Montenegro: EFJ-IFJ condemn judicial persecution of journalist Jovo Martinović

In a statement published today, leading international press freedom and journalists’ organisations, Including EFJ and IFJ, condemn the continued judicial persecution of Montenegrin investigative journalist, Jovo Martinović after his appeal was rejected. Leading press freedom and journalists’ organisations, including Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) partners, strongly condemn the decision by the Court of Appeals to reject Jovo Martinović’s appeal and uphold the first instance verdict of the High Court in Podgorica which convicted Martinović to 12 months of prison. While he will not be imprisoned due to time already spent behind bars, Jovo Martinović will have a criminal record, solely…

How to build trust and engage audiences? Our takeaways from journalism experts

How can audience engagement and artificial intelligence help regain trust in quality journalism in an age of information overload and disinformation? This and further related questions were at the core of the Trust in media webinars taking place on 25 and 26 March. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) hosted two webinars as part of the Trust and quality in journalism project, which is co-funded by the European Commission. Here is a summary of the main themes and statements expressed during these webinars. Spread over two days, eight distinguished speakers and two moderators shared their knowledge and research on how…

Human Rights Commissioner: “It is high time for Hungary to restore journalistic and media freedoms”

The Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Dunja Mijatović, has called on the Hungarian authorities today to restore journalistic and media freedoms.The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) welcomes the Commissioner’s call and demands the EU to investigate the process of state capture of media in Hungary. “The combined effects of a politically controlled media regulatory authority and distortionary state intervention in the media market have eroded media pluralism and freedom of expression in Hungary”, said Dunja Mijatović, in a Memorandum published today. Since 2010, the Hungarian government has systematically undermined independent and professional journalism, thus curtailing the free exchange…

EFJ joined the CASE coalition against abusive lawsuits in Europe

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joined the Coalition Against SLAPPs in Europe (CASE) to end the practice of abusive lawsuits against journalists and human rights defenders. The  CASE website was officially launched on Friday 26 March 2021 in an event hosted by Greenpeace EU. Thirty media freedom and environmental organisations across Europe, including the EFJ, Reporters Without Borders, Committee to Project Journalists, Greenpeace, Transparency International, have united to work to expose legal harassment, protect SLAPP victims and advocate for comprehensive protective measures and reform at the European level. Generally pursued by wealthy and powerful litigants, SLAPPs (Strategic Lawsuits Against…

Norway: Mandatory quarantine rule for foreign journalists must be amended

The Norwegian government has decided it will require a mandatory quarantine of 10 days for all foreign journalists on assignment in Norway. The International and European Federation of Journalists (IFJ and EFJ) join their affiliate, the Norwegian Union of Journalists (NJ), in its call for an urgent amendment to a measure that will make it almost impossible for foreign journalists to report in Norway. The NJ, along with national media and editors associations wrote to the government calling for exemptions for foreign journalists on assignment in Norway from the country’s Covid-19 regulations. According to the NJ, the quarantine obligation is problematic because it will make it virtually…

Belarus: leaders of journalists’ organisations in Europe call on heads of governments to take action

Leaders of 50 journalists’ unions and associations in 34 European countries today called on their governments to intensify pressure and take action in the face of constant violations of human rights and press freedom in Belarus. In a joint letter, they urge their head of government to demand from the Belarusian authorities the immediate release of the 12 imprisoned journalists and the withdrawal of administrative and criminal proceedings against Belarusian journalists. On the initiative of the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) and its affiliate in Belarus, the Belarusian Association of Journalists (BAJ), the leaders of 50 journalists’ organisations in 34…

We ask MEPs to vote against adoption of Terrorist Content Online Regulation

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) today joined 60 other journalists’ associations, human rights organisations and research institutes in asking MEPs to reject the Terrorist Content Online Regulation, which will be debated in the European Parliament on 28 April 2021. In a letter sent on 24 March, the coalition stressed the dangerous precedent such a legislation, if adopted, would set for freedom of expression and opinion as well as for any future legislation regulating the digital market. The Regulation “as it stands now has no place in EU law,” we wrote. Together with media organisations the EFJ has been lobbying…

Defamation lawsuit against Gazeta Wyborcza editor-in-chief by Polish Justice Minister must be dropped

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joined partners of the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) today in strongly condemning the civil defamation lawsuit launched against the editor-in-chief of Poland’s biggest daily newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza by the serving Justice Minister Zbigniew Ziobro. Our organisations consider this to be yet another example of the Justice Ministry’s use of lawsuits as a tool for pressuring and financially draining the newspaper, which is one of the staunchest critics of the ruling Law and Justice (PiS). We call directly on the Minister, who is also the Prosecutor-General of Poland, to immediately withdraw the lawsuit and…

Serbia: Groups condemn deafening silence of government over KRIK smear campaign

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) today joined nine other media freedom groups in writing to the Serbian president Vučić and prime minister Brnabić to express serious concerns over the lack of a resolute government response to the dangerous smear campaign against independent news outlet KRIK. The muted response from government leaders was the main catalyst for four of the nine non-state members of the newly-established Working Group for the Security and Protection of Journalists to withdraw, undermining its work and posing questions over trust in the body. Read the letter.