domingo, Department of Information and Communication Sciences, Université Libre de Bruxelles  – Young journalists and their ethical challenges and perceptions 

12:00 – 12:30 Q&A and the way forward

This event takes place within the framework of the pilot project “Media Councils in the Digital Age”, funded by the European Commission (DG CONNECT) and led by a European consortium bringing together several European press councils (Austria (OP), Germany (TDP), Ireland (PCI), Belgium (RVDJ and CDJ), Finland (JSN)), two universities (ULB in Belgium and Ramon LLull-Blanquerna in Spain) coordinated by the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ).