Croatia: local newspaper dismisses journalists for criticising its bias

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joined its affiliates in Croatia, the Croatian Journalists’ Association (CJA) and the Trade Union of Croatian Journalists (TUCJ) in condemning the daily paper Glas Istre for dismissing three journalists who openly criticised the paper’s biased editorial policy. Both CJA and TUCJ described the management’s decision to dismiss the journalists as “scandalous” and “shameful”. The three reporters who were given extraordinary dismissals, Zoran Angeleski, Danijela Basic-Palkovic and Borka Petrovic, accused in late May the daily paper’s editor-in-chief, Robert Frank, of trying to influence coverage of the local election campaign to benefit the long-dominant regional party,…

EFJ-EU Webinar: Tips and challenges for journalists covering Muslims and Islam

On 18 June, the last session of webinars aiming to improve media reporting on Muslims and Islam, funded by the European Commission (DG Justice), took place. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) invited the journalists and media professionals who participated in the online training to discuss their own media productions with experts and community representatives. Below is a summary of the challenges they faced during this process and tips and feedback received. The journalists participating in this four-part online training received constructive feedback and recommendations to improve their journalistic coverage of Muslims and Islam by Jean-Paul Marthoz, journalist and essayist…

Belarus: harassers of journalists’ association will be held accountable

The Belarusian Ministry of Justice ordered on 21 June an inspection of the activities of the Belarusian Association of Journalists (BAJ). The letter that BAJ received this Monday morning demands that the independent representative organisation of journalists submit thousands of documents dated since 1 January 2018 to the Department of Non-Profit Organisations of the Ministry of Justice. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) will denounce at the highest level any attempt to intimidate and harass BAJ. The EFJ asked its Belarusian affiliate to share the identity of all those involved in this examination of BAJ activities by the Belarusian Ministry…

Germany’s Federal Constitutional Protection Act removed protection for journalists

On 10 June 2021, the German Bundestag approved amendments to the Federal Constitutional Protection Act, removing legal provisions that exempted journalists from surveillance and hacking during terrorism investigations. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joined its German affiliates, Deutscher Journalisten Verband (DJV) and Deutsche Journalistinnen und Journalisten Union (dju) in ver.di in criticising the Act as an infringement of journalists’ fundamental rights and a threat to the anonymity of whistleblowers. Under the law, the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution and the federal police will be given more powers to secretly monitor online activity and encrypted communications, such…

The report “A New Deal for Journalism” neglects the working conditions of journalists

The Forum on Information and Democracy published yesterday its report titled “A New Deal for Journalism”. The report presents, among other, a plan to guarantee up to 0.1% of GDP per year to journalism “in order to preserve its social function for the future”. The document however neglects the central issue of journalists’ working conditions and the worrying precariousness of the profession. Written for the Forum by Sameer Padania, who heads the consultancy firm Macroscope, the report recalls a series of long-standing demands, such as transparency of media ownership and increased public support for the media to ensure pluralism. However,…

Slovakia: Supreme Court overturned not guilty verdicts in Ján Kuciak murder case

Today, on 15 June, the Slovak Supreme Court ruled on the appeal brought by prosecutors against last summer’s not guilty verdict in the murder of investigative journalist Ján Kuciak and his fiancée, Martina Kušnírová. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) welcomes the Supreme Court’s decision to remand the case back for a retrial and expects careful examination of all evidence in the case and to finally end impunity. Last summer, the controversial businessman Marian Kočner and a confidante, Alena Zsuzsová, were acquitted of ordering Kuciak’s murder in February 2018. The Specialized Criminal Court in Pezinok, Slovakia, found that there was not enough…

Slovakia Supreme Court hearing is crucial test in battle against impunity

Today, June 15, the Slovak Supreme Court is expected to rule on the appeal brought by prosecutors against last summer’s not guilty verdict in the murder of journalist Ján Kuciak and his fiancée, Martina Kušnírová. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), the International Press Institute (IPI), the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF) and ARTICLE 19, as part of the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) urge the Supreme Court to carefully and exhaustively examine all available evidence in the case. IPI Deputy Director Scott Griffen will attend the hearing in Bratislava on behalf of IPI and the MFRR. Controversial businessman…

EFJ calls on politicians to stop undermining journalists’ credibility

The General Secretary of the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), Ricardo Gutiérrez, was invited today to speak about the situation of journalists at the Council of Europe Ministerial Conference on Artificial Intelligence, Freedom of Expression and Media Freedom. The EFJ again called on Council of Europe member states to fulfil their international commitments to protect journalists. “All over Europe, media freedom is declining,” said Gutiérrez.” All over Europe, the working conditions of journalists are deteriorating. (…) The situation is getting worse, year after year. In the last six years, 33 journalists have been killed in Europe while doing their job.…

Joint call to make respect for press freedom a cornerstone of all demands towards Belarus

The hijacking of a plane and kidnapping of editor and blogger Raman Pratasevich is viewed by the free expression, press freedom and journalists’ community as the outrageous climax of a broader campaign against media freedom in Belarus that drastically intensified after the August 2020 election. Joint call to make respect for press freedom a cornerstone of all demands towards Belarus The undersigned organisations are calling for the international community to make respect for press freedom a cornerstone of all demands it voices towards Lukashenka’s regime. The hijacking is yet another step in a massive attack on press freedom and should…