Malta: Journalists and public figures harassed in disinformation campaign

In recent days, several Maltese journalists and media outlets have been victims of online spoofing in what appears to be a major campaign to spread disinformation and discredit those who are targeted. The International and European Federations of Journalists (IFJ/EFJ) have joined their affiliate, the Institute of Maltese Journalists (IGM), in denouncing these shameful intimidation attempts and call on the authorities to investigate those responsible for them. For the past week, numerous false articles and emails purporting to be written by journalists, organisations or public figures and containing false information have been spread in the country. On 26 June, blogger…

Belarus: Supreme Court liquidated the Belarusian Association of Journalists

The Belarus Supreme Court dissolved today the Belarusian Association of Journalists (BAJ), the only independent representative organisation of journalists and media workers in Belarus and one of the country’s most prominent champions of freedom of expression. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) and the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) strongly condemn this parody of justice. Today, in Minsk, the Belarus Supreme Court held a hearing on the dissolution of BAJ, the EFJ and IFJ affiliate in Belarus. For over 25 years, BAJ and its membership of over 1,300 media workers has promoted freedom of expression and independent journalism in Belarus, facilitating…

New UNESCO handbook: How to transform coverage of migrants and refugees?

UNESCO just published an open-access handbook for journalism educators, media organisations and associations on how to report on migrants and refugees. This timely publication was researched and edited by the Erich Brost Institute for International Journalism at the TU Dortmund University in Germany. The volume can be used as a self-learning tool or as part of journalistic training. Journalists learn how knowledge and awareness of accurate facts, reliable sources and ethical reporting are key to cover migration and forced displacement. The goal is to improve the coverage of migration and create a more balanced and informed public debate across countries…

Ukraine: President bans opposition media Strana.ua and sanctions editor-in-chief

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyj last week banned the opposition media news site Strana.ua and imposed sanctions on its editor-in-chief, Ihor Huzhva. Lawyers have criticised these measures for their “lack of legal basis”. This decision comes only six months after closing down three TV channels in early 2021. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joined its affiliate in Ukraine, the National Union of Journalists of Ukraine (NUJU), in calling this extrajudicial action a threat to press freedom and media pluralism in the country. On 21 August 2021, it was revealed that President Volodymyr Zelenskyj banned Strana.ua, one of the largest news…

Webinar: “Trust in media: Telework during and after the Covid-19 pandemic”

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) is hosting a series of webinars on teleworking and hybrid working during and after the Covid-19 pandemic. This new way of working has brought new challenges to journalists and media organisations, such as issues regarding the separation of work and private life at home in connection to mental health and the right to disconnect. As it has become clear that this “new normal” will last beyond the current health crisis, the webinars will discuss the challenges and address how journalists organisations and media employers should adapt. The webinars received financial support from UNESCO and the European…

G7 must protect and evacuate journalists and media workers in Afghanistan

Civil society and journalists’ organisations, including the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) and the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), call on the G7 to protect and evacuate journalists and media workers in Afghanistan. Ahead of the G7 summit on the situation in Afghanistan, we, the undersigned organisations, call on G7 countries to make a clear and explicit commitment to taking journalists and media workers as an urgent and immediate priority, ensure their protection and evacuate them and their families. We ask that G7 members: Make an explicit commitment to evacuate all journalists, media workers and media advocates at risk, and…

MFRR urges swift police action over Molotov cocktail attack on home of Dutch journalist

The undersigned organisations of the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) today express serious concern over the Molotov cocktail attack on the home of journalist Willem Groeneveld in Groningen last night. We welcome the prompt response of the Dutch authorities to carry out a police investigation. Our organisations call on the authorities to analyse the safety measures that were in place, to establish the motive of the attack and to bring those responsible to justice. Coming so soon after the fatal shooting of Dutch crime reporter Peter R. de Vries in Amsterdam in July, this potential attempted murder represents another serious…

Amidst escalating crackdown, international community must stand with the people of Belarus

The international community needs to urgently show solidarity with all Belarusian individuals and organisations struggling for their basic human rights, often at great cost to their own lives and livelihoods. The Belarus government’s escalating crackdown must be met with intensified international efforts to pressure the Lukašenka administration to change course and respect the human rights of the Belarusian people. We, the undersigned organisations, firmly condemn the Belarusian government’s rapidly escalating crackdown on Belarusian civil society and its increasingly brazen abuses of the Belarusian people’s right to freedom of expression and information. We further call on officials of the European Union, Council of…

Belarus: police search homes of BelaPAN news agency staff

A new episode in the wave of repression against the media took place on Wednesday morning in Belarus: police in Minsk have searched the homes of several employees of the independent news agency BelaPAN and its online version, Naviny. The European and International Federations of Journalists (EFJ-IFJ) denounce the detention of several media workers in connection with these searches. Iryna Leushyna, director and editor-in-chief of BelaPAN, was detained, as were accountant Ekaterina Boeva and former director Dmitry Novozhilov, according to the EFJ-IFJ affiliate, the Belarusian Association of Journalists (BAJ). These new detentions bring to 33 the number of journalists and…