EFJ to hold its General Meeting in Izmir on 13-14 June

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) will hold its general assembly in the western Turkish city of İzmir. More than 100 journalists from 45 countries in Europe are expected to meet on 13 and 14 June 2022. İzmir was chosen as the host city of the upcoming congress of the EFJ, which is Europe’s largest journalism organisation with more than 71 members in 45 countries, representing 320,000 journalists in Europe. Co-organised by Turkey’s Journalists’ Union (TGS), the congress will be held in İzmir’s historic Gas Factory, a 160-year-old industrial-plant-turned-cultural centre, in tandem with the Local Media Summit. EFJ President Mogens…

EU seeks new powers to fight hate speech

The European Commission presented, in December 2021, an initiative to extend the list of EU Crimes to hate speech and hate crime. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) called on the EU to carry out this reform while preserving freedom of expression and editorial independence, at a hearing held today by the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC). The proposed inclusion of hate speech and hate crime into the list of EU crimes will allow for harmonisation of criminal offenses ans sanctions at EU level. This initiative is part of the EU’s response to extremist ideologies online and more specifically…

EFJ to join press freedom mission to Italy

From 4 to 6 April, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) will join partner organisations of the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) in Italy for a fact-finding mission focused on two main topics: safety of journalists and state protection measures on one side, and SLAPPs against journalists and the need for comprehensive legislative reforms of the framework of defamation and media freedom on the other.  In collaboration with local partners, including the Italian National Federation of Journalists (FNSI), the journalists’ association Articolo 21 and the Chamber of Journalists, the MFRR delegation will address these issues from different perspectives and with…

Bosnia-Herzegovina: public service broadcaster threatened with closure

Over 800 journalists and staff working for the Bosnia-Herzegovina public service broadcaster, BHRT, could lose their jobs imminently if its financial crisis is not swiftly resolved.   The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) and the South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO) called today on authorities in Bosnia-Herzegovina (BiH) to take immediate action to identify a sustainable solution for BHRT’s funding problems and prevent its closure. BHRT has an outstanding debt of EUR 32 million owed to it by the public broadcaster in the Republika Srpska, RTRS, who, under law, should provide a percentage of revenues collected through the license fee. This is the subject of an…

Ukraine: photojournalist Maks Levin missing, multiple journalists abducted and forced to “cooperate”

Several cases of abduction of journalists in the occupied territories of Ukraine have been reported over the last month. Some have been released while Ukrainian photojournalist Maks Levin is still missing since 13 March. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) condemned the deliberate targeting of journalists by the Russian military and denounced the torture and pressure exerted on journalists and their families in order to make them cooperate. “They jumped on me from behind, threatened me with weapons, twisted my arms and demanded that I kneel down. Afterwards, I was interrogated by different people. Those conducting the interrogation had their…

Russian state censorship gags Novaya Gazeta

Russia’s Novaya Gazeta newspaper, whose editor Dmitry Muratov was a co-winner of last year’s Nobel Peace Prize, announced on Monday it will cease online and print operations until the end of the war in Ukraine after it received a second warning from the state media regulator RKN for allegedly violating the country’s “foreign agent” law. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) calls once again on the Russian authorities to stop the spiral of censorship and the eradication of independent media in Russia. The warning came a day after Dmitry Muratov spoke with the Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, in a group interview with…

New MFRR report finds systemic challenges to press freedom in Greece

DOWNLOAD THE REPORT   On 28 March 2022, the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) published the report “Controlling the Message: Challenges for independent reporting in Greece”, which details the findings and recommendations of its online fact-finding mission to Greece. The mission, involving interviews with more than thirty local stakeholders, was implemented by the MFRR partners, including the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), together with Reporters Without Borders in December 2021. The partner organisations conclude that challenges to the independence of the media and the safety of journalists are systemic in the country. While the problems are not unique, their intensity…

EFJ contribution to the European Media Freedom Act

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) has submitted its contribution to the European Commission’sPublic consultation for the European Media Freedom Act (EMFA) on 24 March 2022. The EFJ has welcomed the initiative as an overdue action to reconcile unprecedented threats against independent journalism and media including politicisation, such as so-called state capture, lack of transparency in media ownership, increased threats on independent public service and unfair allocation of state funding. The questions include the important issue of self-regulation, the work of media authorities but also the need to create an enabling environment for media. The EMFA proposal aims to increase…

MFRR publishes new report: “Controlling the Message: Challenges for independent reporting in Greece”

On 28 March 2022, the Media Freedom Rapid Response will publish the report of its online fact-finding mission to Greece that took place in December. Under the title ‘Controlling the Message: Challenges for independent reporting in Greece’, the report reflects the mission’s findings and recommendations on: The assassination of Giorgos Karaivaz; Polarisation of a fragmented media landscape; Reporting on migration; Reporting on protests; and, Legal threats. The report will be launched with an online panel on 28 March at 2pm CEST (=3pm EEST) with: Laurens Hueting, Senior Advocacy Officer of the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF) Iliana Papangeli, Managing Director of…