European Federation of Journalists

Russia: EFJ condemns the use of violence against journalists on Saturday

The Russian Journalists’ and Media Workers’ Union (JMWU) and the Russian Union of Journalists (RUJ) recorded on 23 January at least 52 cases of detention and violence against journalists while covering protests in support of jailed opposition leader Alexei Navalny, in Russia. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) condemns the use of violence against journalists. On Saturday, across Russia, tens of thousands of people defied a heavy police presence to join some of the largest rallies against President Vladimir Putin in years. OVD Info, an independent NGO that monitors rallies, said about 3,100 people had been detained, more than 1,200 of…

Russia: intimidation of journalists ahead of pro-Navalny protests

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) calls on the Russian authorities to respect press freedom and allow journalists to operate freely as they cover the mass demonstrations in support of jailed opposition leader Alexei Navalny, scheduled for Saturday 23 January. Since 20 January, Russian police and the Russian media regulator have issued warnings to several journalists, as well as to news outlets and social media platforms, discouraging them from covering protests in support of Navalny. The Russian Prosecutor’s Office announced on 21 January that police will be “focused on taking preventive measures, and if there are grounds – bringing the…

What to expect for journalism and media in 2021, according to Reuters Institute

The Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism has released a report titled “Journalism, Media, and Technology Trends and Predictions 2021”, which draws from the major events of 2020 and their disruptive effect on journalism. This outlines what to expect as a result of rapid digital change following the Covid-19 pandemic in a new world “where the physical and virtual coexist in new ways.” A key finding is that the pandemic has forced us to rethink where the limits of free speech should lie for giant tech platforms. According to the report, we should expect a more interventionist approach on…

Germany: 252 attacks against media workers in 2020

In 2020, attacks against journalists in Germany more than doubled compared to previous years, according to the latest figure of the federal government. Demonstrations are considered as high-risk sites for journalists, and police officers were often unable to protect media professionals. The European Federation of Journalists and its German affiliates, the DJV and dju in ver.di, call for increased support and protection for media workers.  At the request of the Green parliamentary group, the federal government published official figures for the attacks on media workers in 2020. It recorded 252 incidents, among which 22 were physical injuries, 33 were damages…

Unions must change and cannot return to ‘business as usual’ after pandemic, report says

According to a recently published trade unions’ report by Unions 21 on the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on unions and responses to these new challenges, trade unions are stronger than before the pandemic. Despite the difficult conditions, trade unions improved in membership recruitment, activism, engagement, and collective bargaining outcomes. However, the report warns that unions should not return to the pre-pandemic ‘business as usual’ mode in the future, but rather work toward building on changes made in 2020. The report made a series of recommendations for trade unions moving forward. They include the need to identify effective ways for…

EU report on the right to disconnect: EFJ co-signed ETUC letter to MEPs

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) co-signed, together with the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) and the European Trade Union Federations (ETUFs), the letter to MEPs asking them to reject the amendment being debated on the proposal for an EU directive on the right to disconnect. Here is our joint letter: Brussels, 19 January 2021 Dear MEPs, Workers experience a lot difficulties securing the right to disconnect in reality and the ETUC and the ETUFs urge the Commission to come forth with a proposal for a Directive quickly. Tomorrow, Wednesday the 20th January, amendments to the report on the right…

Turkey: Five journalists attacked in first 15 days of 2021

In these first 15 days of 2021, the Turkish Journalists Union (TGS) already recorded five physical attacks against journalists in Turkey. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) and the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) together with their affiliate in Turkey, condemn the assaults and call on Turkish authorities to conduct thorough investigations and hold the perpetrators accountable. In a tweet, the Turkish Journalists Union strongly condemned the attacks and denounced the government’s absence of reaction: “Five journalists and media workers have been attacked in 15 days. There are no government convictions and no sanctions by the judiciary. This is intended…

Russia: Free Pavel Zelenski!

On 16 January, a Russian court ordered the arrest of cameraman Pavel Zelenski in Moscow for “inciting extremism on the internet.” Zelenski is a cameraman at Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK), a platform that tries to expose corruption in Russia through media reports. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) and the Russian Journalists and Media Worker’s Union (JMWU) demand his release. According to JMWU, Zelenski was arrested for two tweets he posted in early October, after journalist Irina Slavina set herself on fire in desperation in the city of Nizhny Novgorod. She has clashed with authorities for years over her critical…

EFJ and Swedish Journalists Union condemn the political interference from Polish ambassador

Polish Ambassador to Sweden sent a formal letter of complaint to the Swedish online news site Dagens Arena for calling the Polish government “right-wing nationalist”. The European Federation of Journalists joined its affiliate, the Swedish Journalists Union, in condemning the political interference and considered as inappropriate the update request. The text in question is an opinion piece written by Stockholm city council member Magnus Runsten and published on 11 January with the headline “That’s How Democracy Wins“. He wrote: “Just a few months ago, Donald Trump was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by the Swedish Democrats. An initiative they took together…

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