European Commission must urgently address media market distortion in Hungary

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joined 15 media freedom groups and associations in again urging the EU’s Competition Commissioner to swiftly address concerns over media market distortions in Hungary. The group notes the continuing deterioration of media pluralism in Central Europe and renew their call to the European Commission’s Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager to open a prompt investigation into pending state aid complaints. The Commission’s lack of enforcement of market rules in Hungary, the groups said, is not only allowing the situation there to worsen but now also empowering the deliberate distortion of the media market in Poland, with…

Kosovo: Investigative journalist brutally assaulted

Kosovo Investigative journalist Visar Duriqi was left with a broken nose and teeth following an assault by three masked men on 25 February. The European and International Federations of Journalists (EFJ/IFJ) joined their affiliate in Kosovo, the Association of Journalists of Kosovo (AJK), in condemning the brutal attack. Visar Duriqi, a journalist at online news portal Insajderi, was on his way home after attending a live TV debate, shortly after midnight, when three unknown people wearing masks assaulted him in front of his apartment. Duriqi suffered severe injuries and was taken to the hospital. The police has launched an investigation…

Malta: Daphne Caruana Galizia murder suspect pleads guilty

Vincent Muscat, one of the three presumed murderers of Maltese journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, has been sentenced to 15 years in jail after pleading guilty at the latest hearing into her killing in 2017. The International and European Federations of Journalists (IFJ-EFJ) welcomed the decision and urged the authorities to continue to pursue others involved in her murder. Muscat, an alleged hitman in a contract to kill the journalist, is believed to have negotiated a more lenient sentence in exchange for supplying state prosecutors with information on others involved. Daphne Caruana Galizia’s reporting focused on high-level corruption, including investigations into the Panama Papers in 2016. She was murdered in a…

Media and artistic freedom under attack: Europe has to act

The General Secretary of the European Federation of Journalists Ricardo Gutiérrez gave the keynote speech today at the Socialists & Democrats online event on media freedom and artistic freedom. He called on MEPs to push member state governments to adopt concrete measures to protect journalists. Here is the speech of the EFJ General Secretary: Freedom of the press and artistic freedom are two essential dimensions of one and the same fundamental right: freedom of expression. This freedom has been under pressure in Europe for years. And the context of the fight against the pandemic has not helped. In the last…

European grant programme for cross-border investigation opens for applications

Journalismfund.eu reopens its European Cross-border grant programme to support independent cross-border investigative journalism. With this programme Journalismfund.eu aims to further contribute to the development of a vital European public sphere by enabling investigations into issues of common interest to European citizens. The awarded programme, running since 2009, supports professional journalists who have good ideas for cross-border investigations with a focus on European topics. Cross-border teams can apply for a grant to cover working time and expenses for their joint investigation. Next to a grant, teams can also apply for a mentor to provide assistance with either the focus of the investigation or the need for competences…

Our letter to Charles Michel: time for EU Member States to act to protect journalists

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joined partners of the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) in expressing serious concern about the sharp decline in freedom of the press in the European Union. We sent a letter today to the President of the European Council, Charles Michel: Dear President Michel, Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) partners are profoundly concerned by the increasing threats and attacks against journalists. 2020 was an unfortunate record year: MFRR recorded 245 alerts (with 873 attacked persons or entities related to media) in 22 EU Member States, and the Council of Europe Platform for the Protection of Journalism recorded 115…

114 alerts in 4 months – MFRR report sheds light on media freedom violations in Europe

From July to October 2020, attacks on media freedom in Europe took many forms, as the Media Freedom Rapid Response’s second monitoring report documents. Besides anti-lockdown demonstrations and online harassment, the impact of legal actions (SLAPPs) contributed to a hostile climate for journalists and media workers. Find all the details in the second MFRR-report. The four-month snapshot of media threats in EU member states and Candidate countries was produced by the Media Freedom Rapid Response partners, European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) and International Press Institute (IPI), with support from the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF). The 114…

European journalists in solidarity with their Belarusian colleagues

The solidarity meeting with the Belarusian Association of Journalists (BAJ) organised online by the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) brought together 41 representatives of 29 national journalists’ organisations from 22 European countries (1) on Thursday. The participants unanimously condemned the increasing repression of journalists by the dictatorial regime of the illegitimate President Lukashenko. They demanded the immediate release of the 11 journalists imprisoned in Belarus for doing their job. The EFJ President, Mogens Blicher Bjerregård, called on EFJ affiliates to intensify actions in support of BAJ. Many participants sent letters of protest to the Belarusian embassies in their countries, as…

Two Belarusian journalists sentenced to two years in prison for doing their job

Catarina Andreeva and Darja Chulcova, two journalists for Belsat, the Polish satellite television station aimed at Belarus, have each been sentenced on 18 February to two years in prison for reporting live from an anti-government rally in Minsk in November. The European and International Federations of Journalists (EFJ-IFJ) and their affiliate in Belarus, the Belarusian Association of Journalists (BAJ), strongly condemn the criminalisation of journalism by President Lukashenko‘s regime and call on the international community to react firmly. In accordance with the request of prosecutor Alina Kasyanchyk, judge Natallya Buhuk of the Frunze district court in Minsk, sentenced Catarina Andreeva and Darja Chulcova after finding…