Czech Republic: Independence of public broadcasters must be insulated against future attacks

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joined its partner organisations of the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) today in demanding a boost in press freedom to drive legislative reform for public service media in Czech Republic. Press freedom in the Czech Republic has undergone a welcome boost since the government of Prime Minister Petr Fiala came to power. The undersigned media freedom and journalists organisations today urge the new administration to use this momentum to push forward with amendments which will strengthen the institutional independence of Česká televize (Czech Television) and Český rozhlas (Czech Radio). Under the previous government, Czech Television came under…

French TV news presenter faces allegations of rape

Twenty women have accused French journalist Patrick Poivre d’Arvor, also known as PPDA, of sexual harassment and abuse, including rape. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) calls on media companies to take the necessary preventive measures, especially with regard to freelancers, who are more exposed to the risk of sexual abuse. On Tuesday, the investigative website Mediapart interviewed 18 women openly accusing one of France’s best-known television news presenters, PPDA, 74, of sexual harassment and abuse – including rape. A further two alleged victims were named and filmed talking of their encounters with the television star separately. The majority of…

UK Court dismissed most of the defamation case against newspaper Realtid

The London Court decided on 11 May 2022 to dismiss most of the charges in a defamation case against the business news website Realtid, initiated by Swedish businessman Svante Kumlin. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) welcomed the court’s decision recognising that the defamation claim could not be tried in the British courts. The disputed articles were published in October and November 2020. In these articles, Realtid investigated the financing and financial dealings surrounding Kumlin’s company, Eco Energy World. During the investigation, the firm’s lawyers threatened to sue the journalists for defamation so that they would not continue their work.…

New podcast on media ethics: A case for the press council 

The press councils from Belgium, Finland and Germany released a joint podcast exploring two important cases that show what reporting standards like truthfulness and the protection of victims mean for everyday life reporting. The two episodes are available on Spotify and Apple Podcasts. Truthfulness, human dignity and corrections of mistakes: these are the main standards followed by most professional media in Europe. But what do these standards mean for everyday reporting? For example, how do journalists cover accidents and human tragedies without hurting the victims’ dignity? And how do they differentiate themselves from disinformation via social media?  The first episode entitled ‘A traffic…

Open letter: Protecting digital rights and freedoms in future legislation to tackle child abuse

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joined EDRi and 46 civil society organisations in jointly raising voices to the European Commission to demand that the forthcoming EU on ‘Legislation to effectively tackle child sexual abuse’ complies with EU fundamental rights and freedoms. Tackling the online dissemination of child sexual abuse and exploitation material (CSAM) is an important part of the broader global fight to protect young people from sexual abuse and exploitation. In particular, this fight requires a comprehensive approach by governments and companies to prevent such egregious crimes before they happen. In the context of the upcoming EU legislation to…

Hungary: Fidesz Media Council moves to silence independent station Tilos Rádió

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joined its partner organisations of the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) today in expressing serious concern over the decision by the Fidesz-controlled Media Council – the country’s powerful media regulator – to block the frequency license renewal of the symbolic independent station Tilos Rádió. Our organisations are concerned that this decision appears to be yet another disproportionate move by the Media Council, whose members were all nominated and appointed solely by the ruling party, which will force another independent voice off the country’s airwaves and further weaken media pluralism. We note the Media Council’s…

MFRR Mission report: who is afraid of journalists in Italy?

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) today joined its partner organisations in the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) in publishing a mission report focusing on key challenges facing press freedom in Italy. The report followed a three-day fact-finding mission to Rome, Naples and Arzano from 4 to 6 April 2022, which was led by the Osservatorio Balcani e Caucaso Transeuropa. The delegation’s findings were published today and launched at an event organised by the MFRR featuring a representative of the European Commission, as well as our Italian affiliate, the Italian Federation of Journalists (FNSI), Articolo 21 and the Italian Order of Journalists.…

Local cross-border journalism grant: applications open!

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) is inviting all journalists interested in doing cross-border investigative journalism at the local level to apply for the new Local Cross-Border Journalism grant. This grant programme supports local cross-border investigative teams of professional journalists and/or news outlets to bring the locals to the European level as well as to local citizens all over Europe. Compelling stories can be found everywhere, even at the local level. Unlike other parts of the world, local journalists in some European countries such as Belgium and the Netherlands do not engage in in-depth research or investigative journalism. There are many reasons why the lack…

Europe Day: Open Letter to European Commissioners for a strong Media Freedom Act

On the occasion of Europe Day 2022, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joined 16 journalists, human rights and press freedom organisations in reiterating the vital role of a free, independent and pluralistic media in safeguarding Europe’s values. The upcoming European Media Freedom Act (EMFA) is a unique opportunity to tackle the threat of media capture, ensure media financial sustainability in Europe and build a robust and resilient media ecosystem across member states. With this letter, the undersigned organisations urged the European Commission to take an ambitious approach to the EMFA to help counter the increasing threats to media freedom,…