French journalist for BFM TV Frédéric Leclerc-Imhoff killed in Ukraine

French BFM TV journalist Frédéric Leclerc-Imhoff was fatally injured today while covering the evacuation of civilians from the cities of Severodonetsk and Lyssychansk in Ukraine. His colleague Maxime Brandstaetter was slightly injured in the attack. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) expresses its condolences to the family and relatives of Frédéric Leclerc-Imhoff. The Luhansk regional governor said on 30 May in the afternoon that the Russians shelled a car that was on its way to pick up ten civilians. Frédéric Leclerc-Imhoff was sitting in the car covering the evacuation operation when a piece of shrapnel pierced the armoured vehicle and hit…

Renate Schroeder: Why we need a strong Media Freedom Act in Europe

This article by Renate Schroeder, EFJ Director was originally published on Vecer on 27 May 2022. Have you heard about the dire state of media freedom in Europe or in your country? Does this mean anything to you? Once a year, on World Press Freedom Day (3rd of May) we celebrate journalists’ vital contribution to democracy. We also draw attention to the increasing pressures, threats and attacks they face and call for their protection and support for the freedom, independence and pluralism of the media.   The death of 10 journalists and media workers in Ukraine since the start of the…

EFJ warns that EU legislation to prevent child abuse online would undermine protection of journalistic sources

The European Commission published on 11 May a proposal to fight against child sexual abuse online. According to the draft regulation, messaging applications would be required to scan all private communications, including encrypted messages. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) is concerned that the legislation could jeopardise the fundamental protection of journalistic sources. The European Commission’s proposal requires providers of electronic communications services “to detect, report and remove” child sexual abuse on the internet on both “public-facing” and “private interpersonal” communications services. According to the European Digital Rights (EDRi), the automatic scanning of everyone’s private communications is disproportionate and interferes with the right to…

Italy: Concern after authorities search Rai 3 editorial office and home of journalist

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joined the partner organisations of the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) in expressing serious concern over the searches carried out by police at the offices of Rai 3’s investigative programme ‘Report’ and the home of investigative journalist Paolo Mondani. We urge the Italian Anti-Mafia Investigative Directorate (DIA) to provide assurances that the confidentiality of journalists’ sources will not be jeopardised and to reaffirm its respect for the principles of press freedom. The MFRR joins the Federazione Nazionale Stampa Italiana, the Unione Sindacale Giornalisti Rai and the Ordine Dei Giornalisti in raising alarm about the heavy-handed actions…

Serbia: Tendering process of national FTA TV licences must be open and transparent

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joined the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) and the Independent Journalists’ Association of Serbia (NUNS) in expressing concerns about the lack of a transparent process for the allocation of national free to air (FTA) TV licences in Serbia and of a Development Strategy for radio and audiovisual media services. On 15th April 2022, Serbia’s Regulatory Electronic Media (REM) opened a tendering call for four national TV licences, which were reduced from the five frequencies previously available. We believe that the current allocation process lacks transparency. Broadcast frequencies are a limited resource that should be…

Slovenia: Journalists at public broadcaster RTV voted for strike action

On Monday 23 May, Radiotelevizija Slovenija (RTV)’s unions’ committee will hold a strike to protest against the serious threat to the existence of public service broadcasting and its employees. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) supports the decision taken on 12 May with a majority of 96% of the voters among the Committee of Journalists’ Unions of RTV.  While on several occasions, EFJ denounced a violation of trade union rights, serious concerns over press freedom deterioration in Slovenia were also expressed in the  last Media Freedom Rapid Response report. In a press release the RTV strike unions’ committee, denounced the…

Media Freedom Rapid Response III (MFRR) will continue for 18 months

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) is pleased to announce that the consortium running the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) – consisting of the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF), ARTICLE 19 Europe, Free Press Unlimited (FPU), International Press Institute (IPI), Osservatorio Balcani Caucaso Transeuropa (OBC Transeuropa), and the EFJ – has been granted €1.95 million in funding for 18 months from the European Commission to continue its work to defend and support press and media freedom throughout all EU member states, candidate countries, and Ukraine. In 2020 and 2021, the consortium – which also included the Institute…

Turkey 2021 Media Monitoring Report: 80% of journalists think their work is increasingly worthless

The Turkish Association of Journalists (GCD) recently published its Annual Media Monitoring Report documenting the state of press freedom in Turkey for the year 2021. The report, funded by the Media 4 Democracy project, addresses a number of topics such as journalists’ safety and censorship, disinformation, the new internet regulation, the situation of imprisoned journalists and journalists’ current professional satisfaction. According to the Media Monitoring Report, “in 2021, no steps were taken for the betterment of the conditions troubling freedom of expression and the press in Turkey.” In particular, the decision to withdraw from the Istanbul Convention, to not implement the European…

Montenegro: SMCG launched new video series on collective bargaining

The Trade Union of Media of Montenegro (SMCG) just launched a new video series called “Dvije sindikalne” (“Couple of words on unions” in English) discussing the working conditions in Montenegrin media and the work of the unions. The project is part of the national actions carried in the framework of the COVID Recovery Fund project, which is funding capacity-building activities developed by European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) affiliates. Each of the ten episodes will offer insights into the trade union world. Using a combination of traditional and new journalistic formats, SMCG approaches the theme of working conditions from a new…