What’s up for World Press Freedom Day in Europe

After a year in lockdown, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) and its members have observed a clear deterioration of press freedom in Europe. The facts are indisputable: according to the annual report of the Council of Europe’s Platform for the Safety of Journalists published on Wednesday 28 April 2021, 201 alerts were recorded, an increase of 40% compared to 2019. In particular, the number of physical attacks on journalists and media workers, as well as the cases of harassment and intimidation reached a record level. Nevertheless, journalists’ trade unions and professional associations have stepped up their work throughout 2020 to…

Report: strong deterioration of media freedom in Europe

The European and International Federations of Journalists (EFJ-IFJ) contributed on Wednesday to the launch of the annual report of the Council of Europe Platform to promote the protection of journalism and safety of journalists. The report shows a very serious deterioration of media freedom in 2020 across Europe. The Council of Europe Platform today published its annual report, “Wanted! Real Action for Media Freedom in Europe.” The report calls on the Council of Europe and its 47 member states to show political will to address deteriorating press freedom in the region, based on an overview of media freedom violations reported to…

Media need to work on their brand identities to gain trust, report says

The Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism (RISJ) published a new study on what trust means to news audiences based on focus groups and in-depth interviews in four countries: the UK, US, India and Brazil. The report found that there is a certain gap between what journalists versus what audiences associate with trust and that news media need to re-define and better communicate their brand identities. The report “Listening to what trust in news means to users: qualitative evidence from four countries” was published on 22 April as part of RISJ’s £3.3m Facebook-funded Trust In News project. It comes after…

Two Spanish journalists killed in attack on convoy in Burkina Faso

Two Spanish journalists who were reported missing on Monday were found dead today in the eastern region of Fada N’Gourma-Pama, according to the authorities in Burkina Faso and Spain. 44-year-old David Beriáin, a veteran TV journalist and founder of 93 Metros and cameraman Roberto Fraile were in a convoy carrying both security forces and civilians, which came under attack from unidentified gunmen near the Pama reserve. The journalists, reportedly accompanied by an Irish conservation worker who was also killed, had travelled to the region as part of their production about the protection of natural parks. In a statement, the Communications…

EFJ-EU Webinar: How to counter anti-Muslim narratives in the media

On 23 April, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) kicked off a series of webinars aiming to improve media reporting on Muslims and Islam. Funded by the European Commission (DG Justice), the webinar has gathered 24 professional journalists and media practitioners from across 12 EU and candidate countries. The first session focused on common mistakes or misconceptions regarding Muslims’ and Islam’s media representation and consequences thereof were discussed. First, introductory speeches were delivered by EFJ General Secretary Ricardo Gutiérrez and Tommaso Chiamparino, the European Commission Coordinator on combating anti-Muslim hatred. “Journalists’ organisations have a duty to promote professional ethics, quality journalism,…

Germany: Media houses join code to better protect journalists

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joins its German affiliates, the German Journalists Association (DJV) and the German Journalists Union (dju in ver.di), Reporters without Borders and two other organisations, in calling on publishers and broadcasters to do more to protect journalists from violence and threats. On 22 April, the German affiliates presented a code of conduct for media houses, which is to serve as a basis for measures to be taken. The code presented last Thursday was developed by advisory and journalists’ organisations, including DJV and dju in ver.di. Among others, it includes the recommendation to appoint a fixed contact person per…

Greece: Support to Documento journalist Kostas Vaxevanis

On 26 April 2021, Documento publisher and journalist Kostas Vaxevanis was given increased police protection after the Athens Prosecutor’s Office ordered a preliminary investigation into information received by Vaxevanis about a murder contract issued against him. The European and International Federations of Journalists (EFJ/IFJ) joined their affiliates in Greece, JUADN, in welcoming the police action and expressing support to Kostas Vaxevanis. Publisher of Documento newspaper and journalist Kostas Vaxevanis has publicly stated that he fears for his life after receiving several credible information that he was a target since 6 April. The police increased protection for Kostas Vaxevanis and the…

On World Intellectual Property Day, we call for increased scrutiny of internet giants

This year’s World Intellectual Property Day – celebrated on 26 April 2021 – marks a turning point in relations between the worlds’ populations and the internet giants that control an increasing proportion of the information on which we depend to make vital decisions in our lives. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) represents more than 600,000 journalists in 150 countries worldwide, and the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) over 320.000 journalists in 45 countries. Both organisations welcome increased scrutiny of these internet giants and on this day call for them to meet their responsibilities to our members and the world.…

Webinar takeaways: How to build independent media to counter political interference?

On 19 and 20 April, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) hosted two webinars on how to build independent media to counter political interference as part of a project funded by the Open Society Foundations. The webinars highlighted the importance of independent media against the background of increased polarisation, disinformation and attacks against journalists and shared good practices, in particular by journalists’ unions on how to counter political pressure. The EFJ welcomed distinguished speakers, ranging from MEPs and researchers to media consultants and representatives of media councils, journalists’ unions and international organisations. At the end of the two-day webinar, strong…