Kosovo: Several journalists attacked during riots in Mitrovica

Tensions increased in the Northern part of Kosovo after police undertook an anti-smuggling operation in Mitrovica on 13 October. Several journalists covering the riots, as well as citizens and police officers, were attacked by protesters. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joined its affiliates in Kosovo AGK in condemning all violent attacks against journalists and calling on the authorities to ensure their protection. During the clashes, journalists from the local Kosovo Serb language media, KoSSev, reported threats and attacks against them, after which they decided to remove the journalists from the field. In particular, Ivan Mitic was approached by protesters on…

Belarus: EFJ Annual Meeting adopted resolution in solidarity with BAJ

The annual meeting of the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), meeting in Zagreb, Croatia, on 8-9 October, unanimously adopted a resolution on the dissolution of the Belarusian Association of Journalists (BAJ), an EFJ affiliate. On 27 August 2021, the Belarus Supreme Court dissolved the BAJ, the only independent representative organisation of journalists and media workers in Belarus, as part of the unprecedented purge against journalists, media outlets, as well as other civil society organisations. By adopting this resolution, journalists’ organisations from all over Europe expressed solidarity with their colleagues in Belarus. The EFJ will continue to assist BAJ to maintain…

Greece: Justice Ministry must withdraw amendment on ‘false news’

The European Federation of Journalists today joined its partners of the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) in urging the Greek government to withdraw proposed amendments which would introduce fines and jail sentences for journalists found guilty of publishing “false news”. We believe the draft law’s vague definition and punitive sanctions would undermine the freedom of the press and have a chilling effect at a time when independent journalism is already under pressure in Greece. The proposed amendments to Article 191 of the Civil Code, brought forward by the Ministry of Justice, would include penalties for those found guilty of disseminating…

President’s speech at the EFJ Annual Meeting 2021 Zagreb

Speech by Mogens Blicher Bjerregård (EFJ President) on 8 October 2021:  Welcoming you all to the EFJ Annual Meeting 2021 in Zagreb, Croatia, we will start with the great news of today that the Nobel Peace Prize winner this year is press freedom and journalism. Maria Ressa, one of the most courageous and prominent investigative journalists from the Philippines, and the editor-in-chief of an independent newspaper in Russia, Dmitry Muratov, are the well-deserved announced winners, and this will have an enormous impact on press freedom. Choosing the editor-in-chief at Novaja Gazeta, where Anna Politkovskaya and other killed journalists worked, is extremely important.…

Journalists and press freedom organisations to visit Malta 14-16 October

Between 14 and 16 October, the General Secretary of the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) as well as representatives of the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF), ARTICLE 19, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) and Reporters Without Borders (RSF) will visit Malta to meet with members of the Maltese Government, civil society representatives, journalists, and other key stakeholders. The mission takes place four years after the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia, on 16 October 2017. Despite modest progress in some areas, the ongoing impunity for the brutal murder and broader systemic failings continue to negatively impact Malta’s press…

Albania: MFRR urges government to scrap new Media and Information Agency

The undersigned partners of the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) today express serious concern over a new Media and Information Agency (MIA) established by the government of Prime Minister Edi Rama in Albania and urge the ruling Socialist Party to immediately cancel its establishment to ensure it will not be used to further solidify control over the flow of public information. We also urge the European Union to immediately engage with the Albanian government to raise these concerns as a matter of priority in future accession talks. Plans for the new agency, announced during the first session of the new…

Speakers’ biographies: “Trust in media: Photojournalism in the digital age”

On 25 and 26 October 2021, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) is holding a series of webinars “Trust in media: Photojournalism in the digital age“. Distinguished speakers will discuss the role of photojournalists and the challenges they face in a changing environment and how risks to health and safety can be mitigated. Below, the short bios and photos of the panelists. To register for day 1, 25 October, from 1 PM – 3.15 PM, click here. For day 2, 26 October, from 1 PM – 3.15 PM, click here. Day 1 Radomir Krackovic graduated from the Faculty of Political Sciences in…

EFJ joins call for Greek Euronews service to be continued

Greek service of pan-European television channel Euronews is threatened with closure before the end of the year. The service, which is funded by the European Commission, could become the first broadcaster in an official EU language to be shut down. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joined its affiliates, the Journalists’ Union of Athens Daily Newspapers (JUADN) and the Journalists’ Union of Macedonia and Thrace (ESIEMTH), in calling for the Greek service to be continued to preserve media pluralism and secure jobs.  The news follows a press conference held this summer between Euronews Greece CEO Michael Peters and Euronews Greece employees,…

Turkey: Increase in threats against journalists

The Turkish Association of Journalists (GCD) published its Quarterly Media Monitoring Report documenting the state of press freedom in Turkey for the months of April to June 2021.  A number of topics are addressed in the report including rights violations for media workers in the country, the situation of media workers, press card regulations, disinformation, the impact of social media on journalistic works, new initiatives and advocacy work.  According to the report, polarisation of the media in Turkey escalated strongly in the second quarter of 2021, with issues of “rights violations, targeting, violence, arrests, imprisonments, restraints, threats, investigations, self-censorship, fines…