Second edition: Stars4Media exchange and training programme call for application out

The second edition of the Stars4Media exchange and training programme is now open for media professionals from different EU countries who wish to develop new editorial products or test innovative ideas. The call for application will run until 1 July 2021. The EU-funded programme is born with the ambition to make the media sector more sustainable by fostering innovation and quality journalism and building new partnerships between media organisations across Europe. The first edition started at the end of 2019, shortly before the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite a turbulent year, it successfully supported 105 media professionals from 42 media outlets in…

The Belarusian Association of Journalists is under attack

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) and the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) demand Belarusian authorities to stop immediately the persecution of journalists and the prosecution of the Belarusian Association of Journalists (BAJ). At least 30 journalists and human rights defenders were targeted in police raids today. Early in the morning of 16 February, BAJ press secretary Barys Haretski was briefly detained by Belarusian security forces. BAJ’s lawyer Aleh Aheyeu and BAJ’s president Andrei Bastunets were also detained to witness the search of BAJ’s offices. Other searches and raids were under way Tuesday morning at the homes and offices of…

Media Monitoring Report 2020: In Turkey, one in six journalists has an ongoing trial

The Turkish Association of Journalists (GCD) published today its Annual Media Monitoring Report documenting the state of press freedom in Turkey for the year 2020. The report addresses a number of topics such as the impact of the COVID-19, disinformation, the new internet regulation, the situation of imprisoned journalists and journalists currently on trial. According to the Media Monitoring Report, the pandemic of the century and legal developments throughout the year deepened the deadlock media in Turkey faces. The working conditions and freedom to report for journalists and media workers were already very difficult. According to the professional evaluation survey,…

Report: Erosion of Media Freedom Gathers Pace in Poland

As about 45 private media outlets went off the air in Poland on Wednesday 10 February, running blank pages for 24h in protest against a proposed media advertising tax, the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) published today a new report documenting the multi-pronged attack on independent media by the government since 2015 to muzzle critical reporting and undermine watchdog journalism. The report, Democracy Declining: Erosion of Media Freedom in Poland, is published in English and Polish and presents the findings of the international press freedom mission carried out virtually by the seven partners of the MFRR between November and December…

Journalists in prison in Belarus: call for journalists’ organisations to take action

A few days before the trial of journalists Catarina Andreeva and Darja Chulcova, on 9 February, the Belarussian Association of Journalists (BAJ) calls on journalists’ organisations around the world to mobilise to demand the immediate release of the 11 journalists imprisoned in Belarus. The European and International Federations of Journalists (EFJ and IFJ) join the call: take action to support BAJ! Belsat journalists Catarina Andreeva and Darja Chulkova have been kept behind bars since 15 November. They were detained for broadcasting live a violent dispersal during a protest in Minsk. The journalists are accused of taking an active part and…

Belarus: 17 organisations call for all imprisoned journalists to be immediately released

Ahead of the International Day of Solidarity with Belarus on 7 February, the undersigned organisations working in the field of freedom of expression and media freedom call for the immediate and unconditional release of all journalists and media workers who continue to be arbitrarily detained. Nearly six months since President Alexander Lukashenko claimed a landslide victory in what has been widely acknowledged and condemned as a fraudulent election, opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya remains in exile and thousands of protesters continue to take to the streets of Minsk calling for his resignation. The regime has made every effort to prevent its…

MFRR calls for acquittal of Swedish documentary makers

On Monday 8 February, a Gothenburg court will deliver its verdict in the trial of journalist Henrik Evertsson and camera operator Linus Andersson for their documentary about the sinking of the ‘MS Estonia’. Charged with violating the burial site of the wreck, they face up to two years in prison. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joins the partners of the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) to stress the journalistic nature of the investigation carried out in the public interest and call for the acquittal of the two documentary makers. The “MS Estonia”, a 157-metre long cruise ferry, was en…

MFRR calls for EU action as Hungary’s last independent radio is silenced

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joined partners of the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) in expressing serious concern over today’s decision (04.02.2021) by a court in Budapest to reject the temporary license extension to Klubrádió in Hungary, warning it will have far-reaching implications for what remains of media pluralism and independent journalism in the country. The MFRR stresses that this decision effectively consigns Klubrádió to broadcasting exclusively on the internet and represents a significant win for the ruling Fidesz party and Prime Minister Viktor Orbán in their decade-long campaign to destroy one of the last remaining independent broadcasters which…

Russian court sentences prominent journalist Sergey Smirnov to 25 days in jail

On Wednesday 3 February, Moscow’s Tverskoy District Court sentenced Mediazona editor-in-chief Sergey Smirnov to 25 days administrative arrest for retweeting a reference to an anti-Kremlin protest. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) condemns this abusive and disproportionate sentence and supports the appeal filed by the journalist’s lawyer, Fyodor Shirosh, from the human rights organization Apologia Protesta. Police officers in Moscow arrested Smirnov outside his home on Saturday 30 January, while he was on a walk with his young son. Smirnov spent several hours in police custody before being allowed to return home to his family pending trial. Smirnov was accused of repeatedly…