Western Balkans: How to fight self-censorship in public service media newsrooms

On 18 and 19 October in Belgrade, programme directors and editors’ in chief discussed with members of  the EFJ Broadcasting Expert Group how to best implement code of conducts and editorial guidelines for Public Service Media in Western Balkans. The workshop was implemented by the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) and is part of a two-year project “Technical Assistance to Public Service Media in the Western Balkan” led by the IFJ in cooperation with the European Broadcasting Union (EBU). The EFJ trainer Muriel Hanot, Director of the Belgian Press Council, gave a presentation about ethical standards in Belgium including the use…

Examining and assessing PSM editorial guidelines of the Western Balkans

A new publication on editorial guidelines or codes of conduct in the public service media of the Western Balkans was drafted by Renate Schroeder, director of the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), and presented during a launching event of the EU-funded project “Technical Assistance to Public Service Media in the Western Balkans” in Tirana, Albania, in June 2018. The project is managed by the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) in close cooperation with the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), in collaboration with the EFJ, Austrian public broadcaster ORF, the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network and the Office of the Eurovision News Exchange…

1700 journalists on strike at Norwegian public broadcaster NRK

Update 24.05.2018: After negotiations for a collective agreement with the Norwegian Public Broadcasting (NRK), the Norwegian Union of Journalists (NJ) managed to win on all main demands on 23 May 2018 in Oslo. The 1700 journalist members of the Norwegian Union of Journalists (NJ) at the Norwegian Public Service Broadcasting NRK went on strike today, after negotiations and mediation did not lead to a new collective agreement. The European Federation of Journalists and the Broadcasting Expert group expressed their solidarity with the journalists on strike at NRK and NJ. According to the EFJ affiliate, NJ, the NRK wants to replace around…

Switzerland: Clear votum for public service media

For the two EFJ member organisations in Switzerland,  impressum and syndicom the very clear no to “No Billag” confirms that the Swiss population wants to preserve quality media. 71% voted against #Nobillag in yesterday’s referendum. The “No Billag” initiative – a reference to the Billag firm that collects the media licensing fee – divided Switzerland along political and generational lines. The majority of the population does not want to set aside public service media and is aware that media pluralism is in danger, if one can only rely on private and commercial media, says syndicom. The public referendum against «No Billag» has confirmed the…

Public service media in Bosnia and Herzegovina closer to sustainable funding

Public service media in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) has signed an agreement with the electric company Elektroprivreda – JP EP on the collection of TV license fee through the electricity bills starting this month. With this agreement, the Radio and Television of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BHRT) will be provided with a steady income of independent funding and will be able to start investing in new technology and programming. The other domestic electric companies will be offered the same contract and the BHRT expects a positive outcome. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) along with the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) welcomes…

Safe and reform public service media in Bosnia and Herzegovina

An international conference on public service media (PSM) in Bosnia and Herzegovina has concluded with an agreement that the failure of PSM in the country would be unacceptable. Public service media in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) is under threat of imminent collapse due to insufficient and unsustainable funding and the authorities’ inability to make the necessary reforms to the media law. More than 100 participants from parliament, government, regulatory authorities, the media, the international community and the civil sector met in Sarajevo to discuss the importance of PSM. Organised by the Radio and Television of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BHRT) in…

Call on BiH authorities to save national public service media

The Bosnia and Herzegovina public service broadcaster (BHRT), the EFJ affiliate, the Bosnia -Herzegovina Journalists Association (BHN), the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), and the South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO) call on Bosnia and Herzegovina authorities to undertake urgent measures to save national public service media (PSM) in BiH. The above mentioned organisations urge BiH authorities to ensure political consensus about the importance of existing independent and professional national PSM in BiH, to find sustainable solutions for the funding of PSM, to undertake immediate amendments of the existing legislation and support the national public…

EFJ’s plea to save Public Service Media in Bosnia and Herzegovina

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) has initiated a call backed by the international community, including the EBU (European Broadcasting Union), to save public service media (PSM) in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH). Urgent measures need to be taken to secure adequate and sustainable funding for PSM in BiH. It has been almost a year since the previous model for collecting the licence fee – through telephone bills –  expired. The two telecoms operators in BiH, Bhtelecom and M:tel, have been voluntarily collecting the fee for PSM ever since but this is now under threat and, this month, the amount of funding collected via this…

CoE Commissioner Nils Muižnieks urges to strengthen public service broadcasting in Kosovo

The Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Nils Muižnieks, is encouraging Kosovo authorities to safeguard media freedom in the country following his four-day mission to Kosovo. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) and the Journalist’s Association of Kosovo (AGK) welcome the preliminary conclusions. In his report, the Commissioner recommends to strengthen Kosovo public service media, urging “the authorities to establish a sustainable, appropriate and transparent funding of the public service broadcasting organisation and to secure its editorial independence and institutional autonomy.” The Law on the Radio Television of Kosovo (RTK), the public service broadcaster, is currently being amended by the…

Turkey’s RTÜK becomes a permanent censorship institution

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) has today backed its affiliate Turkish Journalists Association (TGC) in condemning new restrictions imposed on broadcasters by governmental decrees number 680 published on 06/02/2017. The Executive Board of the Turkish Journalists Association (TGC) announced that the restrictions imposed on broadcasting by Radio and Television Authority (RTUK) officials represents a direct intervention to the profession of journalism and aims at making censorship as a permanent institution. “The legislative decree has made amendments to the law that regulates Radio and television broadcasts in Turkey. According to these amendments, the broadcasts of any radio or television outlet…

Request for EU Support for Public Service Media in Balkan

On 1st and 2nd February, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) and the European Broadcasting Union (EBU)  had a series of meetings with members of the European Parliament to discuss the urgency of supporting public service media and independent journalism in the accession countries. The lack of financial independence, outdated technologies as well as increasing political control, not only in Hungary and Poland but in all accession countries  affects the compatibility of public media outlets. Out of all Balkan countries only Serbia and Macedonia fully digitalised their production, although they still have most of their products in analogue format. The…

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