European Federation of Journalists

Takeaways from the Online Freelance Seminar on 22 October

Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, freelance journalists across Europe have been greatly impacted with reduced paid work and often isolation. For the “Online Freelance Seminar: Equal Treatment for All”, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) gathered over 30 journalists’ representatives, freelance journalists and their organisers, EU policy-makers and experts to discuss such impacts on their working conditions and explore ways to support them. The seminar kicked off with a panel led by Oddrun Midtbø (Norwegian Union of Journalists, NJ) with Renske Heddema, (Dutch Journalists’ Association, NVJ), Charlotte Michils (Flemish Association of Journalists, VVJ) and Pablo Aiquel (French National…

Croatia: Media outlets disabled comments for two hours to counter increasing hate speech

The Croatian Journalists’ Association (CJA) and the Trade Union of Croatian Journalists (TUCJ) just launched the #togetherwithouthate (#zajednobezmrznje) campaign. The objective is to warn against the destructive influence of hate speech online and offline journalists are facing because of their work, on the rise for many years. The campaign was launched on Friday 23 October with a call on media outlets to disable the possibility to comment on their websites and social media, for two hours, from 11am to 1pm. Major Croatian media outlets took part in the action, including Jutarnji list, Slobodna Dalmacija, 24sata, Večernji list, Novi list, Glas…

EFJ and IFJ call on the US government to drop plans to shorten visa length for journalists

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) and the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joined the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) and 21 other organisations from across the globe to submit a statement to the US government in response to proposed changes to the I visa program that will impact on foreign journalists. “To be clear, by these restrictions on the validity of visas, the Trump administration wants to make it much harder and more expensive for foreign journalists to work in the United States,” said EFJ General Secretary Ricardo Gutiérrez. “This is why, together with the IFJ and 22 global organisations,…

EFJ welcomes the award of the Sakharov Prize to the democratic opposition in Belarus

The democratic opposition in Belarus has won this year’s Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought, European Parliament President David Sassoli announced today. The Sakharov Prize is awarded by the European Parliament every year in memory of Soviet physicist and dissident Andrei Sakharov. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) welcomes the award of the prize to the Belarusian opposition and recalls that six journalists are still in prison in Belarus just for doing their job. Protests erupted in Belarus following a disputed presidential election in August that Alexander Lukashenko claimed to have won with 80 percent of the vote, leading to…

Ukraine: Arson of regional media’s editorial office at the height of election campaign

On the night of 21 October, the editorial office of the regional media Alternatyva.org was burned down in the Odesa Oblast region. The National Union of Journalists of Ukraine (NUJU) reported the incident, referring to information from Roman Varshanidze, the editor-in-chief of the publication. The journalist informed that according to witnesses, two unknown persons broke the editorial office window and threw a bottle with Molotov cocktail in it. As a result, the furniture and floor were burnt, but the editorial office and equipment were saved by the neighbours who were able to put out the flames before the firefighters arrived.…

If you want ethical quality information, work with press councils!

What can press councils be used for? A European promotional video co-funded by the European Commission with the support of the Conseil de déontologie journalistique (CDJ – Belgium), is launched today by all European press councils and their partner organisations. It recalls the role and assets of these particular bodies often unknown to the general public pointing one key message : if you want ethical quality information, work with us!   At a time when pieces of information coming from all sources are jostling around without us always knowing whether we can rely on it or not, at a time when distrust of journalists has become the rule, press councils…

Netherlands: Union negotiates travel ban exemption for IFJ press card holders

Foreign journalists traveling to the Netherlands will be exempt from a travel ban and be able to leave quarantine to carry out vital newsgathering provided they are carrying an IFJ International Press Card (IPC). The protocol, negotiated between the Dutch Journalist Association, the NVJ, and the country’s authorities exempts foreign journalists in possession of the IPC and a letter issued by the union, are exempted from the travel restrictions currently in place. Journalists are still required to: get a visa when needed follow travel requirements follow corona rules in place, such as self-quarantine for 10 days, except for the time journalists…

Kosovo: journalist Shkumbin Kajtazi’s car attacked for the second time in four months

On Sunday, 18 October, Kosovo journalist Shkumbin Kajtazi announced via a Facebook post that he had found his car damaged by several bullets that broke the window and left holes on the front and back seats. It is believed that this attack is related to his journalistic work. Kajtazi is an investigative journalist working for Reporteri.net and Jepi zë and covers political events, politicians and corruption affairs in Kosovo. This is the second time in four months that the journalist was targeted. The previous time, on 13 June, his car was set on fire and the prosecutor informed him that…

Netherlands: Public Broadcaster NOS removes logo from vehicles following increased attacks against journalists

On 15 October, the Dutch Public Broadcaster NOS announced they are removing NOS logos from their cars and trucks due to the number of attacks against their employees and elevated fear of further harassment. The logic behind this step is that journalists’ safety increases when it is not immediately recognisable who they are working for. The measure, which was taken after thorough consideration, is described as a “defeat for the NOS, but especially for journalism” by Marcel Gelauff, editor-in-chief of NOS. “However, almost daily aggressions towards journalists, such as calling names, threats, cutting off on the highway or banging on…

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